Anxiety, toilet paper and sale surges: How cannabis dispensaries are adapting to COVID-19 – The Californian

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An East of Eden employee takes items to a customer who used the curbside delivery option that East of Eden offers. March 24, 2020. (Photo: David Rodriguez/The Salinas Californian)

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On a somewhat sunny Tuesday afternoon in South Salinas, about eight people waited in line to purchase marijuana at East of Eden — they stood six feet apart from each other. 

More customers sat in their vehicles, awaiting curbside service from the cannabis dispensary. 

The delivery option is a first of its kind in Salinas after the store received the green light from the Bureau of Cannabis Control to help fight the coronavirus’ spread. 

It’s one of many precautions East of Eden is taking to halt COVID-19, said Mike Bitar, who cofounded East of Eden alongside Gavin Kogan, with the cannabis consortium Grupo Flor. 

Salinas’ other dispensaries have also enacted strict rules to combat COVID-19 amid a surging market — East of Eden sales are up 10-15% daily, Kogan said. 

CannaCruz, on Abbot Street, has also seen surges, said Grant Palmer, its owner. 

Customers at East of Eden are told to wait at a safe distance from one another in order to maintain their safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. March 24, 2020.  (Photo: PROVIDED/EAST OF EDEN)

“Every time something comes up or the president says something stupid, people come in,” Palmer said. 

Indica-strain marijuana, often used to treat anxiety, has seen around a 40% increase in the past two weeks at East of Eden, Bitar said. 

“Anxiety has probably been the biggest driver (of customers’ purchases) in

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