The coronavirus had an massive impact on the global economy. Stores struggled to keep items in stock and consumer shopping behavior changed.
Increase in vice spending
Early on in Seattle, many dispensaries saw a “bump then slump” pattern. For some, this could be attributed to recommendations from the CDC that everyone should have at least one month’s supply of medication on hand if supplies are strained or people need to stay home and self-quarantine.
Long term, we anticipate that spending on cannabis will hold steady at higher levels. During a recession, the most stable sectors have typically been pet supplies and alcohol. When a crisis hits, whether economic or health-related, people will still need to continue to take care of their animals and will turn to other activities to relax or numb their situation without leaving their homes. Alcohol and cannabis can fall into that second category.
Boost for ecommerce and delivery orders
With more and more people working from home, ecommerce sales surged across all sectors. Beyond an increase in people buying supplies on Amazon, food delivery also soared as more people opt for delivery or take-out.
Many of our cannabis business customers said their pickup and delivery sales volume increased dramatically which is inline with changes in customer behavior for retail sales in general.
Many of our customers rushed to implement cashless payments for cannabis e-commerce sales and delivery.
We’ve told you before that cash is gross. Even before everyone became more health-conscious because of the coronavirus, paper money was found to carry more germs than a household toilet.
To try and stop the spread of coronavirus, South Korea’s central bank opted to remove all banknotes from circulation for two weeks. The Louvre museum in Paris stopped accepting cash because of the outbreak in Europe. The Federal Reserve is delaying processing dollars that have been repatriated from Asia, with many experts advising consumers to avoid using cash where possible.
Cannabis has always been a cash-intensive industry. While some dispensaries only accept cash, others still have consumer bases that prefer to pay with cash. If you and your employees are forced to handle large volumes of cash, hygiene should be taken even more seriously than usual. Be sure to give your staff gloves when handling cash and advise them to wash their hands frequently. Remind your customers to wash their hands before consuming any edible products, especially if they choose to pay with cash.
With health experts encouraging everyone to make greater use of contactless forms of payment, marijuana-related businesses (MRBs) should make utilize a form of secure payments for dispensaries.