Supply Chains Suffer, But Consumer Interest Surges
From dining (hello, alfresco meals) to fashion (see the run on $200 luxury sweatsuits), it's hard to find an industry that hasn't been shaken to its core by the pandemic. CBD is no exception.
The pandemic-driven economic crisis, high levels of ensuing unemployment, and disruptions in cannabis farming and supply chains destabilized the industry. But as with so many #pandemicproblems, there's a silver lining -- the Biden administration supports conservation policies that benefit the hemp industry, for one thing. For another, more people are discovering the benefits of CBD as they turn toward it as a natural remedy during stressful times.
Want to know more about how the industry is doing and how it's been affected by the pandemic? You're in the right place.
First, the Bad News
2020 wasn't a great year for hemp (no surprise there). Overall, there were fewer acres devoted to hemp in 2020 -- 465,787 licensed acres in 2020 versus 511,442 in 2019. And the acres that were licensed for hemp produced fewer crops.
"Our estimate of 2020 CBD/cannabinoid biomass production is just over half our estimate for 2019, which was 90 million to 112 million pounds," reported HempGrower.com.
Even with a smaller supply, hemp wasn't exactly flying off the shelves last year. Due to stay-at-home orders and consumer hesitancy, 2019's crops didn't sell, and wholesale prices dropped.
On the Bright Side
Hemp farmers received $5 billion in aid in 2020, despite initially being excluded from federal relief benefits. While COVID relief for hemp farmers is frozen for now, so are debt collection and foreclosures. Also, industry leaders recently met with the USDA to discuss market needs.
"The recent rapid growth of the alternative plant-protein food sector does show some possibility for a 'specialty' crop to suddenly become a growing market sector," said the USDA's Economic Research Service report.
New USDA rules take effect today (March 22), and hemp stakeholders say they provide useful guidance for the industry. Overall, industry leaders feel optimistic about the talk and the Biden administration.
A New Hope
However, even while crops languished, CBD found a new market of first-time users in the bored, stressed, quarantined masses. One in four CBD users started using CBD in 2020 -- PR professionals dubbed these users "COVID commencers."
"There's not a demographic that it fits into perfectly ... just people who had heard about it but hadn't tried it," CBD American Shaman franchise owner Jeff Queen told KETV of Omaha, Nebraska.
Long-term CBD customers were more apt to experiment with new products, according to a CBD study by High Yield Insights, a cannabis market research firm.
Some of these CBD newbs were acting on advice from healthcare professionals, while others were curious about CBD after doing their own research. Here at your favorite New Orleans smoke shop, we're glad an affordable, safe, sustainable wellness product exists in the form of CBD. Although a pandemic wasn't an ideal way to introduce people to its merits, we hope these converts continue using CBD products for as long as they find them helpful.
CBD Products Available at Mushroom New Orleans
Forecasters predict increased CBD sales in 2021, especially in the third quarter, when widespread vaccinations bring the pandemic under control and loosen safety restrictions. Want to check out new CBD products or try them for the first time? We're here for you at The Mushroom from 10 a.m. to midnight. See you soon!
CBD products are only available in-store and are not available for online purchase.