How Cannabis Companies Increased Sales During COVID-19

How Cannabis Companies Boosted Sales During COVID-19

cannabis companies

As COVID-19 cases continue to decline in the United States, some may argue that the worst of the pandemic is finally behind us. But exactly how did millions of Americans make it through such a historically depressive time? The cannabis companies who supplied flower during lockdowns could be one of the groups to thank.

A Change in Our Everyday Lives

When news of the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread across the United States, Americans prepared themselves by stocking up on home goods such as hand sanitizers and disinfectants of all kinds, as well as, weirdly, toilet paper. The addition of cannabis in the home also helped us get by. It’s no surprise that the cannabis industry experienced record-breaking sales in 2020, notably after some state governors deemed dispensaries as an essential business (source 1).

Supply and Demand in the Cannabis Industry

Everyday life as we know it hangs in the delicate balance of supply and demand. It relates to the housing market, job market, and how we spend our money. If everyone wants to buy toilet paper all of a sudden (increase in demand) and there isn’t enough supply, we have a problem. The same goes for the stock of cannabis companies. When COVID-19 shut down a large percentage of businesses (source 2), some people flocked to cannabis dispensaries to alleviate boredom and salvage their mental health. We may have eventually run out of toilet paper and hand sanitizer… but never cannabis.

How Did Cannabis Companies Keep Up With Demand?

Provided below are some key excerpts from the New York Times piece that answer this very question (source 3).

  • Nicolas MacLean, chief executive of Aether Gardens, a cannabis producer in Las Vegas, “remembers lines of cars, five blocks long, waiting for curbside pickup.” He realized that customers no longer wanted to settle for cheap, illegal cannabis from black markets and untrusted third-party sellers. They wanted the real deal—even if it cost more. “Especially when you are stuck at home, you’re paying more attention to things like terpene and cannabinoid profiles, on top of THC levels, bud structure, and aroma, which is information you get when buying from the legal market. And last year, that played into our hand as a high-quality flower cultivator.” Aether Gardens built a new state-of-the-art greenhouse to cultivate as much cannabis as possible to meet the increasing demand.
  • Oswaldo Graziani Lemoine, the creative director of the Florida-based company Fluent Cannabis Care, saw a similar demand for cannabis—especially flower—during the pandemic. His secret to success was knowing his customers and client base: seniors who hold a medical marijuana card as recreational use remains illegal in Florida. To cater to these seniors, Lemoine created deals like “Silver Sundays (10 percent off for ages 55 and older) and 20 percent off express pickup (curbside pickup of online orders) for new customers.”
  • As for Meg Sanders, chief executive of the Massachusetts-based Canna Provisions, she’s used to roadblocks thrown at her simply based on the industry she works in. “If you don’t like roadblocks thrown at you all the time, like a video game, this is not the industry for you,” she told the New York Times. In Massachusetts, cannabis dispensaries had mere a 48-hours notice to shut down. They were not considered essential businesses unlike in other states. No longer could Sanders make a living off the sales of cannabis. Instead, she pivoted her company into the education realm. “Our average customer age is 50 or over,” Ms. Sanders said. “They have questions, they want to learn, they don’t want to feel rushed because there is a line growing behind them.” She also turned to telephone orders to cater to her older clientele who may not know how to use a computer to order online.

Get Creative or Go Out of Business

Though harsh, the bottom line of the pandemic is to get creative or go out of business. That realization struck cannabis companies across the United States, as well as teachers, hospitality workers, and any industry that relies on in-person interactions to make a living. How did you manage to make it through the pandemic? What role did cannabis play in your mental health?

External References

  1. Forbes. (2020). “Coronavirus Crisis Shows Marijuana Is ‘Essential’ And Mainstream.” Retrieved from the Forbes website.
  2. U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2022). Impact of COVID-19 on small businesses. Retrieved from the CDC website.
  3. New York Times (NYT). 2021. “Why the Pandemic Was a Breakout Moment for the Cannabis Industry.” Retrieved from the NYT website.

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