US cannabis markets now officially face test of whether they’re recession-proof

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The United States is officially in a recession and, in fact, has been for several months, but the jury is still out to what extent marijuana and ancillary businesses truly are recession-proof.

The National Bureau of Economic Research on Monday formally proclaimed that the recession began in February, when the coronavirus crisis caused much of the U.S. economy to pause amid lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders.

In mid-March, several industry experts made a well-reasoned argument that cannabis might be as essential and recession-proof as alcohol was during the Great Recession from December 2007 to June 2009.

While it’s a bit early to tell, April data provided some evidence that demand for cannabis is likely to remain strong even during recessionary distress.

U.S. cannabis markets also are starting to report strong May numbers: Oklahoma, for example, recorded a record $73 million in medical marijuana sales, about 20% above its previous high.

For more of Marijuana Business Daily‘s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the cannabis industry, click here.