2020 was a tumultuous year for citizens and the cannabis industry. Despite the many legal advancements made within the past few months, there is a chance that many locales will reinforce another ‘lockdown.’ What are the chances that the next wave of COVID-19 closes businesses again? How will all of this affect the cannabis industry again?
Dispensaries during the 2020 pandemic
Last year, Stakeholders and stockholders alike were genuinely concerned about how the Coronavirus can impact the cannabis industry. COVID-19 has made its way into over 70 nations around the globe, including known cannabis markets such as the Netherlands and even California. Before the national emergency caused by COVID-19 (March 2020), cannabis stocks have not been affected by the pandemic. Unfortunately, with COVID-19 looming amidst dispensaries of all nations, the industry became immediately affected. At the beginning of the year, Forbes estimated the cannabis industry to exceed $220 billion by 2030. However, these figures were calculated before the outbreak of COVID-19. Moreover, those projections were not anticipating a variant of COVID-19 imposing another lockdown.
The Delta variant
The primary reason many dispensary owners and operators believe a closure is imminent is the Delta variant of COVID-19. This variant is deemed highly contagious. Moreover, new cases in many recreational cannabis states belong to those who are already vaccinated. The Delta variant of COVID-19 is a head-scratcher; it is also gaining more traction than any other variant of COVID-19. If the Delta variant of COVID-19 imposes another lockdown, then the economy may reach a point of no return. Governments can’t afford another lockdown so quickly. Neither can businesses (who are already operating on a loan, we’re guessing.) In short, the Delta variant scares the hell out of economists.
New COVID-19 mandates
Many medicinal and recreational cannabis states have reactivated COVID-19 mandates. Although they are not at strict as 2020 mandates, the Delta variant of COVID-19 has cities and counties prepared to closed up shop again. Many locales have reinstated mask mandates in schools, shopping centers, and similar mass gatherings. The kicker is that vaccinated people must still wear a mask as well. The previous statement hints at a level of severity and concern by public health departments. Employers have also been slow to reinstate office mandates as the news of the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to rise.
Cannabis delivery service, the silver lining
Many readers recalled an article we published last year about the boost in cannabis delivery sales amidst the 2020 pandemic. Then, we noted that some cannabis delivery services experienced upwards of a 20% increase in profits and a 40% increase in service utilization. If the Delta variant of COVID-19 imposes another lockdown, we at Stickyleaf expect a similar situation to 2020. Dispensaries will be allowed to operate as they fall in the medicinal and ‘essential’ category. If faced with another lockdown, dispensaries, and cannabis delivery services will be just fine.
Guarding yourself against COVID-19
At the time of this article, the best defense against the Coronavirus and its variants is vaccination. COVID-19 is a virus that is transmitted from one person to another. Viral infections are much more severe than bacterial infections. Aside from vaccination, a regular to obsessive hand washing regimen with the hottest temperature your hands can withstand is helpful. Many pharmacies provide rapid COVID-19 test that will give you result by the end of the day. The CDC also recommends self-quarantine anywhere from 1 to 14 days if individuals believe they have contracted COVID-19. If self-quarantine is not an option (not sure why it would be), consider stocking up on sterilized masks as well as alcohol-based sanitizers.