In recent years, there has been more and more interest in the cannabis supply chain: its legalities, its ethics and a push towards better traceability. As a result of its legal implications (as the general public consumption is legal in some countries and states, and not others), the cannabis supply chain is a complex and unique supply chain to deal with.
As a result, we need to take improved measures to strengthen it during COVID-19.
More cannabis demand, but reduced ability to supply
The cannabis supply chain is disjointed as a result of confusing legalities. This means that it’s often difficult – if not impossible – to work out where exactly the cannabis is coming from.
As with alcohol, cannabis is “recession-resistant.” So, while other stocks and products are plummeting, it is experiencing increased demand and an upward trend.
Of course, this is placing immense pressure on its supply chain, especially as a result of the siloed and disjointed nature of cannabis supply chains. Transportation costs have increased significantly, and it’s harder than ever to transport product across borders.
Some cannabis companies have lost employees to isolation and quarantine, resulting in a reduced capacity for production. In addition, as a result of reduced supply, it’s entirely possible that prices may spike. Some cultivators may even be stocking up as a result of fear of increased prices.
Many cannabis resources also come from China, which has posed significant problems for those sourcing.
Better traceability, transparency and forecasting
To ensure survivability, the cannabis supply chain needs to implement better forecasting and traceability. Companies should know exactly where they are sourcing from and how they might be affected by COVID-19.
Blockchain technology is an ideal candidate for better traceability. It’s permanent, secure, and can be cost efficient, providing massive long term savings for even small businesses.
Forecasting is another aspect that is an absolute necessity in the cannabis supply chain. Through the implementation of artificial intelligence, companies could move towards better planning practices. This will ensure that they are better prepared for pandemics like COVID-19. Some companies are already moving to automation in the face of the COVID-19 employment crisis.
Blockhead Technologies has created blockchain-backed platforms designed for tracking your data, in supply chain management, fuel and a variety of other industries. You can find out more here.