For some dispensaries, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a boon. people stuck at home have ramped up their cannabis consumption, whether its to help reduce anxiety or just aid in sleeping, sales have stayed steady if not risen. Delivery businesses have been busier than ever and many MSO’s (multi-state operators) have been thrilled to be deemed an essential service. But what about al the small brands who were just getting started? Green Market Report decided to check in with a few to how they are managing.
Racheal Rapinoe, MENDI CEO
“These are unprecedented times and our hearts go out to all small businesses that rely on foot traffic, people in the service industries and everyone else who’s been economically and emotionally affected by COVID-19. Mendi is in a really interesting place in the midst of everything. We are 100% D2C, our products can provide mental, physical and emotional relief for people and our digital content can be easily pivoted to engage our audience during this time. Although we are able to operate as is, it is the unknown which is most concerning. How long will Americans need to be quarantined, how long will sports be on a hiatus and when can we resume normal life, are all questions that impact business decisions. It is relieving to know cannabis sales have not dropped during this time, in fact they have done the opposite, but keeping an eye on the market daily and being able to make decisions quickly will be the key to success. Although we are a start-up, our small but mighty team is nimble and courageous enough to keep us in the game.”
Valarie Sakota and Meryl Montgomery, Co-founders BARBARI
We positioned BARBARI to sustain a rapidly changing industry through our three-prong business model: direct to consumer, wholesale, and partnerships. The COVID-19 crisis has really tested this model when our wholesale channel, the business line most impacted, fully contracted due to shop and dispensary closures. As a result, we’ve seen a surge in our eCommerce business, which fills us with a tremendous amount of honor that so many are finding comfort in our products during this time of emotional and financial stress. Thanks to Instagram, we’ve never been as connected with our audience which has inspired a lot of fun content rolling out over the next few weeks to further engage with our community. While the launch of our THC product in Massachusetts and Oregon have been pushed back due to the outbreak, we’re thankful to have incredible partners in those states who are keeping production moving forward. Time and time again, we’ve seen resilience fuel creative inspiration, which is certainly what we’re seeing now within our community online and fellow small business owners.
Molly Conroy and Rubin Torf, Co-founders Scientia Labs and Canapa
“Scientia and Canapa have experienced similar effects from the evolving COVID-19 pandemic situation, but from very different perspectives. Scientia’s wholesale and private label customers are brands and businesses that rely heavily on retail distribution. As foot traffic declined, and then retailers fully shuttered, our customers have seen sales drop precipitously. The effect has been a decline in sales for Scientia. Canapa’s bar and retail customers have, of course, put all orders on hold. To incentivize Canapa sales, we are currently running a 50% off sale, which has resulted in a short-term spike of online sales.”