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Cannabis Retail during COVID-19

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Watch the full webinar here:

FlowerHire and Leafwire assembled a panel of industry-leading cannabis professionals working on the front lines to not only continue access to cannabis but protect workers in these uncertain times. Together we discussed the current state of retail during Covid-19 and the innovation allowed by states and implemented by businesses. 

The panel consisted of VP and Managers from Ascend Wellness Holdings, Nature’s Remedy, and GlassHouse Group. Because each panelist was operating in different states, each had a different perspective on the current state of retail during COVID-19.

In California and Illinois, cannabis was deemed essential and the markets are strong. However, Illinois has implemented even more restrictions on advertisements and promotions of cannabis during this time. Don Schaefer, VP Retail at Ascend Wellness, reflected on Ascend’s 4/20 success saying, “It’s like taking two steps forward one step back. We were open that Monday but had no way of advertising or promoting it.” 

Unfortunately for Nature’s Remedy, Massachusetts has not deemed recreational cannabis as essential. Recreational companies in the state are trying to lobby with the state. However this could take time, and as the lockdown dates keep getting extended, cannabis leaders like Cory Ravelson, General Manager at Nature’s Remedy, can only wait out the game. Cory discussed the difficulty of this lockdown not only on cannabis companies but on consumers as well. Consumers are confused about what the most efficient way to get products is. Should they wait it out, or should they try to get a medical card? 

It is an honor to be deemed essential. To think back on our cannabis history, how far we have come, it’s a pretty cool thing we are all part of.

Needless to say, in all states companies are taking extra precautions to keep both consumers and employees safe. There has been a huge emphasis on online express ordering, curbside pick up, delivery, special hours, and reservations systems. Don Schaefer mentioned that having reservation systems, “allow customers to have confidence that the time they chose is the time they can come into the dispensaries and they can get in and out quickly without having to interact with large crowds.” This experience has been widening the experience for the consumer and shining a brighter light on cannabis. Hopefully, municipalities will see that the sky didn’t fall when we moved to curbside and online ordering. 

At the end of the day, everyone is grateful cannabis was deemed essential. It is an honor to be deemed essential. To think back on our cannabis history, how far we have come, it’s a pretty cool thing we are all part of.

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