Tuesday, October 19

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Flourishing Black-Market Weed Business in NYC

While New York City remains under lockdown in lieu of the ongoing global pandemic, its black-market weed business flourishes.

Representative Image Via Unsplash

Although marijuana is not officially legal in New York, USA (the state has abandoned its legalization for the second year in a row now) a 2019 study reported 1.3 million New Yorkers using some form of cannabis. At present, the lockdown order imposed on New York City in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing its citizens to stay indoors, has led to an increased usage of marijuana and cannabis-related products. Rolling Stone reported that for many, cannabis is essential for many struggling to cope with the global pandemic. Addressing a morgue having refrigerated trucks close to where she lives, a daily weed smoker living in the West Village says, “Weed is keeping me sane.”

According to some black-market cannabis vendors, business is brisk during the pandemic, with transactions being conducted wearing masks and gloves, or through a covert mailbox exchange where the customers leave an envelope of cash in exchange for delivery to their doorstep. An anonymous vendor operating out of the Bronx told Rolling Stone that he could get up to $6,000 for a pound of in-demand cannabis strains, like Strawberry Cough, but now NYC’s black-market is overflowing with quality, inexpensive cannabis coming from Oregon and California (where marijuana is legal), dropping pot prices to less than $2,000 a pound. Although there is intense market saturation, the stable rate for a quarter of an ounce has been $100. Selling an ounce at $400, the vendor informed that he makes his rounds by motorcycle and delivers the products at his customers’ doorstep, gloved and helmeted. He added that his customers were spending more than usual during the lockdown. Another dealer informed that people who are impacted by the coronavirus crisis are dealing marijuana to make ends meet.

Representative Image Via Unsplash

One such cannabis delivery service offered a “quarantine survival kit” which contained two pot brownies, a pack of THC gummies, an eighth of a cannabis flower, and rolling paper. The company used an e-commerce platform to take orders and deliver the packages to its customers’ doorsteps, notifying them with a text to ensure contactless delivery.

Zach Sokol, managing editor of Snoop Dogg’s online cannabis platform Merry Jane, said that “it’s the golden age [for the weed business]. There is more competition and more business than ever.” Having met with proprietors of two weed delivery services, Sokol reported that weed delivery businesses are making at least sixty deliveries on an average day, hitting holiday-season type traffic, and breaking past records. This spike in customers procuring so much of cannabis can also be attributed to the ‘hoarder mentality’ the pandemic has brought upon people, informed Sokol.

 

 

Featured Image Via Canva

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Fragmented reveries, scribbled quotes in foreign languages, ink-stained fingers, and cautious doodles in my journal; I believe in "nihil sub sole novum" —there is nothing new under the sun— so I write to better what exists.

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