The coronavirus is literally bringing worldwide commerce to a stop and that can be a particularly difficult issue for the budding cannabis industry in MA. Today, the question, "How do you think the coronavirus will impact the cannabis industry" was posted on a Women and Cannabis Facebook group that I belong to. Members of the Facebook group own cannabis businesses or work in the industry throughout the world and they talked about whether the virus has begun to affect their companies. They were also asked what they're doing to mitigate the risk. To help people understand the cannabis industry, I thought it would be helpful to share some of their insights below (I've eliminated their names):
E.H. "I work in entertainment and my work has screeched to a halt. So I’ve been trying to keep busy at home. I got nervous when I saw the empty shelves at the store. So for now laying low. I suspect we will be following Italy’s timeline. In a couple of weeks, we will be on lockdown. Hall of Flowers is postponed. I’m sure this will affect most businesses."
B.G. "We just got our first confirmed case in Michigan last night (opposite side of the state from me thankfully), but in my little town, we haven't seen an impact. I think if anything web sales will rise and retail sink. Now the stock market effect could really cause damage if customers don't have money anymore. My suppliers are all US-based and I make all my products, so not worried too much with supply chain issues."
M.R. "I’ve actually seen an increase in orders (CBD) from those consumers who know that in order to fight the virus, we have to boost immunity. I’ve also received marketing messages from some of my favorite dispensaries explaining extended delivery times due to an increase in traffic as well. Interesting!"
S.B. "I see that a lot of cannabis conferences are now being canceled / postponed. It’s unfortunate but health comes first 💚"
T.G. "I think there will be a shortage of supplies for the industry coming from China such as vape carts, packaging, etc. It will be interesting to see companies adapt. I am also concerned with healthy packaging practices if companies can't get the gloves and masks they need for workers."
R.L. "I have noticed overstock sales in the biz, many companies were preparing for big conventions and fests...product overproduction will create a small bubble here! Also, yes, this may really be our chance to shine as a wellness supporting industry!"
D.B. "We are not visiting customers face to face. Canceled going to Spanabiss 2 days ago before they finally postponed the event. We are having a conference call this week to discuss our trade show plans."
S.S. "We shop local for packaging but I know the folks who buy I China are having a hell of a time getting things. It’s really messing with them. As far as business our sales are up but I think it’s normal during times of stress. People want to unwind and medicate."
K.E. "I was supposed to speak next month at the ICR Conference at CSU-Pueblo - it's been postponed. NoCo Hemp expo - postponed. Lots of events are shutting down... or being postponed for 6 months."
J.G. "Ugh, yes. It has significantly impacted my online retail site right away because most of my vendors are in China. It’s been devastating for my business. I can’t get inventory and I have a lot of already purchased inventory trapped in Wuhan which is still in lockdown—I’m starting to think I’ll never see it. 😢I’m really worried about how quarantines would affect access to cannabis. Our local supplies are already very limited."
S.B. "I just started a new job this week as a recruiter for a cannabis staffing company. I would imagine that hiring has come to a halt for now."
K.A. "420MEDIA and partners are moving full steam to launch our new Cannabis TV Channel and virtual opportunities! Stay tuned :)"