The global economy has been dealt a major blow by the Corona crisis. The cannabis industry has been affected as well. However, initially it seemed as if this sector has been slightly escaping that in the US and Canada. Indeed, many states have deemed cannabis businesses as essential, so that they could keep operating amid the crisis. At the same time, the situation in Europe has not been the same as in North America, especially because of the differences regarding regulations.
Levin Amweg is the co-founder of Cannerald, a medical cannabis producer based in Switzerland. “Here in Switzerland, we initially thought that this virus was not a big thing,” he says. “But now, all the businesses are closed.”
A sudden halt
Before the crisis started, Levin says that he made a lot of contacts with B2B people for selling his cannabis products. “At the beginning, everything was normal: we went to work and stuff like that. I was about to close deals with a number of partners until everything changed one month ago. As soon as they announced lockdown measures, many people got scared, and they were rightfully more concerned about being safe than doing business. This resulted in a 2-3 week stop for us: no one was looking for cannabis, no one wanted to do anything but to be safe.”
Business starting again
However, he says that since yesterday, things started moving again. “We received new requests for cannabis, and it seems things are slowly getting back to normal. Now that infection numbers seem to go down again, people are changing their minds, and we can go back to do our normal job again.”
Even though business looks like it's slowly getting back to normal, the social distancing measures adopted by the Swiss government have an effect on the cultivation of cannabis as well. “Social distancing is really important,” Levin points out. “We received guidelines from the authorities that we had to follow: for instance, all the employees in the same room have to wear face masks and keep 2 meters distance from each other, and they have to wash their hands every time they get out and get into the grow room or the facility itself. Complying with these guidelines has proved to be challenging for us, as this is not how we used to work: we value teamwork, and all the employees are usually close to each other; they cannot even go to have lunch outside together, for instance. However, we managed to find a way, and we keep operating.”
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