Photo: © Ken Blaze

The power of digital media has perhaps never been as apparent as these past few weeks, as the news continues to change hour by hour amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

One notable example happened in the Cannabis Dispensary team’s home state of Ohio. Many voters had already gone to bed when Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine made a late-night decision to postpone the state’s primary elections the night before they were to take place to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

Media outlets scrambled to update citizens in the state, especially those nimble online resources that could report the news the instant it broke.

Cannabis Dispensary has also been keeping you updated with the latest COVID-19 news and what the pandemic means for the industry on CannabisDispensaryMag.com, and through its e-newsletter, social media channels and webinars. We answered questions such as: Are cannabis businesses considered essential in states with stay-at-home measures in place?; Does Small Business Administration disaster assistance apply to cannabis companies?; Have dispensary sales increased or decreased?; and How have dispensary businesses adapted to and been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic?

We’ve provided an essential service to an essential industry, with both big-picture, what-does-this-all-mean articles and close-ups of the innovative ways dispensaries are adapting with curbside pickup, delivery, fast-tracking drive-thru plans and communicating with customers while keeping social distance policies. Dispensaries, thanks to savvy leaders and the incredible efforts of budtenders, are doing all they can to make sure customers and patients have access to cannabis during this difficult and unpredictable time.

Though the fallout from coronavirus has hijacked normal news cycles, our team has continued to have its pulse on the industry, continuing to share important updates through series such as “Legalization Watch,” a state-by-state look at the latest efforts to end prohibition, and “The Starting Line,” which examines dispensary launches across the U.S. and Canada.

The dispensary marketplace has always had a dire need for up-to-the-moment coverage of a constantly evolving regulatory landscape that varies by state.

This virus has demonstrated how fast the world, and news, moves, and the importance of our role in bringing you daily updates on its impact on the cannabis industry. Plus, the dispensary marketplace has always had a dire need for up-to-the-moment coverage of a constantly evolving regulatory landscape that varies by state, and our robust online presence has become increasingly vital to our mission to serve and educate cannabis retailers.

Because of this, we are expanding our digital resources, where we can most effectively serve your needs, as you and your teams have done for your patients and customers throughout this global crisis.

As part of our revamped digital efforts, we will be tapping our extensive experience in providing industry-leading education to bring you webinars, virtual conferences and other digital products to help you and your teams navigate the ongoing challenges and opportunities as the industry, and the world, continues to change. Keep checking our websites and e-newsletters for updates.

We are especially looking forward to seeing you in person again at our annual Cannabis Conference, which was postponed to protect the health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors, speakers, employees and the hotel staff. The event has been rescheduled for Sept. 1-3, 2020, in Las Vegas. The fall conference comes at an even more critical time as the industry emerges from this global pandemic and the resulting economic fallout. Many lessons have been learned, and while these lessons have been necessary for many businesses’ survival, they also will help build stronger companies and supply chains, and a stronger industry for the future.

Until then, please stay safe and healthy. And, just as you are socializing with friends and family online, please connect with us digitally, too, at CannabisDispensaryMag.com.

Michelle Simakis, Editor, msimakis@gie.net