Originally posted on Forbes
August 3, 2020 | Emily Price
While the COVID-19 pandemic has damaged a wide range of industries around the world, it looks like cannabis might not be one of them. An industry white paper last week shows that the cannabis industry’s 2020 growth is currently outpacing that of 2019. Hiring for cannabis companies os also already on the rebound, and retailers are actually purchasing more product from companies than they were prior to the pandemic.
The white paper, The State of the Cannabis Industry:2020 is available as a free download now. It was created as a joint collaboration between LeafLink, Vangst, and FlowHub.
If you’re not familiar with the companies, LeafLink is a wholesale marketplace for cannabis and contributed insights from transactions between brands and retailers. Flowhub is a cannabis retail management platform for modern dispensaries and offered a dispensary sales perspective for the paper, and Vangst is a human capital resource platform for the legal cannabis industry, and provided guidance from a hiring outlook.
The white paper shows a two-week spike in cannabis sales in March, around the time the United States started to react to COVID-19 and stay at home orders started to go into place. A good bit of that sales spike is likely due to panic buying by customers who were unsure when they would be able to access the dispensary going forward.
After that two-week spike there was a slight decline, possibility attributable to those sale customers discovering that dispensaries would be deemed essential (and the need to work through that stash).
Afterward, there was a recovery period with a few more spikes leading up to 4/20, when sales stabilized, although they stabilized at a volume significantly higher than they were in 2019, to the tune of 40% more on average. That’s a big jump.
The whole white paper is worth a read, but points to a stronger cannabis industry as a whole as the economy starts moving again and states start opening up.
Beyond its currently use, researchers are also looking at cannabis as a potential way to both treat and possible prevent COVID-19.
The researchers, Olga and Igor Kovalchuck have reportedly been developing and testing a novel cannabis strain for years, except with the goal of creating a strain that helps to combat cancer and inflammation. When the pandemic hit, the duo started to focus their efforts on how the strain might be used to help fight COVID-19.
That study was published in April, and highlights that cannabis, specifically a particular strain of cannabis, could potentially block COVID-19 from being able to enter a person’s body in the first place.
That’s still a theory, but if proven could potentially put cannabis at the center of the search for a COVID-19 treatment and cure.
Whether it or not it ends up being out way out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it looks like cannabis has become how many people are making it through it.