Coronavirus hashish: what would be the long-term results of the pandemic?


The pandemic is likely to affect cannabis long after the outbreak is under control. Looking ahead, we're investigating the potential long-term effects of COVID-19 on the cannabis industry.

In mid-March, governors and health officials ordered Americans to stay at home because of the COVID-19 threat. Since then, industries at all levels have been forced to make adjustments to either do business safely or temporarily cease operations.

No other industry has changed as much as the cannabis industry. During the political turmoil and national confusion, the American people announced that cannabis is not just a recreational ingredient, but an integral part of a global crisis. Along with other changes in the industry, many are wondering what the life of the cannabis industry will be like after the pandemic ends.

Since some heads of state have relaxed the restrictions, however sustainable they may be, there is a collective sense of light at the end of the tunnel. This article examines the future of the cannabis industry as we enter a new phase in cannabis access and policy, the post-corona virus.

CANNABIS ACCESS: Marijuana recognized as "essential"

While marijuana is still banned by the federal government, more than 20 states have classified it as "essential". Andrew DeAngelo, co-founder of the Harborside pharmacy chain, told Forbes that the role of the cannabis industry in times of crisis was clear despite the uncertain effects of COVID-19.

“The impact will be significant. What I do know is that in a crisis, people need more grass, not less. Someone will bring it to them one way or another, ”said DeAngelo.

Government officials in legal cannabis countries have made provisional regulations on how cannabis pharmacies can continue to operate safely. Due to the outbreak of the corona virus, 24 states, including Florida, Connecticut and New Mexico, have adjusted cannabis pharmacy buying practices to allow for roadside pickup. Nevada closed the entire store until May 1st and only switched to delivery nationwide.

Karen O’Keefe, head of government policy for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), told NPR that the shift in legal access to marijuana is representative of how historical perception has changed quickly.

"Marijuana has been illegal and demonized for decades," O & # 39; Keefe told NPR. "In many countries, it quickly became from illegal to essential."

This seemingly rapid shift from illegal to essential has the potential to significantly impact the cannabis industry and potentially change the way Americans access and consider marijuana. Let's take a look at what access to cannabis could look like after COVID-19.

Access to medical marijuana according to COVID-19

According to a balance sheet presented by MPP, each state has responded to the pandemic in a unique way, setting different preliminary rules for buying cannabis and receiving medical marijuana cards.

Many states do not allow first appointments for medical marijuana doctor recommendations during this critical time. States like Ohio, Delaware and Minnesota have issued regulations that allow patients to telemedicine to a doctor for access to a medical marijuana recommendation.

The trend of doing business over the internet has a strong foundation to keep it going while maintaining social distance. In recent years, telehealth has become a mainstay for basic medical appointments and other health-related scenarios.

However, the use for medical cannabis recommendations is a new concept. Most of the requirements for access to a medical marijuana card require a physical exam and diagnosis by a specialist. In times of national emergencies, access to initial assessments or replenishments of recommendations can take over this new platform for health.

Coronavirus cannabis

Illegal market cannabis post COVID-19

The potential impact of COVID-19 on illegal market sales can do real harm in the long term, while the legalization efforts have only remedied the situation. Currently, safety and hygiene regulations are being enforced to a large extent to allow the legal cannabis market space to prevent the business from selling illegally.

Even in the age of legalization, the illegal marijuana market has held up relatively easily. According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, a financial audit in California was expected to spend $ 8.7 billion on illegal marijuana products at the end of 2019, compared to $ 3.1 billion on marijuana sold by legal companies.

Similar to the sale of marijuana, illegal cannabis cultivation quotas overshadow licensed growers. A 2019 New Frontier Data report suggests that more than 72 percent of the country's cannabis is illegally produced.

Cannabis users who may have previously bought cannabis on the illegal market to avoid high tax rates are now faced with the choice of buying from a reputable company with rigorous laboratory tests and security protocols or illegitimate sources without demonstrating that the cannabis product is safe .

In some states, licensed marijuana growers have already made adjustments to work protocols to address the security challenges pandemic, such as: B. Graduation shifts and the use of digital solutions when possible.

In countries with no legal or restricted legal access to cannabis, concerns about the possible impact of the illegal market on the future spread of viruses could give legislators more reason to consider broader cannabis reform. Regardless of political affiliation, COVID-19 has become a balance in which the health of citizens has priority.

Cannabis delivery is there to stay

Probably the most obvious impact on the cannabis industry since COVID-19 spread in the U.S. is the increase in legal marijuana supplies. Before the pandemic, only a few states offered legal supplies for recreational and medical cannabis.

In response to the pandemic, many states have temporarily suspended these regulations from the emergency rules. As a result, delivery rates increased significantly as consumers piled up in bulk and stayed at home.

Eaze, a California marijuana delivery service, saw a 34 percent increase in first-time customers who signed up for this service and an increase in the number of product orders. Another California delivery service, Driven Deliveries, has reported a nearly 20 percent increase in transactions and an order value increase of 10 percent since coronavirus was discovered in the state.

Given the new convenience of buying cannabis that such a large group of consumers is experiencing, many are unlikely to return to shopping in the store. Sam Ludwig, president of Aster Farms in Oakland, told Forbes that he expected delivery to become a mainstay for pharmacies.

