The marijuana industry embraces change. Edible products and pre-rolled joints are out. Vape concentrates and loose “flower,” which can be packed into bongs or pipes or rolled into joints and provide more bang for the buck, are in.
The country’s marijuana industry is working swiftly to adapt to customers’ needs as the Coronavirus outbreak debilitates the U.S. economy. Business owners are pushing for new ways to reach customers and persuade lawmakers that legal weed has become a crucial industry for many Americans. “This is cannabis’s moment to find its purpose and its voice,” said Julie Armstrong, CEO of Montana-based cannabis analytics firm Aurelius Data. “It was the opportunity we never saw coming.”
The outbreak has brought new challenges for legal weed sellers. Social distancing required retailers to essentially abandon their carefully designed stores and switch to curbside and delivery services. Statewide shutdowns forced the cancellation of 4/20 celebrations, which are usually the highest-sales periods of the year, on the date around which much of the industry’s planting, harvesting, and production are scheduled. COVID-19 has spurred many consumers to go on buying sprees to cope with the long dull days at home and anxiety over the nation’s mass layoffs and growing death toll. Regulators in many states declared cannabis shops essential businesses on par with groceries, gas, and liquor.