As cities across the country continue to enact shelter-in-place measures and social distancing guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, legal weed dispensaries from California to Massachusetts have seen huge lines and skyrocketing sales. But once cannabis users are back home, one state in particular has seen a higher bump in pot posts on social media.
According to MLive, a new social media study from the health blog bodynutrition.org found that Michigan residents have posted the most cannabis photos, slang, jokes, and general 420-friendly banter since the coronavirus quarantines started.
Researchers used trends software to track geotagged Twitter posts about weed and weed-related terms, and found more than 200,000 tweets from the Wolverine State since March 1st. These included hashtags and usage of phrases like "smoke weed," as well as other sativa-friendly semantics. Michigan’s adult-use cannabis dispensaries didn’t open for business until December of last year, but in the months since, the Midwest’s first recreational weed industry has seen heavy traffic from both locals and out-of-towners.
But while pot shops in Los Angeles and Chicago have seen constant sales rushes for weeks, Michigan dispensaries reported busy days followed by sales slumps, suggesting that pot smokers in Detroit and Grand Rapids might already be stocked up, toking inside, and ready to share with their Twitter followers.
BodyNutrition, MLive, and a number of other media sources that covered the social media study subsequently stated that people in Michigan are “smoking more weed than [residents in] any other state” during the coronavirus pandemic. But we here at MERRY JANE are not convinced. States with more robust (and mature) cannabis markets — both legal and underground — are likely still outpacing Michigan in terms of pot consumption. Plus, correlation does not equal causation. Just because someone is tweeting about toking up doesn’t mean they’re actually doing so.
In addition to Michigan, the study found some surprising states at the top of the social media stoner rankings, with Georgia, Texas, and Louisiana coming in at second, third, and fourth, respectively. Hawaii residents came in fifth, in terms of the most weed tweets, and California came in at number 10. Who knows, maybe smokers in Colorado and Oregon prefer to post on Instagram and TikTok over Twitter.
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