As the world around us changes by the hour with the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), many of us have already seen major disruptions in our daily lives. The health and safety of everyone is of major concern and we all need to do our part to stop the spread of the virus to help manage its reach and burden on healthcare systems across the globe.
This means that most of the population in major metropolitan areas across the US have been confined to their homes and must practice social distancing measures to curb the advance of infections and limit exposure to others, especially those at a higher risk. These measures are drastic and no one knows for sure when life will again return to “normal”–but the more each of us takes individual measures to stay safe and healthy, the better we all will be in the long run.
The health risks posed by COVID-19 are evident but the economic toll on businesses and individuals is yet to be fully realized with the current situation unprecedented in modern times. Although a thick cloud of uncertainty surrounds many industries and the long-term economic effects of the outbreak can only be predicted at best, the ramifications of an enduring slowdown are already immerging. Many small businesses are unsure how they are going to pay employees and keep their doors open. Larger corporations are being forced into layoffs as profits fall.
How is all of this impacting the cannabidiol (CBD) industry?
Like so many other sectors of the economy, uncertainty is the best way to describe the current impact of COVID-19. It is too early to tell what the long-term effects will be but we can take a look at recent trends across the country to better understand the initial influence of the virus. In the short-term, it seems as though local dispensaries across the country saw a boom in CBD sales, as people rushed into stores purchase products in case they were to no longer become available. Some Colorado dispensaries have been seeing better than average sales, even with social distancing measures in place, as the panic buying mentality seeped into the world of cannabis and CBD.
Many people rushed to stock up on medicinal and recreational products as the onslaught of the outbreak began a few weeks ago, not knowing if their local dispensaries would shut down alongside so many other businesses that were not deemed essential by city and state governments. This rush subsided with many states classifying cannabis dispensaries as essential businesses that are able to stay open so long as safe social distancing practices are adhered to.
The uncertainty extends beyond long lines at the dispensary and consumer needs and into the laps and livelihood of business owners producing CBD products, hemp farmers, and others who have invested time and energy toward ongoing success within the cannabis industry. While a short-term rush of sales is good for CBD companies still producing product, if the economic troubles continue long term, this could easily change. Some CBD companies are carrying on with business as usual while others have halted or slowed production lines to cut costs or create safe working environments for their employees.
And others have stepped up to offer their help to the public, producing hand sanitizer in their facilities; while many are sticking with straight up antibacterial gels, those infusing CBD into their products should be careful about their claims, as the FDA is tracking how CBD products are marketed (in other words, do not promote how your product could protect against or treat COVID-19, as there is no scientific evidence to support that claim).
Hemp farmers and others involved on the agricultural side of the industry do not always have the luxury of slowing down or delaying production due to current circumstances. The boom in the CBD business has been due in part to the new hemp growing possibilities afforded by the 2018 Farm Bill. Many farmers and manufacturers are being left in the dark as to what their current steps should be and how to best prepare for what comes next.
The need for CBD during the spread of covid-19 is apparent, as those who use CBD-based products to treat a variety of medical conditions can be thankful they still have access. Others can benefit from the cannabinoid’s anti-anxiety and stress relieving effects as we all try to cope with the steady stream of strain that nearly everyone is experiencing. CBD has also been shown to help promote better sleep–something in high demand for those of us living in heavily impacted areas.
While the unknown impacts currently outweigh the known in relation to CBD and the spread of COVID-19, there is evidence to indicate the industry is poised to weather the storm the virus is creating. There are sure to be negative effects as the economic repercussions of this global calamity begin to unfold but the resilience and innovation that has created so many success stories in the industry lend one to believe it can handle adversity, even when unmatched in scale.
The staff at CBD Health & Wellness is paying close attention to all developments and we remain committed to bringing you updates on these ongoing events as they arise. Until then, stay safe, healthy, and do all you can to support one another during these trying times.