Alcohol and pot delivery apps see sales spike during coronavirus outbreak

Liquor stores and cannabis dispensaries are on "essential business" lists in California and other states.

In California, during the coronavirus shut down, some businesses are more essential than others. Gyms and malls are out, posing a greater risk to health than public need. Liquor stores and pot dispensaries, along with supermarkets and gas stations, are in business.

Saucey, a Los Angeles-based liquor-delivery app and website, has seen sales spike since the state shutdown was announced a week ago by California Governor Gavin Newsome. 

On the day the shelter-in-place orders were announced, basically sending some 40 million state residents home, Saucey saw a 300 percent spike in sales over the typical Thursday. 

"The last time we have seen that kind of growth on a Thursday was the last Fourth of July," said Doug Patrick, marketing coordinator at Saucey. "It was almost like a holiday in terms of order volume. It has been pretty steady since."

Pot dispensaries are reporting a similar sales spike. An employee at People’s OC dispensary in Santa Ana, Calif., reported to L.A. Weekly that "every single day has been busier than 4/20."

Saucey has had to adjust some marketing plans due to the shutdown, including a partnership with liquor conglomerate Diageo, which counts Ketel One and Don Julio among its portfolio of brands, during Coachella.  

Instead, Saucey and Diageo are looking for ways to support each other via the website and app. "We are going to figure out ways we can help each other, ways we can advertise both of ourselves," said Patrick."Diageo has a great product and we have a way to deliver that product."

Saucey sends emails to customers and promotes brands on its website, and could promote "some things to survive the lockdown" suggested Patrick.

As for safety protocols, Saucey is having clients hold their IDs at arm's length, so drivers can scan them from a distance. "Because we are alcohol delivery, we don’t have the luxury to leave the order at the door," said Patrick. 

Eaze, the San Francisco-based cannabis app and delivery company, like any fast-food restaurant has done, announced its COVID-19 safety policies on its homepage. These precautions include hands-free ID checks and wiping down handheld devices upon payment.

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