Marijuana Business Magazine May-June 2020

Marijuana Business Magazine | May-June 2020 6 FromtheEditor | Kate Lavin L ike everyone else, members of the U.S. cannabis industry are adjusting to a “new normal” since COVID-19 began ravaging densely populated areas around the world. In some ways, the sector has fared better than others. This should come as no surprise; marijuana entrepreneurs have been facing challenges unimaginable to mainstream businesses for years. From fighting for bank accounts to defending themselves against RICO lawsuits filed by neighbors, cannabis businesses are uniquely qualified to grapple with professional difficulties that don’t even show up on the radars of other companies. So when the deadly coronavirus outbreak shuttered businesses across the country and required executives to pivot in a matter of days—if not hours—members of our industry rose to the challenge. In our cover story, “Pandemic Pivot,” on page 42, you’ll find examples of: • A Nevada cannabis retailer that raised a 10-person delivery crew in one weekend. • A Maryland medical marijuana provider that transformed a bank teller window into a drive-up cannabis service. • Members of a trade association who banded together to produce 5,000 gallons of hand sanitizer per week for Massachusetts hospital workers. And that is just the start. The coronavirus outbreak prompted governments in dozens of states to recognize the marijuana industry as an essential business—and, in some cases, cultivation facilities, cannabis product manufacturers and medical and adult-use retailers were allowed to keep working amid statewide stay-at-home orders. The move meant business leaders had to make quick decisions about how to keep employees and customers safe while also meeting the requirements imposed by state governments and recommended by public health officials. Struggle Ahead The picture has been far from rosy. Tens of thousands of Americans already have died of COVID-19. And that number would be even higher if not for the heroic efforts of the medical professionals who put their own health at risk and the supply-chain workers who kept them stocked with personal protective equipment—not to mention food and other essentials. With millions of Americans unemployed and an economic crisis looming, there is no doubt that the months ahead will be challenging. But if the past several weeks proved anything, it is that the years cannabis professionals have spent petitioning lawmakers and fighting for equal access to services prepared them well for these difficult times. Industry trade groups already are working to get cannabis businesses deemed essential in states where they have been forced to close. And the editorial staff of Marijuana Business Daily has been hard at work getting answers to some of your most pressing questions: • What are my obligations to my employees, and is my business eligible for any of the federal assistance programs (page 50)? • What changes do I need to make for my company to survive this crisis (page 54)? • How can I reinforce the supply chain that keeps my business running (page 56)? We might be physically separated for now, but we are all navigating this unprecedented crisis together. In addition to our regular content, MJBizDaily and Hemp Industry Daily are producing a series of webinars with experts in employment law, tax accounting and more. Look for new information every day at and . We are committed to helping you through this turbulent time and coming out on the other side. Until then, be well and be safe. Stronger Together Kate Lavin Marijuana Business Magazine Editor