Consumers are buying record amounts of cannabis amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the chairman of Curaleaf Holdings Inc.

The cannabis producer, which today completed its purchase of GR Companies Inc., saw its highest ever monthly sales in June, Boris Jordan said in an interview. July is shaping up to be another record, even before the acquisition is factored in, he said.

“We’re still seeing strong demand, and we’re seeing an expanded customer base,” Jordan said, adding that these include shoppers over 55 and those attracted to wellness products.

He predicted the company will have over US$1 billion in revenue next year. The company reported total revenue of US$221 million in 2019.

Even so, there are clouds on the horizon -- with unemployment rising and the effect of stimulus checks fading, recreational adult use could start to wane, he said.

“If we don’t have stimulus checks and the population doesn’t go back to work, no company can survive that” he said, noting that the many frequent cannabis users are relying on the checks for help. He predicted less of an impact on Curaleaf’s wellness-oriented products, which target users with higher levels of discretionary income.

There’s been a wave of increased cannabis sales since the pandemic began, industry data show. Sales so far this year are approaching US$4 billion according to BDS Analytics. While sales declined slightly in April after a March bump related to stockpiling in quarantine, they trended upwards again in May, surpassing March’s numbers.

Curaleaf, based in Wakefield, Massachusetts, sells cannabis and wellness products and also operates cultivation and processing sites. The GR Companies deal expands its presence from to 23 states from 18 states. The transaction makes it the largest cannabis company in the world by revenue, according to the company.