Coronavirus hasn’t kept some cannabis companies down: They’re staffing up even as unemployment in many other sectors soars.
Weed businesses around the country that were in strong financial shape heading into the pandemic are hiring additional workers in response to robust demand for marijuana products. Almost all states have allowed pot shops to remain open, even though vast swaths of the retail economy have been shuttered for weeks.
An initial coronavirus sales boom — sparked by panicked shoppers worried that dispensaries might be shuttered — quickly plateaued, but many shops report that they continue to do brisk business. Fewer shoppers are hitting stores, but they’re making bigger buys, and there’s been a surge in delivery sales. They are thriving even though they can’t touch federal rescue money to pay their bills or employees. Some lawmakers are pressing to include them, but they aren’t likely to get anywhere because of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s staunch anti-marijuana stance.
Companies POLITICO spoke to in more than a half-dozen states said they are adding thousands of workers despite the pandemic. In most cases, these hiring plans were already in the works prior to the public health crisis, but the economic paralysis gripping much of the rest of the economy largely hasn’t derailed those plans.