• CBD industry hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions
  • Stores with strong e-commerce have an upper hand
  • Source of hemp will play a role

U.S. companies using hemp-derived cannabis to make supplements and topicals have reported awful sales in retail outlets since the COVID-19 outbreak. Others who switched to e-commerce see a turnaround.

“Online purchases are steady, with some upswing on the weekends, but I think that’s going to start changing as people are staying home more,” William Spilo, CEO of CBD Luxe, was quoted in Hemp Industry Daily. “The last couple of weeks has really been the start of people staying home on a large scale.”

“Viewer traffic has increased tremendously,” he added. “I think people are kind of preparing for what’s to come – shopping for brands and making decisions for what their next order might be.”

Silo said his company reported a 30 percent decrease in retail revenue in the second week of March.

Elevate CBD, a hemp-derived product manufacturer, said retail composes roughly 80% of its consumer sales, and the company feels an impact from recent coronavirus measures.

“I think retailers from the brick-and-mortar side are taking things very cautiously,” Cindy Blum, Elevate CBD’s vice president of marketing, told Hemp Industry Daily. “There are some conversations that have been delayed or deals that have been delayed as they think about what their next step is.”

Some companies use domestic sources of hemp, but others import the cousin of marijuana from Europe. If cargo flights are banned, these manfucaturers will either go without or make other plans.

US-based hemp processors and cultivators will feel the effects if demand drops.

Some claim CBD provides a calming effect that might help with anxiety associated with coronavirus. Others claim cannabis may assist the treatment and recovery from the normal flu by helping relieve pain and inducing sleep. The FDA says CBD is not allowed as an ingredient in food, drinks or dietary supplements.