“We believe that stationary retailers will add delivery as an option for their customers. This is a big deal as they have to apply for an additional cannabis license, which is not an easy task, ”said Ludwig.

According to an Adweek report, online shopping sales after the corona virus are expected to continue to grow. The online marketplace Jane Technologies reported 85,000 new registered users, an increase of 142 percent in online orders in March alone.

The company's CEO, Socrates Rosenfeld, told Adweek that online cannabis shopping can benefit both the consumer and the company.

"As a consumer, you no longer have to be in line," said Rosenfeld. "And as a small business, you can digitize the experience, offer that convenience and curation, and understand your consumer on a more meaningful level."

Find out how to have cannabis delivered to your door.

Cannabis delivery after pandemic

CANNABIS POLICY: Marijuana law according to COVID-19

The confusion of individual government discrepancies during this pandemic has some advocates who are calling for federal supervision to clarify. Debbie Churgai of Americans for Safe Access told NPR that the inconsistencies can be harmful to those seeking medical marijuana for medical reasons.

"This epidemic and the way cannabis operations are conducted underscore the need for federal supervision," said Churgai.

After the coronavirus pandemic, will the federal government take the opportunity to legalize cannabis nationwide? It seems that the federal government was too busy focusing on the health crisis to find enough time to think about cannabis.

Even without the challenges posed by the pandemic, many experts suggested that federal legalization would not take place in the near future. A recent research study predicted a high likelihood that the federal government would legalize marijuana "by the end of 2022".

If the presidential elections worsen again, candidates will most likely vote for cannabis crime reform. None of the leading candidates for 2020, President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden, have advocated full legalization.

The chances of full legalization of marijuana through an act of Congress are slim as the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate has not yet approved the SAFE Banking Act. However, efforts are currently underway to address the banking problem in the next federal aid package, COVID-19.

Despite all of this, federal lawmakers must be tempted by the potential tax revenue and job creation that would go along with the nationwide legalization of marijuana, especially as the budget deficit grows and more than 3 million people claim unemployment benefits.

State legalization efforts for marijuana under COVID-19

To date, cannabis is legal for adult recreational use in 11 states and the District of Columbia, and legal for medical use in 33 states. Before the corona virus, the chances that these numbers would increase by the end of 2020 were positive.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges, including 20 state and federal cannabis reform movements that have been interrupted so lawmakers can focus on relief efforts instead. In addition to the stalled reform efforts, the arrangement of accommodations and the requirements for social distancing have made it difficult to collect signatures for election initiatives.

The potential for these cannabis reform movements to return with enthusiasm, given the even greater enthusiasm for cannabis validation as essential, is promising. While cannabis advocates will focus on the health and wellness aspect of cannabis, states that have forecast high economic payouts from marijuana tax revenues can also quickly seek these funds to find the state dollar spent to cover COVID-19 costs replenish.

CANNABIS PRODUCTS: Products and food infused with cannabis according to Covid_19

When it comes to cannabis products, a genre has come in an unexpected way since the pandemic hit the country. New data from New Frontier Data shows that marijuana foods and CBD foods, as well as other cannabis-infused products, are reaching the American mainstream as an alternative to inhaling cannabis products during the corona virus.

"As alternative ways of consuming cannabis beyond fuel become increasingly popular during the current coronavirus crisis (COVID-19), it is not surprising that consumption of food and other infused products is increasing rapidly," said Giadha Aguirre de Carcer , Founder and CEO of New Frontier Data in a press release. "We expect that the demand for innovative, non-flammable methods of cannabis use … will continue to increase."

New Frontier Data's new report estimates that 17 percent of U.S. legal cannabis spending in 2020 will be for cannabis-infused products such as groceries, sodas, and current products. The marijuana flower remains at the top in terms of product favorites, but researchers expect demand for non-flammable products, including lotions and beverages, to increase next year.

Marijuana products after pandemic

New Frontier Data forecasts sales of cannabis-infused products will increase to $ 3 billion this year. Infused cannabis products now account for 14 percent of sales and are the third most popular cannabis product type in the United States after flower and steam products.

Similar results have recently been reported in Adweek. The report highlights a new study by the research company Headset, which says: "Edibles stole the show." This appears to be reflected in Eaze's delivery rates, which show a 28 percent increase in the infused category in the state of California alone. Colorado’s market analysis at the end of March reported 70 percent growth in infusion sales, according to the Adweek report.

"We thought it would take two to five years for infused drinks to really catch on," Cynthia Salarizadeh, founder and president of House of Saka, a premium wine brand, told Adweek. "But it is happening right now. They occupy at least 25% of the pharmacy room. And we'll see how it accelerates."

The increase in sales of cannabis-infused products is not limited to cannabis products that contain THC, but is also seen in the CBD markets. Like cannabis-infused products, CBD products come in many forms, including CBD-infused products like chewy foods and body lotions.

A new report from Data Bridge Market Research suggests that the CBD oil market is expected to grow at almost 32 percent from 2020 to 2027. Hemp Industry Daily expects retail CBD sales to continue growing from $ 1.2 billion in 2019 to $ 10.3 billion in 2024, an average annual growth rate of 54 percent for five Years.

Marijuana industry after pandemic

More cannabis news and analysis

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Beth Edmonds