On March 13, 2020, the federal government enacted a national state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, this has led to countless states enacting emergency procedures while demanding the shutdown of a numerous businesses and industries. Some of these include restaurants, bars and nightlife, clothing retailers, shopping malls as well as a medium-to-small-sized businesses of multiple industries. One industry a handful of states are avoiding interfering is the cannabis industry. But why? What makes cannabis dispensaries so essential?
Most Dispensaries have been labeled ‘Essential’ by the Government
As aforementioned, most businesses and industries are taking a financial beating due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this has not been the case for cannabis dispensaries as well as cannabis delivery services. In fact, most dispensaries and delivery services have experienced a surge in sales since the enactment of the national state of emergency. This is because most states with cannabis legalization laws, including Maryland, have explicitly identified certain dispensaries as well as cannabis delivery services as “essential businesses.” This labelling has caused quite the uproar from other industries who are not legally allowed to operate at this time. But why? What makes cannabis dispensaries and cannabis delivery services a necessity during such a terrifying time such as the COVID-19 pandemic?
It’s Simple: Cannabis is Medicine
The key reason that dispensaries as well as cannabis delivery services have remained opened during the COVID-19 pandemic is because they provide a multitude of medicine to a countless number of patients who truly require it. Of course the recreational consumer choosing to horde cannabis similar to toilet paper, soaps, and food amidst a biological crisis is one philosophy. Another way of thinking is to remember is that there are countless patients who are truly in need of cannabis and have been forced to the confines of their dwelling while adhering to the mandated curfews and travel guidelines outlined by their governments. With this key point in mind, how else would lawful patients receive their necessary medication? Most states, including our own, have recognized (to some capacity) that cannabis has a number of beneficial factors for patients. Some of the medicinal properties associated with cannabis include:
- Anticonvulsant – the ability to help prevent seizures
- Antidepressant – the ability to help combat depression and uplift mood
- Antioxidant – the ability to help boost immune system response and fortification
- Antipsychotic – the ability to help ward off episodes of Psychosis
- Anti-inflammatory – the ability to reduce inflammation similar to an OTC such as Advil or Ibuprofen
- Antitumoral – the ability to help ward off carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents, hence tumoral reduction
- Neuroprotectant – the ability to shield neurons from damage, which ultimately combat Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Just like any other pharmacy, patients need access to their medications. Many states, including Maryland have agreed and decided to ensure qualifying patients as well as consumers can receive cannabis during operating hours or via a cannabis delivery service.
Every Cannabis Business has not been Listed as Essential
Although some dispensaries as well as a handful of cannabis dispensaries are able to remain open for operation, other canna-businesses have not been granted the ‘go ahead’ during the COVID-19 pandemic. These decisions are often government mandated. However, the decision for a dispensary to remain closed during this time may have been handed down by corporate. This is likely due to the fact that dispensaries are naturally not places suited for properly practicing social distancing, which the government is calling for amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Cannabis dispensaries practice whole-body marketing by enticing the consumer to willfully use all 5 of their senses before even considering to make a purchase. Consumers often fondle cannabis buds, smell a variety of aromas associated with the buds, inspect paraphernalia via touch and more. Primarily , the risk of spreading germs even of the COVID-19 variety is highly likely. This is why some cannabis businesses have decided to remain closed during the ‘Stay Home Initiative’.
Will the Cannabis Industry Avoid Financial Struggles During COVID-19?
Retrospectively, companies such as BW3s and GameStop’s initial decision to remain open during these scary times is due to the company being on its last financial leg. Companies such as these as well as small businesses may not have the financial fortitude to recover from not being deemed an essential business by their governing entities To put the current state of the economy into perspective, some of the businesses that have been forced to close due the COVID-19 pandemic are:
- Restaurants & Food Service establishments
- Clothing Retailers
- Footwear Retailers
- Theme Parks and Entertainment Services
- Technology Retailers
- And many medium-to-small businesses…
Moreover, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a multitude of professional sporting events have been cancelled. These industries and franchises may suffer the most. At the time of this article, the NBA is considering not continuing the 2019-20 season at any point. Additionally, on March 19, four players for the Brooklyn Nets, including the 2-time NBA champion Kevin Durant, tested positive for the Coronavirus. With cases as close to the court as these, the NBA may have no choice but to end the 2019-20 season, costing them billions.
The inaugural season of the XFL, an alternative football lead to the NFL led by Vince McMahon has been cancelled. The NFL has halted games domestic and international indefinitely. Additionally, the Indy 500 scheduled for May has been canceled. All of these cancellations can lead to losing ticket sales, TV contracts, and brand reputation. Once again, costing teams and leagues billions of dollars.
Conversely, in January 2020, Forbes expected the cannabis industry to exceed $200 billion. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, a recalculation looks more like $130 billion by the end of the decade. This, in theory, means that the COVID-19 pandemic may cost the cannabis industry $70 billion worldwide. On the flipside, the government appears to have realized the medical essentialness of cannabis during these times.
We here at Euphoria Wellness also understand the difficult times that COVID-19 has caused. Nevertheless, we remain open, operational, and practice thorough methods to ensure our customers, employees, and products remain as safe as possible. We understand that our customers need us and we are here to help! Moreover, we are offering FREE delivery* on our products during this time. For more information, be sure to contact us.