The coronavirus pandemic has brought with it several health and humanitarian problems as world leaders scramble to control and treat the COVID-19 virus. As a result and unsurprisingly, cannabis business leaders across the globe are facing enormous challenges in daily operations for today, but also in keeping the doors open for tomorrow.
These concerns range from business liabilities and major regulatory modifications to the ebbs and flows of cannabis demand, cannabis supply chain disruptions, and the threat of an economic recession.
Adding to the increased uncertainty makes ‘fear of the unknown’ one of the most significant challenges affecting every cannabusiness. For example, we all know April 20 as a typically festive time for the cannabis industry each year. Ordinarily, partakers get together for shows and festivals to celebrate 4/20, the unofficial cannabis holiday.
To commemorate legalization strides achieved pre-outbreak, many cannabis aficionados planned to make this year one of the biggest 4/20s in history. Instead, to support social distancing efforts to curb the pandemic, online parties and chats have taken the place of huge outdoor smoking events, which mark the rise of legalization of cannabis.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) even put it bluntly and stated in reference to this year’s 4/20 holiday, “Stay home.”
Unfortunately for cannabis businesses, 4/20 acts as the annual ‘Black Friday’ when sales explode and give cannabis entrepreneurs a reason to be excited. But due to the COVID-19 outbreak, marijuana companies are reporting demand fluctuation and reflecting on the uncertain future of the cannabis industry.
Traditional companies across every industry are busy creating their post-pandemic plan for their business and its employees and customers. Still, for cannabusinesses, it may be even more critical to assess and plan for post-pandemic operations. Here’s why…
Cannabis and Recreational Marijuana are still illegal under the federal U.S. law. Currently, the pandemic outbreak has halted the conversation of marijuana legalization across the globe, with lobbying, trade shows, and conferences being canceled as well.
Delays in the legalization process can affect the entire cannabis industry, but individual companies can overcome some of the obstacles with a post-pandemic plan. As part of this place, companies can include specialized or creative promotions to boost sales and cover the losses suffered during the crisis.
Sanitization is essential to ensure a safe work environment and to allow teams to work without fear of getting infected. Even when no one has stepped foot in an office, warehouse, or storefront for weeks, every work area needs to be thoroughly sanitized.
A safe workplace makes sense for obvious reasons that include preventing the spread of illness, but also to give peace of mind to workers about returning from shelter-in-place initiatives. We’re already seeing how companies who reopen too soon or without safe working conditions are suffering, so it’s important not to make the same mistake.
Stabilizing Supply Chain Disruptions…
Most industries are facing supply chain disruptions, so the cannabis industry is not alone here. But while cannabis markets are accustomed to supply fluxes over the last two years, this pandemic outbreak has created major, previously unknown challenges for the marijuana supply chain.
We know China as a cheap producer of the raw materials that supply the world. In the early months of 2020, factories in China were severely impacted when coronavirus made its debut in Wuhan.
These interruptions led to almost three months of delay in the cultivation of raw materials. This has led to cannabis companies looking elsewhere for vape products and packaging manufacturers.
To be clear, the outbreak doesn’t necessarily impact the cannabis industry directly but China has been impacted by the coronavirus. While conditions in China are slowly improving, it may take longer than expected to return to full production.
…to Meet Customer Demands
This COVID-19 outbreak has ushered marijuana in an essential item in many states. Several companies reported huge increases in cannabis sales after citizens were asked to stock up on essential items and stay home.
Experts believe that with cannabis labeled as essential and the behaviors of customers stocking up on marijuana is an indication of increased demand in the future. Having a post-pandemic plan to determine inventory needs is critical to meet the customer demand and to boost the sales of cannabis companies who are hurting during these times.
In an industry that has endured times good and bad, a post-pandemic plan for your marijuana business is essential to bring your operation back to glory. Consumers who see cannabis as part of their routine will keep coming back, and the softened stigma will hopefully bring new customers with them. A post-pandemic plan will keep you prepared for legalization progress and supply chain hang ups as well as increased demand and product sales.