The year 2020 will undoubtedly go down as one of the most challenging years legal cannabis cultivators have seen in recent times. A worldwide pandemic that claimed more than 1.5 million lives and brought the global economy to its knees coupled with wildfires and early freezes made 2020 a tough year for plenty of growers. With the nascent cannabis space already dealing with issues such as lack of access to banking services and a constantly changing regulatory environment, the landscape was already challenging for legal growers.
Despite these issues, the sector has generally seen increased sales, with cultivators reporting higher wholesale prices than in 2019. Most states that allow cannabis deemed the industry “essential” during the pandemic, thereby allowing growers to continue their operations with coronavirus-related health measures in place. Additionally, cannabis saw an uptick in demand in the weeks leading up to the lockdowns and even during the pandemic.
Desert Underground, a company based in Desert Hot Springs, California, enjoyed increased yields after improving its processes, sanitation and the strain mixes it used. According to founder and CEO Ethan Woods, the higher-quality cannabis flower coupled with increased demand pushed up their prices. However, growers in California faced labor shortages, wildfires and no access to banking. Additionally, Woods says, growers had trouble with pest management.
Ryan Milligan from Colorado-based Green Dragon says growers have seen a 15% to 20% increase in prices from last year. Prices were even higher in the summer when cannabis flower supply is lower. The increase in price can be attributed to COVID-19 as well as the early freeze in September, which reduced the ultimate yield for several outdoor marijuana grows, he says. Growers in Colorado faced labor shortages as well as COVID-19 safety restrictions, forcing them to stagger workflows.
Veritas Fine Cannabis in Denver, for instance, had to take flowering rooms offline to provide enough room for its trim and packaging teams, says co-founder and managing partner Mike Lebowitz. While this measure reduced the company’s yield, it kept employees safe as they worked. Dan Banks, director of cultivation strategy at Lightshade, based in Denver, says wildfires and smoke reduced light intensity and caused a dip in air quality, disrupting its greenhouse operations.
In Oregon, cultivators had to deal with massive wildfires and smoke, which blocked sunlight and affected yield. Oegrown, which is based in Bend, Oregon, and which uses an indoor grow facility as well as climate-controlled, light-deprivation greenhouses, was spared from falling ash but had to deal with reduced light intensity. In spite of these issues, Oregon’s cannabis industry made history after hitting $1 billion in sales.
Speaking of cannabis product sales, CannAssist International Corp. (OTCQB: CNSC) currently offers five cannabis creams, all of which contain ingredients that have earned FDA-registered National Drug Codes. Pet drops and tinctures are soon being added to the line of available products from this company.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CannAssist International Corp. (OTCQB: CNSC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/CNSC
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