Cannabis and the COVID-19 crisis
What a difference a few months makes. Since our last issue in March, the world has been turned upside-down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our global perspective has forever shifted—including our perspectives on cannabis.
As individual U.S. states took the necessary steps toward shutting down or providing guidance for public infrastructure, commerce, and day-to-day life, those states almost invariably designated the cannabis industry as “essential,” allowing businesses to stay open. This shows particularly strong positioning for the industry, with great support at the state level.
Cannabis businesses will also hopefully see some much-needed federal support in the near future. On May 12, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled a $3 trillion+ coronavirus aid package—the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, a large bill containing emergency economic appropriations. Thankfully, the initial draft of the HEROES Act includes the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, a measure that would ensure access to financial services for cannabis-related businesses and service providers. This financial support and protection is necessary and long overdue, and deserves strong bipartisan support.
As I’ve been communicating with suppliers and product developers over the past several weeks, the feedback regarding any negative impact caused by COVID-19 has been mostly encouraging. While some fallout from the pandemic is inevitable, reports from the field have cited minimal impact to date. As essential businesses, cannabis is soldiering on, and we’re continually covering all developing industry news on our online home at www.cannabisproductsmagazine.com.
As of press time in May, we are still planning to hold our inaugural Cannabis Products Exchange event—dubbed “CPX20” and now taking place July 30–31 in Denver—focused on product development and manufacturing for cannabis-infused foods and beverages. Our events team has gone to great lengths to ensure that the live event experience takes into account all of the necessary precautions for a safe and productive event. CPX20 is the only cannabis industry event completely focused on product development, and will provide unique opportunities for a comprehensive education program, trade show, networking, and more, all with the goal of establishing strategic opportunities for collaboration to drive this essential, resilient—and forward-thinking—industry forward. I hope to see you there.