Quarantine has changed a lot of things, the cannabis industry included. At the beginning of quarantine in the US, the cannabis industry was ramping up for 4/20, easily the biggest sales day of the year. With most states issuing executive orders in the beginning of March, many people didn’t think it would “last that long.” But last that long it did and in the midst of all this change we were all experiencing on a personal level, the cannabis industry also went through a transformation.
These changes may have been fueled by quarantine, but many may be here to stay. If you’ve enjoyed going to your local dispensary during quarantine, you’ve likely participated in these changes already.
During the pandemic and subsequent quarantine, more than 20 states deemed medical or recreational sales “essential” businesses during the pandemic shutdown, including Colorado. These are unprecedented times and the changes the industry is experiencing as a whole will surely be felt for years to come.
According to an article published in The New York Times, “Americans spent $12.4 billion on legal recreational and medical cannabis in 2019, according to Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics, a number that is expected to climb to $16.3 billion this year, a 31% increase.”
Not only do people feel “cannabis was made for quarantine” but it seems as though many newbies have also been trying cannabis products for the first time in the safety and comfort of their own homes. With so much influx in sales and products, there is hope that this surge during quarantine to support cannabis will also lead to legislation that spans the nation.
In an interesting collection of stats, Bloomberg states, “ Among people who’ve used cannabis in the last year, 34% said in late March that they’re using it more frequently, and 16% say they’re using higher doses or doing longer sessions. For millennials, those numbers are higher: 41% use more frequently, and 20% use higher doses.”
It’s clear that during this time, many people have destigmatized cannabis and gone towards it’s benefits for mental health, anxiety, insomnia, pain relief, and much more.
Here are Ways Quarantine has Changed the Cannabis Industry
Quarantine has been hard on everyone. From not seeing friends and family members to important events and travel being cancelled, 2020 has been a difficult year for many reasons. And as anyone who enjoys cannabis will tell you, weed makes everything better — even a global pandemic.
Over the past few months of quarantine we’ve witnessed many changes across all industries, and the cannabis industry is no different. From how we pick up weed at the dispensary to the varieties of edibles and topicals, quarantine has encouraged some changes in the cannabis industry that are actually pretty great.
Beyond the toilet paper, hand sanitizer, jigsaw puzzles, and frozen foods is the demand for cannabis. Deemed an essential business in many states where both medical and recreational marijuana are legal, the cannabis industry was shown that the country is changing and they must change along with it.
The “green rush” of the spring helped a whole new part of the industry bloom, and a quantum leap was made.
While some changes were purely field by quarantine, we hope some will stick around long after quarantine and COVID-19.
- Online Ordering
You can order anything online these days, and now that includes weed. While you still have to go to the dispensary to pick it up, ordering online can save time standing in line and help keep people socially distanced. Ordering weed online allows more time and leisurely space to explore the different options and read more about them. Nothing beats going inside and looking around like a kid in a candy store, but if you already know what you want, ordering online and picking up in-store is a super convenient change to the cannabis industry that will likely stick around.
- Edible Evolution
The evolution of edibles has come a long way from homemade brownies that are way too strong. Reliable THC and CBD percentages are now printed on each container and we’ve come a long way from “just try it and see how it goes.” From chocolate covered coffee beans to soda, cold brew to jelly beans, edibles are getting a massive makeover. Fueled by more time at home, in a safe space to experiment and explore, the palettes of patrons are getting more and more sophisticated.
- Value Cannabis
Many people simply aren’t able to afford the cannabis available in dispensaries, and that’s where multistate cannabis operator Cresco Labs comes in. They recognized a need for more affordable cannabis products and stepped up to deliver. They’re not alone in this growing trend, however, and many other brands have realized that an entire market is opening up looking for affordable products and flower. This may have been fast tracked by the pandemic, but we sure hope this trend is here to stay and further develop.
Regardless of how you consume, or how often, your cannabis lifestyle has likely been impacted by the pandemic and subsequent quarantine. These changes can help the industry evolve and remove the stigma around cannabis so more people can enjoy its healing benefits.
Stop into The Spot 420, serving Southern Colorado, or order online to browse our selection from the safety and comfort of your own home.