The economic downturn of the pandemic has hurt retail stores, restaurants, and several other industries. But the cannabis business has been able to expand because people are smoking or eating more cannabis.
Chris Ball, founder and CEO of Ball Family Farms (BFF) in Los Angeles, says business is booming during the pandemic. BFF is even having trouble keeping up with consumer demand. Right now, Ball is targeting a possible expansion into Oklahoma City. The pandemic has also put a strain on other parts of expansion, including the process of getting a delivery license to sell directly to customers.
Ball’s road to success did come with hurdles. He says his company, which is Black-owned, does exist in part due to the Department of Cannabis Regulation’s Social Equity Program. But he notes that the program doesn’t provide enough resources to set up prospective business owners for success.
“The Social Equity Program and the DCR [Department of Cannabis Regulation] — this program is a step in the right direction. But there needs to be some sort of assistance. … There needs to be some direction to help these social equity applicants, and get to where they need to be and teach them how to run their cannabis business. And they just don’t have it right now.”