PACIFIC COUNTY — Personal care and personal protection equipment have become hot commodities across the U.S., but many are pursuing a decidedly more herbal approach locally.

Marijuana retailers are reporting high sales figures since early March, largely driven by customers buying in bulk amid fears of the spread of the covid-19 respiratory virus.

“We saw a heavy increase,” said Freedom Market budtender Kathryn Randall. “They were coming for quantity — mostly flower.”

Another marijuana retailer reported a 25% increase in daily sales.

“Volume is way up,” said Mr. Doobees owner H.J. Norris. “Day sales have had the most increase.”

Stores take steps to keep customers safe

Marijuana stores were deemed among the essential businesses in Oregon and Washington permitted to remain open during the on-going shutdown issued by state officials that’s closed many retailers and limited restaurants to takeout and delivery while confirmed cases of the covid-19 has spread across the U.S.

Stores have taken proactive measures to help keep customers safe during the outbreak, including limiting customers inside and offering drive through services. Plastic shields have been erected at checkout counters at several local grocers. Only one customer is permitted in the store at a time at Freedom Market in Ilwaco.

At Mr. Nice Guy in Astoria call-in and drive-through ordering has been incorporated.

Marijuana sales remain strong

The Freedom Market had $126,791 in sales in February, according to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board figures, the most of the three recreational marijuana stores in Pacific County.

Freedom Market has had approximately $5.5 million in sales overall since opening at the Port of Ilwaco in October 2016, the most in the county.

Growers Outlet, in South Bend, had $76,000 in sales in February and approximately $4 million overall since April 2015.

Mr. Doobees, in Seaview, has sold approximately $3 million overall since December 2016.

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