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January 28, 2022 ADVERTISE

U.S. Hemp Could Gain From Corona Virus

Those within the U.S. cannabis industry concerned that President Trump’s trade war with China would present significant difficulties to their sector are finding distraction, if not relief, from an unlikely source– the now-global coronavirus outbreak. As a major supplier of cut-rate hemp fiber and CBD for the world market, China has proven stiff competition for United States’ suppliers both domestically and internationally. The disruption of that supply chain by the coronavirus outbreak means that U.S. producers could finally gain an advantage in domestic and international markets.

This does not mean that there won’t still be a significant downside to slowed or stalled production in China due to the necessity of managing this new, virulent strain of coronavirus identified as COVID-19.  The majority of parts that go into manufacturing vaporizer devices, greenhouse components, LED lighting, and products with Chinese-made steel and aluminum packaging are all sourced in China. Delays in accessing these components could cause serious issues for businesses who rely on their ready availability to meet the demands of consumers in a competitive market. The impact will primarily be felt in the hardware manufacturing sector, as a number of factories supplying vaporizer components are in viral “hot zones” in China, and have been shut down until the virus is brought under control. 

About 90 percent of vaporizing products are manufactured in Shenzen, China, where manufacturers were hit hard by a sharp drop in demand brought on by the vape health scare that began dominating headlines in fall of 2019. This created a glut of vaping hardware, though this glut has been all but exhausted by rising demand due the shutdown of multiple Shenzen factories. How long these facilities will stay offline is unknown, as China remains the epicenter of the disease that the World Health Organization maintains has not yet reached pandemic status.

Some CBD product manufacturers in the U.S. have been quick to pivot their marketing campaigns to promote cannabidiol’s potential as a preventative for coronavirus due to its ability to promote restful sleep (important for immune function) and as a treatment for coronavirus symptoms. While this practice is not yet widespread, it will undoubtedly draw considerable ire and negative attention from the FDA, which has already gotten more serious about cracking down on unsubstantiated health claims in the CBD industry. 

While there may yet be a plausible medicinal use for cannabidiol in the unfolding drama of COVID-19, the industry remains focused on coronavirus’s impact on the market for cannabis and cannabis-derived products. Financial markets across the globe (which as of February 26, 2020 were experiencing a definitive downward turn) have been far from immune from the rising hysteria that a pandemic is inevitable. What this means for the hemp industry, and so many others who trace the origins of their manufacturing pipelines back to China, is a question whose answer may yet be many months down the road.

Julie Aitcheson

Julie Aitcheson is a freelance writer who has had articles published in Echo Quarterly, Communities Magazine (formerly Talking Leaves Magazine), Isabella, and All Things Girl. She received a full fellowship to the 2013 Stowe StoryLabs and won second place in the 2014 San Miguel Writers’ Conference nonfiction writing competition. She has published two young adult novels and is currently at work on her next book.

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The Hemp Market Report will target news from the fast growing worlds of cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp. As a sister site to the Green Market Report, HMR will cover financial stories, but also take a look at lifestyle news as well. The Hemp Market Report will also publish sponsored content as we seek to expand our content offerings.


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