The coronavirus pandemic and resulting stay-at-home orders impacted all types of businesses worldwide. The situation was particularly tricky for the CBD industry, which was already grappling with legal inconsistencies and rampant misinformation in the marketplace, then suddenly had a flood of would-be consumers looking for options that might keep them healthy.
While licensed medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries were classified as essential in Colorado and allowed to operate through the stay-at-home order (while observing certain safety measures), smoke shops and vape shops were not. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, a CBD retailer could only be classified as critical if CBD was its primary business; carrying some CBD products in a store wasn’t enough. As a result, many shops focused on e-commerce as the safest way to continue sales, even if that meant shipping to people who were only blocks away.