Alcohol, Medicinal Marijuana Sales Spike Amid Coronavirus Pandemic


By: Lowell Melser, WBAL TV

Maryland’s alcohol and medicinal marijuana businesses are booming amid the coronavirus pandemic as many residents spend a lot of time at home.

Shawan Liquors in Cockeysville is experiencing an increase in business that it has never seen before.

“It has been pretty wild for the last seven to eight days,” said Matthew Bull, owner of Shawan Liquors. “This is pretty unprecedented. So it’s like, if you can envision the Super Bowl and Christmas holiday and Thanksgiving holiday kind of all happening within 10 days.”

Bull told 11 News that supply chains have been good. A recent announcement by Gov. Larry Hogan loosening the rules on alcohol delivery has caused a panic of sorts for customers who think liquor stores may be the next business to have to shut down.

“People are definitely buying, in my mind, what I would consider one to two weeks or more of items, for sure,” Bull said. “I don’t know if it’s going to happen. They could shut me down tomorrow, so I’m kind of relaying that to my customers. I don’t really know what to tell them.”

Another industry that’s seeing a big boom is Maryland’s medical cannabis dispensaries. Many patients are worried those facilities could eventually be shut down, but that’s not the case.

Marc Spataro, who owns Chesacanna Wellness on York Road, is experiencing the same wealth and worry from medical marijuana patients, as there are concerns whether the business would stay open in the future.

“Our business has increased, pretty much double days,” Spataro said.

Spataro said people shouldn’t be concerned about his facility closing because medical cannabis is considered medicine.

“Everything I’m getting from the governing bodies is that we will stay open because we’re considered a pharmacy and we’re providing medicine to patients,” Spataro said.

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