It wouldn’t be a story about 2020 without mentioning COVID-19. Merle says the pandemic “definitely impacted” Floyd’s business, pointing out that the convenience retailers carrying the company’s products were rightfully dedicated to keeping employees and shoppers safe during the pandemic. With the majority of its business taking place in brick-and-mortar shops, Hemp Fusion also took a hit, says Mitchell, who noted “footfall at retail was drastically reduced April through June.”

Not surprisingly, as the country locked down, those retail sales often moved online. “The shift was obvious,” Michell says. “People couldn’t go in the stores or didn’t feel comfortable going into stores, so they bought online.”

CBD manufacturers are confident that those sales will ultimately return to retail. Some already have. “If you look at Nielsen and IRI, the category’s up,” says Martin. “When consumers walk into a trusted retailer where they’re able to buy tobacco, alcohol or over-the-counter medications, something like CBD is advantaged.”

“I know that retail will be back in full force,” says Mitchell. “It might be changed, but it will be back because people love to shop, touch and feel. That will never stop.”