As the COVID-19 pandemic forces conferences to cancel worldwide, a cannabis data firm is bringing the global pot industry together in a virtual meeting to tackle the economic impacts of the health crisis.
New Frontier Data said it will host the Global Cannabis Town Hall: New Economic Realities, a one-day online conference with various international partners on April 2.
For an industry that’s already been struggling with declining stocks and near-frozen capital markets, the one-day virtual meeting will focus on how companies can weather further economic hardships related to the novel coronavirus.
Since COVID-19 began spreading outside of Wuhan, China on January 17, the Global Cannabis Stock Index — which represents the overall publicly-traded cannabis market — has fallen 58 per cent.
“With so much change happening so quickly, we felt an obligation to bring forth the scientific and economic facts to help industry stakeholders through this unprecedented crisis,” New Frontier CEO Giadha Aguirre de Carcer said in a statement.
“We will provide real-time visibility into the emergence of new regional norms for the global cannabis industry, which is forecast to stand strong amidst the current socioeconomic global crisis.”
— New Frontier Data (@NewFrontierData) March 20, 2020
Cannabis industry braces for COVID-19 impact
New Frontier said it’s collaborating with various cannabis conference organizers from every corner of the globe to bring the industry together. Those promoters include: ExpoCannaBiz (Latin America), CannaTech (Middle East and Asia Pacific), New West Summit (North America), RASB Media (Europe) and CannabisBPO.
According to the press release, each organization will present a market update on the region they represent, while also looking at the future socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 on the industry in each region.
New Frontier said other attendees will include regional industry experts, global economists, government regulators, scientific researchers and leading cannabis operators.
However, a spokesperson couldn’t confirm which cannabis companies will be partaking in the event as details are still being finalized.
Each speaker will expand on the regional risks and opportunities brought on by current economic realities, exploring anticipated effects on cannabis policy, regional markets and businesses.
Despite the current black cloud hanging over global financial markets, a Bank of America analyst noted this week how a recent spike in cannabis spending across North America bodes well for the industry.
According to Bloomberg, analyst Christopher Carey said a surge in demand for cannabis during COVID-19 public lockdowns implies the drug is recession-proof similar to alcohol and tobacco.
The virtual town hall will be moderated by CNBC’s Tim Seymour and former Fox News reporter Carl Cameron. Leading cannabis genetics researcher Dr. Reggie Gaudino is the only confirmed speaker so far. He will address the myths-versus-facts of cannabis and CBD’s anti-viral and anti-inflammatory effects on the novel coronavirus.
Top photo illustration via Wikimedia Commons and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention