Cannabis and COVID-19: How the Pandemic Will Influence the Future of the Cannabis Industry

  • One of the most significant developments for the cannabis industry to arise from this pandemic is the growing recognition that cannabis businesses provide important services to citizens of legal cannabis states.
  • These economic circumstances arising from the pandemic are potentially causing an acceleration of the industry shake-out that was building before the virus emerged.
  • Additionally, there is an implicit recognition that allowing medical and adult-use cannabis businesses to continue to operate prevents the black market from filling existing demand; prevents interruption of important supply chains; keeps citizens employed, and generates significant tax revenue during a time when other commercial activity is severely constrained.
  • Cannabis businesses being allowed to continue to operate in order to serve patients and customers may raise awareness and acceptance of the industry on Capitol Hill and in parts of the country that remain cautious of legal cannabis and accelerate the political and social acceptance of cannabis, particularly medicinal cannabis.
  • The fact that cannabis businesses have been deemed essential suggests that cannabis has demand characteristics that would help the industry be recession-resistant and that sales could remain steady.

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