By Sonia Waraich | swaraich@times-standard.com |

Cannabis is flying off the shelves at local dispensaries as people prepare to stay at home for the next few weeks.

Half a dozen dispensaries reported seeing a surge in customers over the past week as they shifted their business operations to limit contact with customers.

“It’s kind of what’s going on in the grocery stores,” said Mariellen Jurkovich, owner of Humboldt Patient Resources. “People are stocking up.”

Deliveries have gone up and people have started buying cannabis in larger quantities, dispensary owners said.

“There was a big surge this past week,” said Simone Mellor, co-owner of Proper Wellness Center in Eureka.

“It’s not quite double” the usual sales, said Savannah Snow, co-owner of The Humboldt County Collective in Eureka. “I’d compare it to a normal Friday for us. Our Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday sales were quite a bit larger.”

Customers can only buy an ounce of cannabis a day at Eco-Cann in Eureka, but dispensary owner Jeff Poel said, “there are signs people are stocking up.”

“People are coming in and making $500 purchases, then coming back the next day and making another $500 purchase,” Poel said.

Most of those customers are returning ones, but Jurkovich said she’s getting some new customers looking for ways to get through this stressful time.

“People are coming in that have never used cannabis before,” Jurkovich said. “They hear CBD might alleviate stress.”

CBD is a compound in cannabis that doesn’t produce the intoxicating effects of other compounds found in cannabis, such as THC, but is associated with stress and pain relief.

Dispensaries are allowed to stay open through the county’s shelter in place order because they are considered essential to the quality of life.

In order to stay open, dispensaries have to make some changes though.

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