Covid-19 has left no industry untouched in the United States and worldwide. In the realm of industrial hemp, the effects of the virus has been both direct and indirect. That said, the industry continues to march on, and many businesses are still in operation and optimistic about the future.
Covid-19 Impact on Industrial Hemp Farmers
One of the biggest impacts the virus has had on the many farm operations out there is how work gets done. Front Range Biosciences, a group of farmers, researchers and scientists that produces cannabis, coffee and other desirable crops, has, like many other farms, put emergency measures in place in order to combat the spread of Covid-19 while they continue operations. These measures include enhanced sanitary protocols, staggering shifts and the strict use of masks.
Another effect the virus has had on cultivation efforts is the limiting of hemp cultivation equipment and supplies. Many of these necessary products come from China, which saw a closing of its ports in early 2020 due to Covid-19, and this led to months-long delays in the shipping and receiving of these important agricultural products.
Covid-19 Impact on Product Distribution
When Covid-19 began proliferating around the world, many began to fear that product distribution routes would be negatively effected and supplies would be limited. These fears were indeed realized, and there was a slowing of CBD shipments and other hemp products around the world, but only initially. Due to demand for the products made from of industrial hemp, there was a rather quick uptick in shipments after the initial drops earlier in the year, according to Sarah Roberts, CEO of CBD logistics company SovereignPort.
Covid-19 Impact on Retail Sales of Hemp-Derived Products
Covid-19 has negatively affected the buying power of millions of Americans, and this has led to a decrease in the purchasing of retail hemp-derived products. Also, closure orders have negatively affected products sold at brick-and-mortar businesses. However, some online retailers have enjoyed robust sales as many consumers have taken to stockpiling internet-available hemp-derived products such as full-spectrum CBD products and CBD isolates, which is a positive thing for the bottom line of hemp farmers.
That said, Covid-19 has resulted in a decrease in the overall demand for hemp-derived products in the US and around the world, and most industrial farmers have been negatively impacted to some degree by this downturn.
However, given the importance and desirability of hemp-derived products, many players in the industrial hemp farming sector remain optimistic they will not only weather the effects of the virus but also thrive as time goes on.