2020 has been one of the most rollercoaster years in recent memory. It will easily go down in history as being one of the worst years of all time. However, amidst the issues presented by COVID-19, the cannabis industry has appeared to come out of the other side a better economy. Let’s take a look at how COVID-19 affected the cannabis industry across the nation (for better or for worse.)
Stakeholders & Stockholder of the Industry
Stakeholders and stockholders alike are 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 in Los Angeles, California. At the time of this point, cannabis stocks have not been affected by the pandemic. However, with COVID-19 literally on the doorstep of dispensaries in the nation, the industry could be affected immediately. At the beginning of the year, Forbes estimated the cannabis industry to exceed $200 billion by 2030. However, these figures were calculated before the outbreak of Coronavirus. As of October 2020, the economy surrounding the cannabis industry has fluctuating hits and misses.
Cannabis Combats COVID-19
One key reason that dispensaries and cannabis delivery services have remained open amidst the COVID-19 pandemic since the beginning is because they provide a multitude of medicine to a variety of patients, marketing their service as essential. This is because, as aforementioned, there have been no true medical advancements towards the current war against COVID-19. However, there has been independent research that hints towards the strengthening of the immune system when using cannabis. Similar to pharmacies, patients need access to their medications. States have agreed and decided to make sure qualifying patients can receive their cannabis outside of curfew hours or via a cannabis delivery service.
Quarantine & Chill
Another impact COVID-19 has had on the cannabis industry revolves around the cannabis delivery services and mandatory quarantining. Cannabis delivery services experienced a massive uptick in bud deliveries. Some companies were fortunate enough to experience up to 25% increase in profits revolving around cannabis deliveries. Medicinal-grade dispensaries have also seen a boom in more patients stocking up on cannabis amidst quarantine. In most medically-recognized states, patients are allowed to obtain up to 2½ ounces of dry cannabis flowers from their selected dispensaries within 14 days. This is most likely due to the lack of activities available while being on self-lockdown. It is no secret that quarantine can be quite boring. With the help of the internet and cannabis, most people avoiding COVID-19 are curbing their cabin fever with a nice, rolled joint of cannabis.
The Downside of COVID-19 and the Industry
Retrospectively, some smaller cannabis companies, known as craft cannabis, made the initial decision to remain open during these scary times due to these companies being on their last financial leg. These craft cannabis companies may not have the financial fortitude to recover from not being deemed an essential business by their governing bodies. Conversely, there are big cannabis companies that can rake in the gains caused by COVID-19. Contextually, a multitude of cannabis companies closed their doors in March of 2020 alongside President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency. Other cannabis companies marked themselves as an essential business and took on the challenge of providing consumers with cannabis at their front door.
Six months later, COVID-19 has not let up. New cases are appearing around the globe daily. However, most restrictions have been lifted. This has allowed dispensaries to reopen the door to their lobby for the traditional point-of-sale service.