The Coronavirus is Impacting the Cannabis Industry

Delays in product orders are having an effect on the vaping industry, which outsources many of its products from Chinese factories.

Vape retailers say the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting business due to serious delays on product orders.

Many of the companies have their components shipped from Chinese manufacturers and are saying the virus is slowing things down. California-based ProVape says they’ve been facing backorders

“We are constantly told that products are on backorder, and are encouraged to stock up with vape hardware to avoid any issues in coming months,” Art Harutyunyan ProVape Executive Art Harutyunyan told Mugglehead.

90% of vape hardware distributed worldwide is reportedly manufactured by Chinese factories. Canada-based cannabis hardware supplier Feather Co. reportedly sources the majority of its products from China as well, and is seeing shipment delays of 2-4 weeks due to coronavirus-related factory closures.

Feather’s CEO Pat Lehoux says consumer-supplier relationships have been the key to avoiding long slowdowns for the company.

“When it comes to the delay a customer will actually get when dealing with a Chinese company, it really comes down to the relationship you have with the manufacturer,” Lehous told Bloomberg. “If you’re going through a third party and you don’t have that close relationship, I think the delays will be more severe.”

Curaleaf Holdings, the largest cannabis company in the U.S., recently stocked up on five months worth of vapes. A company executive says that other companies with less funding might not be so fortunate.

“I’m not particularly worried although I do think that some companies that were running thin on capital and couldn’t store inventory the way Curaleaf can, I think they will be faced with shortages of cartridges,” said Curaleaf Executive Chairman, Boris Jordan.

The COVID-19 outbreak has affected 80 countries worldwide. As of March 4, the virus has sickened more than 94,000 people and has killed more than 3,000 others since the first cases were reported in Wuhan, China in Dec. 2019.