Marijuana Business Magazine May-June 2020

Marijuana Business Magazine | May-June 2020 64 T he coronavirus pandemic will pass when people can once again congregate, travel, do business and go back to the way the world worked in 2019. But, as in other sectors, not everything in the cannabis industry will work the way it once did—and some of the changes enacted during the pan- demic will remain long after the virus is vanquished. “A lot of very interesting, cool, creative, unique things are going to be developed from this. I can already tell you it’s even changing the way that we’re going to think about our organization going forward,” said Charlie Bachtel, CEO of Cresco Labs, a multistate operator headquartered in Chicago. These innovations include changes in: • Online and cashless ordering. • Curbside, drive-thru and home delivery. • Cannabis perceptions and politics. • Management behavior. It would be wrong, however, to think that the coronavirus alone led to changes in how cannabis companies do business. Many advances already were happening, and the pandemic accelerated them. Here’s a roundup of a some of the chang- es that executives believe will stick. 1 Online Orders and Cashless Payments Many marijuana companies instituted online ordering a while back. And while its use has grown, online sales hadn’t really taken off before the pandemic. But to check the spread of the coronavirus, many states and municipalities closed sales floors and permitted only preorders. Meanwhile, some retailers stopped accepting cash transactions, which created the need for cashless payment systems such as CanPay and Hyper. So far, online ordering and cashless payments seemed to have worked well for most customers, with few glitches reported. And the convenience is undeniable. 2 Curbside, Drive-thrus and Delivery As with online ordering and cash- less payments, some marijuana businesses already were offering delivery services before the pandemic. But the coronavirus crisis accelerated the use of these options. There were few drive-thrus in the nation before the pandemic, but authorities in some jurisdictions where cannabis stores were allowed to stay open Ways the Coronavirus By Omar Sacirbey COVID-19 is expected to have a long-term impact on everything from online sales to how government officials view the cannabis industry 4 Will Change the Cannabis Industry Mana Supply Co. in Edgewater, Maryland, converted a former bank drive-thru into a secure pick-up window. Courtesy Photo Pandemic Pivot