Cannabis use hit an all-time high in March as lockdown measures spread across the U.S., giving people more free time with less to do.

A March survey of 2,500 consumers by Cowen & Co. found that 33 per cent had tried cannabis at some point in their lives, a record high. For the past month, 12.8 per cent of respondents said they’d used pot, above the 12.5 per cent average in 2019.

Sales spiked in mid-March as people rushed to stock up ahead of potential dispensary closures, Cowen said, using data from cannabis analytics firm Headset Inc. Weekly sales growth peaked at 64 per cent in the week ended March 16, the highest rate of increase since at least the beginning of 2019.

However, sales decelerated during the last two weeks of the month to the mid- to high-single-digit range. This may be linked to a “more pronounced deterioration in job security for past-month cannabis consumers relative to the general population,” according to analysts led by Vivien Azer.

The survey found that the percentage of cannabis consumers working full time fell by 290 basis points to 42.4 per cent in March from February, a bigger decline than the general population. They also tended to be less comfortable with their financial situation.