A message from our Founder, Matt Krishnamachari
Wow, what a year for the cannabis industry! Those of us who have been in the cannabis business for a decade or more are consistently blown away by how fast cannabis is being accepted in mainstream society and the sweeping changes to legislation occurring across the country.
As supporters of the NCIA, NORML, and Weed for Warriors project, we are proud to be part of the movement to continue the acceptance and legalization of cannabis for both medical and recreational marijuana. As one of the oldest and most recognized retail stores in the country, we have seen firsthand for many years how cannabis can change lives, not only through the use of cannabis individually and socially but also through the economic benefits. According to Leafly, there are currently over 240,000 people employed in the legal cannabis industry.
Being labeled as an essential business in California has increased the caliber of talent and services available to us as an organization.
This access to talent will propel companies like Purple Lotus in the cannabis industry forward into 2021 as we utilize more standardized systems for business intelligence and data integration. A focus on current and new technologies to increase efficiencies and exposure to markets will allow companies who are prepared to take advantage of what has become a much different market this year.
While 2020 was an unprecedented challenging year for the world, there were many bright spots in Cannabis that should be celebrated before we move into 2021. Let’s review some of the major bright spots.
Essential Needs Business
This one was huge. Contrary to what many people think, cannabis companies have very high overhead in adhering to regulations and limited to no access to credit lines. Dispensaries shutting down during this time would have put most out of business. On March 20, 2020, California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, classified all cannabis operations as essential businesses that should remain open during the shutdown order issued the day before. This action was followed by 27 more states classifying cannabis as an essential business and expanding the ways customers and patients can receive cannabis. Cannabis retail stores such as Purple Lotus expanded their delivery areas, put contactless payments and purchase methods in place, created express curbside pick-up options, and led the way in the management of Covid regulations. One thing Cannabis companies are very good at is following government regulations!
During the 2020 General Election, a total of seven states approved measures to either decriminalize cannabis, legalize cannabis, or allow medical cannabis use. Following the 2020 general election, there are currently 48 states and four territories with some form of medical cannabis access, as well as 13 states and the District of Columbia that now permit adult-use of cannabis.
On December 3rd, 2020, the US House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, or MORE Act, which decriminalizes cannabis by removing it from the Federal Controlled Substances Act and clears the way to erase nonviolent federal marijuana convictions. The bill is currently unlikely to pass in the US Senate, but this was the first time a chamber of Congress has voted on federal marijuana decriminalization, much less approved it. This was a critical step for the industry as we continue to fight to be treated like other businesses regarding taxing, banking access, and federal acceptance. In addition, the incoming Biden-Harris Presidential Administration has pledged to support federal legalization of cannabis with Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris stating that “under a Biden-Harris administration, we will decriminalize the use of marijuana and automatically expunge all marijuana-use convictions and end incarceration for drug use alone.”
There is still much work to do to continue building the momentum that has been created through years of efforts to further access and protection of the rights of cannabis patients and recreational users. While each person and organization should research all organizations and contribute where they feel their resources are utilized best, Purple Lotus has worked with the following organizations and can speak to their commitment and results-based performance towards affecting cannabis change. The organizations we contribute to and vouch for are:
The Marijuana Policy Project www.mpp.org
National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) www.norml.org
National Cannabis Industry Association www.thecannabisindustry.org
Purple Lotus scrambled this year to uphold our commitment to our customers to provide cannabis excellence through convenient access to the largest variety of cannabis and un-matched customer service and experience. Our core values of Humility, Excellence, and Resilience produced the following exciting opportunities for us to support our Lotus Family during 2020 and moving forward. Some of the brightest examples are:
- Purple Lotus was able to provide a total of over $2 million in cash discounts to our loyalty member customers during 2020 due to us producing our own flower and foregoing the ROI on our cultivation investment to ensure we provided accessible, good cannabis in the form of our Astro branded flowers and Purple Lotus pre-rolls and cartridges.
- Purple Lotus launched the Purple Lotus Prime cartridge brand, designed to be as good or better than the major cartridge brands at a portion of the cost. This product was a great addition to the Purple Lotus Family’s selection and became by far our most popular cartridge within only a few months.
- Purple Lotus expanded our delivery service incredibly. Throughout the year, we substantially increased the areas and customers we serve while reducing our delivery times throughout the year. Currently, 20% of Purple Lotus customers are choosing delivery as a convenient option to get their cannabis. In early 2021, we will be launching a first of its kind mobile application that will provide the most convenient, quick, and intuitive way for our customers to experience cannabis excellence.
- Contactless payment and curbside service were implemented due to the pandemic and have become popular options to our customers. We are obsessed with our customers’ experience and could not be more thrilled about new options for them to experience cannabis excellence.
- During the year, Purple Lotus contributed over $8 million towards the economy in the form of taxes and charitable contributions while hiring amazing and wonderful team members.