As 2019 was about to close, the world faced a health emergency that would soon become a global pandemic. No economy or country was prepared for the unprecedented changes that the Coronavirus would bring. It’s now the latter half of the year, and the pandemic is still very much present. Many countries are still facing the ill effects of the virus, particularly in terms of their economies and businesses being profoundly affected.
In the United States, particularly in DC, one of the markets that are greatly affected is the marijuana industry. How is this possible? This article gives you an enumeration of the various ways by which the pandemic has changed the marijuana market scene.
- It Forced Physical Dispensaries To Open Up To Online Selling
In Washington DC, marijuana is considered illegal. When the pandemic came and the government had to step in to incorporate various control measures for businesses, many physical dispensaries were immediately forced to open up to online selling.
Because people are now encouraged to stay at home, this means that many have resorted to online shopping. Streets are filled with fewer shoppers, even if their purpose is to purchase essential goods. Aside from the strict protocols put in place by the government, people are also afraid to go out.
To meet the needs of those who still purchase their stash of marijuana, physical dispensaries that didn’t have websites before have now opened up to online selling. To meet the needs of their customers, they have to adapt, or they’re going to lose revenue to a competitor that has stepped up their game.
- It Brought A Soar In Sales Due To Its Business Classification
Another change that the Coronavirus has brought is that it gave the owners of dispensaries an opportunity to have higher revenues. As mentioned earlier, in Washington DC, marijuana is illegal. However, many residents who live in Washington DC use marijuana for medical purposes.
Because of this, dispensaries like Cloud 9 DC Smoke Shop have been classified as an “essential” business. This means that even during the pandemic, dispensaries are given proper legal authority to operate. This has given cannabis business owners more options to expand their retail store. This attracts more shoppers since other businesses are forced to close down.
Along with this advantage is that the pandemic has enabled these dispensary owners to price their goods competitively as well, making it more affordable. With fewer dispensaries competing in the market, it makes their cash flow stable even if they give out promos and other deals.
Additionally, this soar in sales also has to do with the health benefits that cannabis or marijuana products can bring. One of these is the ability to strengthen our immune system. In this time where people are so stressed out about keeping themselves healthy, medical marijuana as a natural source to improve one’s overall health has become a popular alternative to mainstream medication.
- It Changed Buyer Behavior
Because of social distancing measures set forth unanimously by different governments, the behavior of shoppers has changed as well. Rather than going out to physical stores to shop, they now prefer to purchase goods online.
This change in consumer behavior then becomes an added challenge for dispensaries, but it’s not something they can’t overcome. Common examples of the changes felt by industries due to changes in buyer behavior include the following:
- Dispensaries now have to partner with logistics or shipping companies to fulfil the orders of their customers.
- Dispensaries have to learn how to package the orders of customers online so that marijuana products don’t get spoiled while in transit.
- Dispensaries have to spend more on packaging materials, such as tape and bubble wrap, to avoid spillage.
- Changed Shop Operating Hours
While marijuana dispensaries have been classified in Washington DC as an essential good during this time, this doesn’t mean that it did not also affect their operating hours. All businesses have to comply with protocols set by the local government to reduce the movement of individuals around crowded areas.
One of these protocols is reduced shop operating hours. This applies even to banks, grocery stores, and in this case, dispensaries. This change in shop operating hours means that some employees may have had to go on temporary leave. For others, their salary may have been reduced due to shorter working hours.
At present, Coronavirus hasn’t entirely been eradicated yet. In fact, in the United States, it’s still on its full swing. Because of this, many industries continue to face difficulties with their sales, among other problems. Thankfully, in Washington DC, the marijuana market has remained quite stable. Most of the changes that the Coronavirus brought about had to do with new selling methods, among others. As a parting point, you should remember to always stay safe. As you go about using marijuana during a pandemic, never let this get into the way of assuring your safety.