The cannabis industry, which was already struggling prior to the COVID-19 panic, is now grappling with an economic crisis that threatens its current business model. Despite being designated an “essential business” in most states — a move which has helped to spur some economic growth and protect some jobs — pot shops and others in the industry are facing the downturn without a net. And without the prospect of federals stimulus to keep these businesses afloat, at least in the states, many in the cannabis industry are beginning to worry about their future.
Others, however, have sought more creative solutions to their financial problems. In Vancouver, World-Class Extractions Inc. (CSE:PUMP) announced that its subsidiary Pineapple Express Delivery Inc. entered into a delivery agreement with The Saskatoon Co-operative Association Ltd. Pineapple, which is known for delivering recreational and medical cannabis products will now add the liquor from Saskatoon Co-op's Wine-Spirits-Beer retail stores to its list of deliverables.
World-Class CEO Rosy Mondin considers the move into liquor delivery to be strategic, and a way for Pineapple to capitalize on their premium cannabis delivery services.
“With COVID-19 having an unprecedented impact on our daily lives, Pineapple Express Delivery is helping to minimize the impact by providing reliable delivery services so that consumers have confidence their purchases will arrive at their door in a safe and timely fashion,” she said in a statement. “Pineapple Express Delivery has taken precautionary measures to reinforce safety and hygiene procedures of workers and consumers.”
“All drivers have been fully trained on the health procedures to keep both the driver and consumer safe," she continued.
As for the team at Pineapple Express, the noted their overall excitement over the move, while stating that now, during the coronavirus pandemic, is an ideal time for them to be able to offer this service.
“Staying home means staying safe for many Canadians,” said Randy Rolph of Pineapple Express Delivery. “Our drivers are trained in physical distancing practices for home delivery and are equipped with PPE kits every day to keep them and customers safe, so consumers can rest assured that their delivery meets the highest standards in compliance, discretion, and customer experience."
Meanwhile stateside, in Las Vegas, The+Source, is initiating curbside pick-up at both of its locations, to begin immediately in response to Gov. Sisolak’s “Roadmap to Recovery” directive. Previously in the state, dispensaries had only been open for deliveries, limiting the number of customers they could serve each day. The restrictions had been put in place as a safety measure. They were part of the social distancing efforts that are still going on across the country.
According to a statement put out by The+Source, customers can place an order online, which will be available for either pick-up or next-day delivery. To protect all of their customers, no one may exit their vehicle when picking up their orders, and all orders for cannabis must be placed in advance.
“The+Source’s new, cashless ATM card service will allow customers to pay with debit cards, rounding up all purchases to the nearest $5 increment, and allow drivers to provide exact change in cash,” noted the The+Source in a statement. “Each transaction will incur a $3.50 payment fee. Deliveries from The+Source are available from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and require a minimum, pre-tax purchase of $125, with delivery offered as a complimentary service for all customers within a five-mile radius of either store.”
Whether or not more cannabis operators are forced to find creative solutions such as these depends on how long the stay-at-home orders last across the globe. But with the economy in a freefall, the cannabis industry is in desperate need of a financial shot in the arm.