Rocky, troubling, tumultuous, uncertain, uncharted, unprecedented, and unpredictable times: due to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, we continue to see these ominous descriptions in coronavirus coverage. Society has had to adapt as this pandemic ravages our way of life. Businesses throughout the world are dealing with the economic fallout COVID-19 has caused, and the cannabis industry is no exception. Numerous cannabis companies, already plagued by financial woes prior to this pandemic, are struggling or are unable to perform contract obligations. A prime example of this is illustrated in the ongoing lawsuit between Kentucky hemp company Third Wave Farms, LLC (“Third Wave”) and Oregon CBD processor Pure Valley Solutions, LLC (“Pure Valley”). Third Wave sued Pure Valley to get out of their contract based on obligations Pure Valley allegedly was unable to meet and based on the force majeure clause of the contract coming into effect.
As the devastating impacts of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, continue to ripple throughout the United States, this country has reached a moral dilemma: to open certain facets of the economy and risk further infections and human lives, or maintain state or locally implemented lockdowns and risk further economic fallout.
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has impacted nearly every industry, and the cannabis industry is no exception. As the United States economy continues to experience instability and uncertainty, cannabis companies face increasingly difficult challenges, particularly since the legal cannabis industry remains in flux in most states. Some hemp and cannabis business owners have continued operations as usual, while others have closed their doors completely. It is difficult to navigate the cannabis industry during these stressful and unprecedented times, but cannabis lawyers are able to provide experienced counsel and support as needed. Below, we discuss four critical actions cannabis businesses should consider amidst the COVID-19 threat.