In part one of this series we explored the adaptation by Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission in response to COVID-19, which is now our new normal. Today, in part two, we will explore the advantages of a regional supply chain and how Maryland has uniquely positioned itself in comparison to other legal cannabis producing states. To date, the Maryland cannabis industry has not been negatively affected by the fallout from quarantine measures. Fortunately, most cannabis businesses in the US have been blessed with “essential services” designations, allowing cultivators, manufacturers, and retailers to remain open and in operation.
Maryland launched its legal medical program with the issuance of only 15 cultivation licenses. The initial cap on licenses proved beneficial, as the limited pool of licensees raised significant capital and a majority completed expansive initial build outs allowing for effective and manageable quality control over the flower.
Higher shipping and logistics costs, due to increased safety measures, will most likely put pressure on many facets of the consumer supply chain. Hyper local regional production will prove beneficial to offset some of these added costs. Due to the smaller physical footprint of the state, cultivators and dispensaries in Maryland should continue to weather the storm through a resilient supply chain of in-state flower production.
Dr. Michael Chiaramonte, former president of the Maryland Medical Dispensary Association, which represents mostly independent, Maryland-born dispensaries, said “The association supports an industry that will allow Maryland small businesses, many of which are owned by women and minorities, to be successful,”
We are thankful and proud of Maryland’s medical cannabis growers and processors as they have continued to increase production month over month. Everyone in the supply chain deserves tremendous credit.
The ability to adapt to new challenges, streamline costs and address bottom lines will be crucial for the continued growth of Maryland’s industry.
One thing is certain, patient demand will continue to increase as patients address their health needs. Maryland has been able to add more almost 4,000 new patients each month for all of 2019 and has over 100,000 patients in the state as a whole, according to the state cannabis commission.
Regardless of the challenges ahead, cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, and retailers, as a whole, should still prove successful in meeting patient demand. Timing in Maryland proves to be a blessing. Just two years after the first medical sale in MD, most cultivators were already in the midst of major canopy expansions just before COVID-19 virus reared its unpredictable fate on the economy.
One thing for sure, cannabis has proven itself pandemic and recession proof. Millions and millions of Americans are reaching for legal cannabis as a natural alternative to Big Pharma.
At Storehouse, we are committed to meeting the needs of our patients and continue to adjust our buying practices accordingly. We continue to offer multiple strains of daily $25 eighths of flower and $35 grams of concentrate through our renowned Patient Advantage program and are committed to growing our inventory and product choices.