The COVID-19 pandemic has incurred difficult challenges for every business. As the world is suffering from the deadly virus, the economies of most of the countries are taking considerable hits. This global disruption is even tearing down the cannabis business, which was getting popular. The cannabis industry has experienced one of the worst impacts on the market due to COVID-19.
In this scenario, many people consider medical cannabis a pharmaceutical store because they use medical cannabis for its health benefits. However, most state authorities are imposing restrictions on opening up businesses to contain the spread. Further, cannabis businesses may suffer a halt in the cultivation and production activities due to the limited workforce allowed to work.
While medical cannabis businesses need to remain open, there are several vital points that every business must take care of.
- Protection of working staff.
Medical cannabis dispensaries that open for a small duration will attract a large number of customers. It means that there will be a peak time to serve the customers. Ultimately, it will be hard to implement the social distancing norms at peak hours. You need to ensure that your store has appropriate strategies for the protection of staff and customers.
Businesses should put a limit on the number of customers present at the store at one time. This means that in no case should the number of customers be more than two at a time near the counter. Further, businesses can switch to an online ordering system, pre-scheduling customers via appointments, and allowing customers to come for pick up only.
You can get your business online and start getting traffic by promoting the products via ads. Or you can start putting search engine optimized content on the website to rank higher on Google SERPs. Alternatively, you can invest in cannabis SEO backlinks services to create backlinks from high authority sites.
- Businesses need the flexibility to survive.
In the current scenario, the badging of employees and dispensary agents may get hindered. It is indeed necessary that state governments relax the restrictions of hiring new employees. Most of the states have a rule where a business needs to run a background check and fingerprint scanning of the new employee before they can work. It takes thirty days for them to get an employee badge finally.
As more people are getting into quarantine and self-isolation, businesses need to ensure that they have a backup team of employees to serve the customers. Also, dispensary agents should be allowed to work for other companies if the current market shuts down. Ideally, employees should be allowed to shift between locations using their existing ID cards. This will ensure that the business remains low-staffed and protects the jobs of employees.
- Consider insurance policies.
Most businesses sign up for insurance policies or contracts when they are about to hit bankruptcy. Generally, liability insurance covers most cannabis businesses. But, unfortunately, business disruptions are not included in these types of insurance. However, at this time, when the cannabis business is suffering a hit, you need to read the terms of the policies you signed up.
Most of the policies in property insurance contain the terms and conditions covering ‘all risks.’ It means that an agreement will cover “all risks of direct physical loss or damage from external factors.” However, these types of agreements include some specific exclusion, which the business must take note of.
- Create a relationship with industry players.
Start communicating with fellow businesses. Ignite a two-way conversation with them. Tell them how you are managing the company and how they are doing that. Talk about the preparation for the worst phase or try to reassure them. Explore how the supply chain is getting affected and what potential impact it can have on your business.
Experienced players in the industry know that with constructive approaches, they can sail through this bad phase. So, you must get over the chaos and panic and connect with others by checking in. In short, try to build a relationship with them where you two can help each other out in these tough times. It is true everyone is suffering or will suffer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fostering a healthy relationship can help you mitigate through the uncertain times.
- Be prepared for financial uncertainty.
We are heading towards a recession due to the global crisis. The stocks of cannabis are falling steeply. Also, the liquidity in the cannabis market was depreciating even before the pandemic.
Most of the cannabis businesses have a hard time raising money. So, they generally try to attract private investors. But due to the uncertainty, the venture capitalists either withdraw their interest or create hard agreements terms. Further, businesses opting for loans, credit lines, and other debt agreements will be negatively impacted as there won’t be much cash.
Thus if you’re looking forward to closing a deal in the coming months, be ready to expect a delay or renegotiation. As state agencies are also affected by the coronavirus, businesses should also prepare for a delay in regulatory approvals.
The COVID-19 pandemic is tearing nearly every business out there, cannabis being no exception. In these hard times, it becomes crucial to have a positive mindset for dealing with the challenges. Also, it is better to create and implement strategies to tackle these challenges. By applying constructive approaches, you can ensure that you take the business to the next level.