The coronavirus pandemic has been a once-in-a-lifetime disaster that claimed millions of lives and left the world economy crippled and struggling to recover. Considered by most experts to be the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, COVID and the subsequent lockdowns dealt a great blow to commerce, forcing millions of factories and businesses across the world to close their doors as countries locked down their borders and passed lockdown protocols.
Airlines and companies in the hospitality sector were the most affected, shouldering most of the job losses caused by the pandemic. The economic damage caused by nearly a year of slowed commerce and disrupted supply chains to such industries will be felt for quite a while, a report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development says.
However, one sector that seems to have emerged from the pandemic relatively unscathed is cannabis. While several sectors were forced to reduce or halt their operations, most states with legal cannabis markets deemed the industry essential, allowing cannabis businesses to continue their operations despite lockdown orders. Some states even allowed online ordering, curbside pickups and deliveries to reduce the risk of infection for both staff and customers. As a result, the nascent industry saw booming sales over the course of 2020, with states such as Colorado that have already-established cannabis markets reporting record sales.
Data shared at last week’s MJBizCon from Marijuana Business Daily shows that customers purchased $20 billion worth of cannabis last year, with cannabis sales projected to hit $26 billion this year and a whopping $45.9 billion in 2025. Chris Walsh, CEO and president of MJBizDaily, says that the nearly $46 billion projection would make America’s state-legal cannabis sector larger than the country’s craft beer sector.
More than two-thirds of the states in the country have legalized medical marijuana, and 18 states allow recreational use so it’s no surprise that the controversial drug is selling like crazy. Coronavirus lockdowns left customers stuck at home bored, anxious and, more often than not, flush with stimulus money. Turning to cannabis was a no-brainer for many of them, especially to deal with the fear, anxiety and stress caused by the pandemic.
According to Walsh, what is happening to the cannabis space is more than just a “COVID boost.” Cannabis sales have continued to accelerate, notably in states with established markets such as Colorado, Oregon and Washington, and he notes that this is a sign of the industry maturing. Even so, cannabis still has to overcome issues such as zero federal guidance, a massive black market, and limited access to financial services.
The resilience shown by the marijuana industry amid the pandemic is testament to how much companies such as American Cannabis Partners can grow once the regulatory landscape in which they operate at the federal level undergoes an overhaul away from the prohibitive stance which has lasted for decades.
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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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