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Stories you may have missed from the world of business


Like toilet paper, panic buyers snap up pot

Cannabis may not be quite as essential as toilet paper, but consumers have rushed to stock up nonetheless. On March 16, sales of recreational cannabis were up 159 percent in California, compared to a year before, 100 percent in Washington state, and 46 percent in Colorado, according to data from the cannabis analytics firm Headset Inc. There was a modest increase in the number of buyers but most of the jump came from bigger purchases: Washington consumers spent an average of $33.70 per basket, up 22 percent from the prior week, Headset said. Leaflink Inc., a wholesale marketplace, saw a 48 percent increase in orders week-over-week as retailers restocked. Interestingly, consumers seemed more focused on edible than smokable products, perhaps because they’re conscious of the respiratory effects of Covid-19. Edibles orders increased 18 percent; flower orders fell 21 percent, according to Weedmaps. Cannabis consumption is likely to increase as people spend more time at home, said Bill Kirk, am analyst at MKM Partners: “The vice of choice when alone is cannabis. The vice of choice in large groups or with new people is alcohol.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS


State will hold virtual town halls on how to file jobless claims

State officials will hold town halls in the coming week on how to apply for unemployment assistance as a growing number of Bay Staters lose their jobs. Department of Unemployment Assistance officials will guide residents through each step of filing a claim during streamed meetings and answer questions from callers, according to the agency’s website. The first will be Monday at 9 a.m. A Spanish-language session will be Tuesday at 9 a.m. Meetings will be held through the week, except Thursday. The number of people calling the state about filing claims was so large last week that it overwhelmed a telephone center. Secretary Rosalin Acosta called the volume of claims filed with her department unprecedented. Acosta said the department would redeploy hundreds of its employees to help get the call center up and running quickly. Tens of thousands of workers have filed for benefits online. More information is on the state’s website at https://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-unemployment-assistance. — GLOBE STAFF



World’s largest long-haul airline to halt almost all flights

Emirates, the world’s largest long-haul airline, will suspend nearly all passenger operations starting Wednesday, the company said Sunday. Cargo service will remain in operation, as will routes to 13 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Singapore — in response to requests from governments and customers to support repatriation. “We cannot viably operate passenger services until countries re-open their borders, and travel confidence returns,” CEO Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a memo to employees. “Some of our competitors, or even our supply chain partners, may not survive this [coronavirus] crisis.” With its fleet of wide-body aircraft, the state-owned airline has turned Dubai into a hub for global travel, typically operating more than 500 flights a day, feeding the city’s growth since Emirates was founded in the mid-1980s. Emirates plans to ground 230 planes, or 85 percent of its fleet. — BLOOMBERG NEWS