Market Overview

Half of Industry Cannabis Executives Slash Revenue Forecasts Due to COVID-19, Reallocating Marketing Budgets to Digital Media and Virtual Events


CHICAGO, June 30, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Cannabis executives report slashing budgets and significant disruption to suppliers and services during the COVID-19 crisis, according to a new report published by Cannabis Business Executive (CBE) and cannabis market research firm High Yield Insights. Business-to-business transactions, already complicated by restrictive banking and finance regulations, have been further challenged as 45% of executives report issues receiving payments from customers.

While being deemed an "essential business" in most states has helped sustain the industry, 53% of service and equipment providers expect revenue shortfalls and 49% of "plant-touching" businesses have cut year-end forecasts. Remaining budgets for travel and live events have been outright canceled by some (33%) while other cannabis companies are reallocating to virtual online events (33%) or web-based media (26%). The joint report captures the sentiments of over 700 decision-makers in the cannabis industry prior to and during the coronavirus outbreak.

Executives among a diverse cross-section of ancillary service providers and licensees entered the year with bullish expectations. Among licensees, such as cultivators, processors, and dispensary operators, an overwhelming 74% expected a year-over-year revenue increase along with 56% of service providers.

Several months later, in the midst of the pandemic roiling the country, forecasts have been slashed despite speculation that cannabis could be a "recession-proof" industry. While consumer demand remains high, executives are struggling to adjust to unprecedented business challenges in areas such as supply chains, which 63% report having been somewhat or significantly disrupted. Added to the pressure to nimbly adjust to preventative measures like social distancing, many companies have been forced to do more with less. Although 47% plan to maintain pre-COVID staffing levels, 39% of executives intend to reduce headcount.

"We surveyed industry executives early in the year looking for benchmarks on strategic issues like revenue forecasts and growth drivers," says Mike Luce, co-founder of High Yield Insights. "I was excited to share the results in collaboration with Rob Meagher, CBE Press's President and Editor-in-Chief. Gathering quantitative data on the perspectives and purchasing decisions of executives can be tremendously challenging. As we began analyzing the results in March, we saw an opportunity to deliver more timely value by also asking executives about the impact of COVID-19. By circling back with a second survey, we created a unique before and after look at the mindset of industry influencers and decision-makers. We hope the data combined with interviews by leaders such as Nancy Whiteman of Wana Brands, Kris Krane of 4Front Ventures, and Tom Siciliano of Elixinol informs difficult strategic choices executives are being forced to make."

According to Meagher, "Prior to the COVID crisis, the cannabis industry was already dealing with a number of impediments to sustain its meteoric growth, including slow movement on federal policy, a capital shortage, and social equity concerns. When the coronavirus took hold, those challenges looked minuscule by comparison. This joint report provides a real-time snapshot of how leading industry executives are responding to the pandemic, along with hard data derived from our industry executive readership to provide concrete steps companies can take to survive this unprecedented threat. It also highlights the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that is driving one of the, if not the fastest growing industry in the nation and abroad."

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About High Yield Insights

High Yield Insights is led by industry veterans of brand strategy, consumer insights, market intelligence, and analytics. Supported by a team of analysts and research professionals, leadership combines a unique skill set and practice expertise drawn from decades in consumer-facing industries. High Yield Insights conducts exclusive, independent research on cannabis consumers and the cannabis industry, providing data-driven insights and fostering fact-based strategic decisions.

The joint report in collaboration with Cannabis Business Executive marks the first-ever quantitative and qualitative investigation of challenges and opportunities for industry decision-makers. Future reports will continue to provide actionable data designed to aid executives in the cannabis industry chart a path forward in an environment of uncertainty.
For more information about High Yield Insights, send inquiries to:

About Cannabis Business Executive

CBE Press LLC (CBE), founded in 2014, is an integrated business to business media company serving the cannabis industry. CBE's mission is to provide cannabis industry leaders with utilitarian information to help them run their businesses successfully and advance the cannabis industry by helping its leaders stay abreast of emerging trends that impact their long-term success. CBE currently publishes and distributes CBE Week and CBE Policy & Legal e-mail newsletters to 53,000 plus subscribers each week.

CBE distinguishes itself as a premier Cannabis Industry information authority by developing original content, aggregating news content and partnering with recognized industry experts who contribute thought-provoking feature articles, news, opinions and insights, events and e-media based on their areas of expertise. CBE provides its readers with business intelligence and the knowledge they need to succeed in new and changing markets.

For more information about CBE Press LLC, send inquiries to: or call 703.992.6779 or visit

Media Contact:
Natalie Bauer Luce


SOURCE Cannabis Business Executive

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