“So this process made it difficult to meet the retail store opening schedule,” he said.
“We had a hard time getting drywall, hammers and nails, but luckily we didn’t have any major interruptions in getting flowers,” he said.
In the midst of it all, cannabis companies also had to deal with delays in shipping packaging, PPE and detergents, Schneider said. The association hired seamstresses to sew masks and helped members develop alternative recipes for detergents.
Cloud, now with four stores, has also struggled to hire new employees – a problem that affects the restaurant industry and others too, McLeod said. “I would say, like in any other industry, we certainly have to work harder to get new jobs,” added Schneider.
The pandemic may have helped increase the adoption of legal cannabis.
State governments across the country calling cannabis “essential” during the lockdown became “one of the most momentous moments in the timeline of the country’s legal marijuana industry,” according to national industry publication Marijuana Business Daily, because it “entered the cannabis industry the same category as pharmacies, hospitals, and other sources of legitimate medicine. ”
It turned out that these products – still viewed as problematic by some – are not just for fun, they are necessary, McLeod said.
Many retailers facing a shortage of product packaging they had obtained from overseas switched to suppliers in Ohio and Michigan during the lockdown, Schneider said. She assumes that this pivot could last for many as these relationships have already been formed over shorter distances.
Contactless deliveries and roadside collection are likely permanent for some too.
Going forward, the big question for McLeod is how Michigan will solve the problems posed by regulating marijuana businesses differently for medical and adult businesses.
Medical companies have a hard time competing if their city does not allow relaxation, but the neighboring city, for example.
Schneider is also looking forward to license types that were put on hold during the pandemic: Social Consumption Lounges, for example, and cannabis-based tourism.
“We expect several of them to open over the next year, this summer,” she said.