CanMar Recruitment’s CEO and Founder KD Khairah discusses how the Cannabis Industry is coping during COVID-19

At a time where most non-essential businesses have been shut down, Cannabis businesses have been deemed “essential” and are continuing operations to support the high demand.

Despite lockdown restrictions, there are still over 800 jobs in Canada’s cannabis market, relating to cultivation, production, growing, marketing and sales. The need for skilled workers, and temporary staff is at an all-time high in order to support the production needs of medical and recreational sectors.

The Canadian cannabis industry has felt the pressure and strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has mostly managed to remain resilient and use their resources to the fullest by opting for delivery and online orders. If there’s a will, there’s a way, and this industry knows how to find it and execute to help ensure consumer’s needs are met and the industry continues to flourish. We are not at a standstill, we need to look at this pandemic as an opportunity to revamp and re structure our businesses to enable us to come up with innovate and customized ways to provide our services to the community, and continue to build the industry, this is the birth of a new era.

Khairah sees several trends emerging from the market correction, including:

• High demand for Temp Staffing
• Online and delivery options
• The future of the industry

How is the Cannabis Industry staffing their companies amidst this pandemic?
Since the rise of this pandemic, we have seen a string of layoffs, and a rise in the demand for temporary staff.

There has been an increased demand for customer-facing retail and delivery roles, as well as warehouse and manufacturing opportunities. Companies are ramping up hiring to ensure existing employees aren’t feeling the strain of the increase in production, and ensuring they are fully staffed to provide breaks for their employees, and ensure there is coverage for those who are feeling unwell.

To help with this demand and reduce costs associated with on-boarding, companies are considering utilizing staffing agencies to help build their teams. Agencies can help supply temporary man power with options for temp-to-perm hires, allowing you to staff now, but also gives you the option to keep them later to support with the increase in business post pandemic. This is great option to help plan for the future and keep your pipeline warm while you meet the demands of today.

What is the future of online ordering and delivery of cannabis in the industry?
Cannabis retailers are working quickly to reassign employees to new tasks to cope with the rush of online orders and curbside deliveries amid the pandemic.

We are looking at a reality where e-commerce is going to be the majority of commerce. We all need to stay ahead of the shift and equip our businesses with tools and resources to thrive in the online space.

Implementing a delivery system allows your business to go everywhere your consumers are, it satisfies that “Amazon/eBay-age” desire for convenience. Consumers are favouring the new process, moving forward they will most likely be choosing online vs. in-line post pandemic.

What might the future of the Cannabis Industry look like post pandemic?
Many companies emerged too quickly out of the gates when the industry first began legalizing cannabis, they were spread very thinly without growing their existing business. The effects of the pandemic have accelerated the demise of some companies, but on the flip side it has created opportunities for stronger companies to flourish
The effects of the pandemic will linger and test the operations of many companies. Those with the resources to manage the economic downturn and restructure business plans to ensure efficiency in delivery of products will be well-positioned to lead the industry into its next phase. The smart executives are retooling their game and are remaining laser-focused on the future expansion of the industry
Now is the time to start warming up the pipeline and preparing for roles that will need filling once the industry picks up to supply the increasing demands.

One of the most significant developments that came out of the pandemic is the growing recognition that cannabis businesses provide important services to the community. This recognition can bolster the movements to legalize medical cannabis, and help change the negative stigma associated with cannabis consumers. This recognition will help pave the way for cannabis companies to move into the medical sector and have mainstream acceptance in a stronger and financially healthier market

They say the grass is greener where you water it, (or in our case grow it) and other industries are growing “green” with envy of the future of cannabis. The industry will have their mess to clean up from the residual effects of the pandemic, as will every other industry in the world, but cannabis will lead the way in the economic recovery with their consistent and continuous increase in sales, as well as their new-found acknowledgement and acceptance of being deemed an essential service. With the new age of online ordering and delivery, the industry will continue to soar to new heights.

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