Why the Pandemic Was an Influential Moment for the Cannabis Industry

When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of 2020 it was a time of turmoil and uncertainty for people all over the world, and while many businesses searched for answers and ways to adapt to emergency protocols, it was the marijuana dispensaries that many Americans were panicking over. In the beginning weeks, there was no distinction with regards to which businesses would be deemed essential versus nonessential, and dispensaries across the nation were unsure of how the changes would impact them and their reliant customers. As a New York Times article stated, “having enough marijuana was as essential as stocking up on toilet paper.”

What Changed?

When pandemic mandates came into place, it was decided that legal marijuana dispensaries could remain open, but there was a push to encourage online ordering with curbside pick-up and delivery options to minimize person-to-person contact. Many consumers were battling increased stress levels as the pandemic soared and found themselves looking for ways to reduce their stress and anxiety through natural means. This influenced a surge in cannabis sales across the United States – in fact, legal marijuana sales were in excess of $17.5 billion in 2020 which represented a whopping 46% increase from 2019.

A record number of medical marijuana evaluations took place with many hoping to receive their cards in order to purchase cannabis where recreational use is prohibited. This placed an unprecedented demand on growers, dispensaries, and cannabis retailers to produce and deliver products quickly and efficiently, and the popular train of thought is that the trend will continue even post-pandemic.

What Does This Change Mean for the Future of the Industry?

Many people who began purchasing medical marijuana during the pandemic became focused on the education aspect and, specifically, on purchasing the right strains that incorporated the terpene and cannabinoid profiles, THC content, aroma, and other properties that would benefit them. As a result, there are more legal medical marijuana users in the United States than ever before who now understand the benefits that it can provide in terms of relief from chronic pain and inflammation, stress and anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, and more.

With an influx of medical marijuana users comes the need for increased production of cannabis products to fulfill the growing demand. But availability isn’t the only consideration. Many consumers enjoy the ability to have their products either delivered or picked up at the curb, while many others flocked into dispensaries as soon as they were able. Dispensaries should plan to accommodate both camps if they want to tap into all available revenue.

Medical Marijuana Evaluations from Medical Alternatives Clinic

Medical Alternatives clinic conducts medical marijuana evaluations and provides resources to help you find products that are right for you. There were several reasons to get a medical marijuana card before the pandemic, and perhaps even more now as many seek alternative ways to reduce their stress and anxiety over uncontrollable situations. Contact us today for more information about medical marijuana evaluations and apply for your MMJ card now.