The cannabis industry has been through a lot since COVID-19 became a global pandemic in March 2020. It was during that year when sales reached record levels and business strategies shifted to accommodate people during lockdown. As many pandemic-related restrictions are being lifted, some aspects of the space, including online ordering, delivery and drive-thrus, seem likely to remain despite not being as widely used.
During the second-half of 2020, most businesses had a fair recovery. Whereas in 2021 according to Scott Lee, CEO of Massachusetts-based cannabis company Theory Wellness, stimulus checks and other programs helped to ensure that businesses remained stable.
When the pandemic hit, Massachusetts closed its adult-use cannabis retailers. Other states, such as Nevada, allowed curbside pickup and delivery. Meanwhile, the mayor of Denver announced the closure of all recreational cannabis retailers only to reverse the decision when queues formed of people stocking up on marijuana. Legal markets, on the other hand, were mostly allowed to remain open during the lockdown period.
Stimulus and employment checks were introduced by the U.S. government in order to maintain money circulation in its economy. This way, businesses could stay afloat and prevent layoffs from occurring. Many people turned to consuming marijuana when restaurants, movie theaters and other recreational centers were closed.
Cannabis sales rose sharply during the pandemic and the lockdowns that followed. According to Headset, a data analytics firm in Seattle, sales made during the week of March 16, 2020, were 38% higher in comparison to the first week of January 2020. The firm tracks six states where marijuana is used for adult-use. It revealed that cannabis sales in Colorado, California, Michigan, Nevada, Washington and Oregon then took a small dip when they went into full lockdown. However, sales rose thereafter in summer and reached a peak in the week of August 31 when sales were 59% greater than the first week of January.
Toward the end of 2020, cannabis sales continued to drop before rising again in spring 2021. From then on, numbers have continued to dwindle gradually to almost prepandemic levels. This is because of the challenges in the second-half of last year that are making their way into 2022. According to Lee, consumers do not have as much money to spend as they didbefore.
Cannabis sales were highly influenced by consumer behavior during the pandemic. As the restrictions are getting lifted, consumer behavior is changing. According to Allie Marconi, senior director of marketing at Sol Flower, consumers are now looking to speak to sales associates in comparison to the pandemic period when businesses relied on e-commerce, which generated 90% of their sales during its peak.
Curbside pickup, on the other hand, is slowly facing a decline. Another key lesson learned during the pandemic was responsiveness. According to Marconi, quick communication was pivotal to the team as well as the shoppers.
With companies such as American Cannabis Partners exhibiting their resilience in the face of an unprecedented pandemic, one can only conclude that the cannabis industry could potentially lift economies during times of hardship.
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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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