Pineapple, Inc.'s CEO On The Future Of The Cannabis Industry, Employee Safety, And United Fronts
This special presentation from Pineapple, Inc. is from Benzinga’s June 1 Virtual Cannabis Capital Conference. Click here for more coverage of this event, with presentations from some of the top CEOs, investors and lenders in the cannabis space.
As America attempts to gradually recover from COVID-19, its return to “normalcy” will not come without a few long-lasting changes.
Pineapple, Inc. (OTC:PNPL), a cannabis company including its affiliates (Pineapple Express, Pineapple Wellness, & THC) headquartered in Los Angeles, is among the companies that have quickly adapted to this changing world.
Shawn Credle, CEO & President of Pineapple, Inc., joined Benzinga’s Virtual Cannabis Capital Conference to discuss how his company has been dealing with COVID, as well as, how he sees the retail landscape going forward.
“Dealing with COVID has been challenging, but not necessarily from an operational standpoint as we were already primed to accept this challenge a year prior to the pandemic,” said Credle.
The company was already offering delivery services to its consumers. Pineapple, Inc.’s potent brand, Pineapple Express, offers free cannabis delivery to the Greater Los Angeles area (under 2 hours in most cases). Due to the demand caused by COVID, Pineapple Express has increased its fleet to almost 20 vehicles in March alone.
“I see the [difference in] consumer habits because of COVID, not just with cannabis, but most consumer purchasing habits have shifted to the delivery format. More and more consumers are wanting the convenience of having their products delivered home especially with COVID keeping more brick and mortars closed and/or people wanting to lessen their risk of outside exposure.”
The conversion of folks going from brick and mortar to home delivery has increased and is still growing as people are realizing that with Pineapple Express, they can get cannabis delivered for free, on demand, and either at or below brick and mortar costs as well as [we] accepting electronic payments, said Credle.
Safety As The Top Priority
As waves of the coronavirus begin to resurge, cities like Los Angeles are considering a second formal stay-at-home order. Questions around how businesses will navigate this second wave are circling among both business leaders and consumers. And seeing as lockdowns are only expected to continue, how will companies adapt to the new norm?
For Pineapple, Inc., the CEO expressed the importance of the safety of the company’s delivery drivers.
“We’re trying to get ahead of the uncertainty and from the curfews that have been issued, so I’m pulling [our drivers] back a few hours early just so they can get back to base, change over, and get home safely before any curfews are actually in effect. We’re also letting our consumers know about any pending delays but also stating that we’re with them and we want them to also remain safe.”
A Unified Front
In a panel discussion with Pineapple, Inc., Fire & Flower Holdings (OTCQX:FFLWF), Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE:CGC), and The Liaison Group, the group discussed the cannabis industry’s need to prove itself as an industry that’s here for the long haul.
Part of this journey to being fully-accepted, according to Credle, is the industry’s need to stand together during times of social unrest.
“I put out statements from the corporation about these things because it’s our corporate and social responsibility and I think it’s very important for the cannabis industries, especially leaders of our respective companies, to also rise even higher because it shows that this industry is for real. We are here to stay. This will be a bonafide industry and I think that starts with us … banning together and having a unified front for this industry.”
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