How Will Coronavirus Affect the Cannabis Industry?

Trade Show Cancellations

The global outbreak of Coronavirus is set, not only to impact health, but financial markets and businesses. How will this affect the cannabis industry? 

Illinois governor, JB Pritzker has banned public gatherings of more than a thousand people for the time being. 

That will significantly impact the upcoming trade shows in Illinois. The first, NECANN, scheduled for April 3-4 at the Chicago Hilton has been indefinitely postponed. 

The second large trade show The 2nd Annual Chicago Cannabis Industrial Marketplace Summit & Expo is scheduled for May 21-22. The third, the Cannacon Expo, is scheduled for July 17-18.

Some medical experts are hoping that Coronavirus will respond to the general seasonal pattern for the flu. That is, it would be mitigated by warmer weather. Others warn that COVID-19 is a new strain and that it might not act seasonally. We will have to wait for reports from tropical countries and see how the epidemic unfolds.

Trade shows are critical to networking and particularly to exhibiting  derivatives such as edibles, smoking accessories, infused beverages, and topicals.

How can Cannapreneurs network online? 

What can cannapreneurs do in lieu of meeting in person while we wait for the situation to unfold? We have started a LinkedIn group, Cannapreneurs Unite, where we can meet, greet, get to know one another, and talk about our products and businesses.

Please follow the link to join the group.

Supply Chain Production

Many components in hardware, particularly those that make up vapes, come from China. If factories are not running at full capacity, there could be interruptions in the flow of supplies. This would affect companies adversely, in terms of profits, growth, and ability to fulfill demand. We are certainly looking at extended time frames for delivery and lowered output, if nothing else.

Disaster Assistance Loans

How long will this last, and with tight capital, how long can companies hold out? One temporary solution may be found in the SBA, which will provide disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by Coronavirus. To visit the SBA website, please click on the button. 

Stockmarket Downturns

Will the recent downturn scare off investors? Cannabis companies are momentarily having problems finding investors in a tight funding environment. On the other hand, for those who are risk takers and have money to spare, stocks can be acquired cheaply. 

While uncertainty abounds, emotions rule. It may be wise to remember that we are not facing the same sort of bubble as in 2008, which was exacerbated by pumping money into the housing market after the dot com bubble crashed.  Like tulipmania, growth was initially fueled on the basis of magical thinking. That’s certainly is not the case now.   If the virus is contained quickly, business will continue as usual. If there is a prolonged period of contagion that disrupts global markets and supplies, the strong, well funded, and well organized will probably survive. Sadly, that’s bad news for very small businesses and start-ups. 

Will my supply of marijuana be affected?

We ran out of pot in January in Illinois due to high demand. You might want to stock up on your supply, particularly if it is medical. Leafly suggests a one month supply should be adequate. 

Marijuana is grown locally. By law, the marijuana sold in the state, must be grown in the state. Illinois has 21 grow facilities that are expanding. 

What about sanitation?

The Chicago Tribune states, “Grow facility workers are often required to wear scrubs or other protective gear. They must cover their shoes, hair and beards. Some facilities require everyone to walk through an anti-bacterial solution before entering the facility.”

To read about the entire growth process and contamination, please click on the button. 

How will Coronavirus impact legalization?

Cannabis consumption is fully legal in ten states and the District of Columbia and the industry provides almost a quarter of a million jobs. 

Expansion would fuel the economy, but would be dependent on legalization across all fifty states. The Coronavirus may inhibit legal gatherings, fact finding missions by legislators, rallies, and conferences. This would set back hoped for wins in 2020.

What can I do to stay safe?

You can minimize your risk by:

  • Not sharing joints. Oral transmission is one of the easiest ways to contract any virus
  • Not smoking when you have a cough or sore throat. Inhaling anything into your lungs will irritate them, particularly when you are ill
  • Understanding that cannabis and CBD are not miracle cures for viruses

Read more from Leafly:

Summary

We have no idea how long the Coronavirus will last or how it will impact the global economy across the board by the time it is finished running its course. We can try to remain healthy by practicing good hygiene, avoiding crowds and close interactions with others. 

Hopefully willing investors will keep taking risks and cannapreneurs will find avenues for networking online. 

Additionally, manufacturers may want to reconsider the so – called benefits of globalization and bring back plants to our own shores. In the meantime, we hope that everyone stays safe and healthy.

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