Marijuana markets across the country have seen a huge spike in activity since the coronavirus pandemic began, according to data from tracking company Metrc provided exclusively to POLITICO.
In October, the 13 states and Washington, D.C. that use Metrc’s track-and-trace system used 24 terabytes (TB) of data. By April, the volume of activity had jumped to 47 TB.
Coronavirus bump persisted: Many dispensaries saw a sales boom in mid-March as Americans prepared to hunker down and feared that pot shops might be closed. But the Metrc data shows that there’s been a continued rise in activity since that time.
In February, the system used 31 TB of data. In May, it’s on pace to hit 53 TB — a spike of 74 percent.
The volume reflects inputs in the track-and-trace system. For example, when a new plant is tagged or when products are shipped to a dispensary, those activities must be logged into the system.
The 14 jurisdictions that rely on Metrc’s software to track cultivation, production and sales activity include California, Ohio, Massachusetts and Michigan.
Metrc notes that a typical smartphone takes photos averaging about 4 megabytes. The amount of data that moved through the company’s servers in the month of April would take over 11 million pictures worth of space.