Cannabis Announced as an Essential Business and How that Impacts the Cannabis Industry

How Cannabis is an Essential Business

Cannabis is Now Considered an Essential Business

With restaurants shut down, backed up lines at supermarkets, and cabin-fever becoming part of everyday life during COVID-19, a silver lining arises paving the path for a rainbow to a pot of gold for Cannabis.

Delivery services in California that have spent years perfecting a convenient, consumer-focused experience with fast delivery and packaged goods are thriving. The manufacturers, cultivators, and distributors continue to ensure quality products are arriving at dispensaries which bring relief to not just Americans, but Earthlings across the globe for both medical and recreational purposes.

It is not just flower, edibles, or one segment – but the entire cannabis industry as a whole has been deemed essential. This means that where other businesses have shut down, as a result, the cannabis industry in times of any crisis will remain open.

Cannabis is Recession-Proof

However, the fact that cannabis is considered an essential good during this time will likely have significantly stronger impacts that most people may not have thought about it.

First, it means that companies that make it through this time will come out stronger, more streamlined, and have a newly expanded market for cannabis consumers. We’ve talked to a few people who said: “Well since I can’t go out drinking or partying at a club, why not try cannabis and relax?” Many of them have switched over purely because it helps them cope with the anxiety, stress, and dealing with COVID-19 and when normal life kicks in, they might still use it occasionally as a stress relief. This means cannabis is becoming more accepted in the United States as a whole.

Secondly, the cannabis industry is well – “Made in the USA.” Cannabis arriving from out of the country – like from China, South America, or even Europe is illegal. Taking California example, our industry is thriving with purely California grown, manufactured, distributed, and sold products. Edibles, vape pens, topicals, and all sorts of cannabis products are getting a much-needed boost to their sales which is in turn – creating more revenue for packaging, ingredient, and marketing companies, etc.

Cannabis Being Essential Means the Businesses Supporting Cannabis Also Need to be Essential

The same can be said for other states with legalized cannabis when we are talking about creating American jobs, tax dollars, and goods – cannabis is the prime example of something we do VERY well.

This leads to a prediction I want to throw out there. The impact for federal legalization that being deemed an essential good has. As a lawyer, the fact that cannabis is categorized as an essential good is incredibly important – it creates something we call a precedent.

It means that we have something to reference that in a crisis, cannabis was considered essential helping the United States cope with the COVID-19 socio-economic impacts including creating jobs, bringing relief to citizens, and generating income for the state and federal governments. This leads to an incredibly strong argument for cannabis legalization on a federal level and may very well be the catalyst that drives it through.

Cannabis being essential and the prospects of future federal legalization open doors for people who look at the industry as it will be, not just how it is now. In essential terms, this means that joining the cannabis industry now before it becomes federally legalized is the only shot that most entrepreneurs, small and medium businesses will ever have. There is no coca-cola, no Marlborough, no Nestle of cannabis yet.

However, once federal legalization does occur, this means major corporations can really start pumping billions of dollars into the industry and monopolizing the industry. The legalization of cannabis is just over the horizon and there has never been a better time to join before the REAL green rush arrives.

What Cannabis Companies Can and Should do During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Cannabis Industry Outbreak COVID-19

What a company does under pressure is a true reflection of the company culture that has been built over the years. Human nature under stress can shatter relationships, test the resiliency of bonds, or forge steel-clad communities. The COVID-19 Outbreak is a time for companies to identify which of the three they are – and an opportunity to become stronger.

The end of 2019 and early-2020 caused the cannabis industry to pull the e-brake on progress and try to slow down enough to correct its course. Interestingly enough, the current time is actually the best the cannabis industry has been doing over the last several months of corrections.

From a medical standpoint, cannabis remains an essential product while from a recreational standpoint – drinking alone at home seems socially unacceptable to some – but getting high and chilling out is a norm – so what better way to pass the time?

For cannabis companies, this means that:

  • Customers are going to need cannabis during this time
  • Retailers will need to follow the same as any other store open to the public
  • Manufacturers, distributors, labs, and cultivators need to take extra precautions but keep supplying the front lines

What Cannabis Companies Should Do During the COVID Outbreak

We asked several of our partners and also implemented our own regulations for the safety of our employees and products, and wanted to share what we’ve done and asked if anyone has some additional tips to share!

  1. Stagger Employee Schedules – For us open 24/7, this means that those shifts you couldn’t really utilize before – now is a time to make use of the fact that non-public operations can stagger the work schedule to ensure social distancing
  2. Let people work from home, if possible – Our accounting, email, and marketing have fully transitioned to an online platform which, has actually made us more efficient and flexible
  3. Use Video conferencing – add-in video conferencing as much as possible, this allows for human interaction for both customers and staff to allow for people to see each other and see “you’re not alone”
  4. Start the day with a simple roll-call and ask everyone how they are doing – We’ve forged stronger bonds by making sure each of us follows up with each other every day at least once to make sure everyone is safe, healthy, and functioning. Remember, everyone is supposed to be at home, quarantined, and unable to really go out and do their social activities – it helps just to have someone care
  5. Implement new technologies where possible – Remember that case tracking program you couldn’t get to work? or the time tracking software? Now is the time.
    Of course, we follow the CDC rules for operations, but it’s always a good idea to see how we not just “comply” but “comply and IMPROVE” our business at the current time.

Those who are prepared and continuing to improve during this time will see the greatest results after all of this is said and done.

James Shih, co-founder of MyGN also talked about the cannabis industry during the COVID-19 on Investor Ideas podcast interview.

So Stay Strong, look to the future, and Go Green the Way You Want.