The coronavirus is a serious topic of concern for many individuals in the marijuana industry. The novel (new) coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has prompted global measures to avoid contracting the virus. Here’s what you need to know about marijuana and this coronavirus pandemic.
How Marijuana Users Can Protect Themselves Around Coronavirus
Don’t Share Marijuana
Unfortunately, it’s no longer safe to pass your joint, blunt, pipe, bong, dab rig, or vape pen to your friends. For now, it’s better to carry your own weed around and greet each other with an elbow bump or a friendly wave.
Wash Your Hands
Before engaging in any cannabis consumption activity, it’s crucial to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Respiratory viruses, like the coronavirus or the flu, can be spread by our hands. Hands can easily become magnets for viral particles. If soap and water are unavailable, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol is an alternative.
Sanitize Your Bong
If someone who is diagnosed with coronavirus or who has respiratory symptoms uses your bong, pipe, or other smoking accessory, sanitize it before you use it again!
First, clean your smoking accessory using your preferred method. Be sure to get out all the sticky resin, where germs can hide. After your piece is clean, sanitize it with 91% isopropyl alcohol. Fill the piece with alcohol, cover all openings, and shake it for several minutes to sanitize. Afterwards, rinse your piece with clean water.
Don’t submerge electronic smoking accessories in alcohol; that can damage electronic parts. Instead, change out the cartridge and clean the mouthpiece and any other parts with 91% isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab. You can finish it off with antibacterial soap and a clean water rinse.
Shopping at Dispensaries
Most dispensaries and cannabis manufacturers are putting policies in place to keep sick employees out of the workplace. If you’re still worried, here are some steps you can take:
- Check your dispensary’s website or give them a call to see what their policies are for sanitizing work areas and sick employees.
- Buy pre-packaged marijuana flower if possible—cannabis in open jars will be exposed to multiple customers and budtenders, making it more of a risk.
- Some dispensaries offer delivery or pre-paid pickup service. Take advantage of these programs if you can!
Don’t Believe The Hype
As the hype around CBD builds up, CBD companies are now claiming to produce products that can be a treatment for symptoms associated with respiratory conditions including coronavirus symptoms. These claims are flat out false and dangerous. There is no definitive research on CBD and coronavirus.
Be Careful With Marijuana Around Coronavirus
Smoking cannabis introduces hot smoke into your already irritated lungs when you’ve contracted a virus. That’s not something you want. THC and CBD have been shown to have pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and sleep-inducing characteristics, but smoking can defeat the purpose. Instead, try infusing cannabis into foods good for the flu or cold.
Take Precautions Around Others
Modifications to your everyday life can help curb the spread of coronavirus. Health experts recommend people stop shaking hands. Instead, a friendly wave or greeting can suffice. Self-quarantine isn’t necessary yet. Healthy individuals should take simple precautions when interacting with other people in public spaces.
Wear A Face Mask Only If You’re Sick
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing face masks only if you’re infected and risk spreading the virus. Healthcare professionals are also recommended to wear a mask when working in high-risk conditions. Healthy individuals should leave face masks for the infected. If you’re healthy, just make sure to wash your hands frequently and you’ll be safe.
Know The Symptoms
Be aware of the COVID-19 symptoms before you head to the emergency room. COVID-19 symptoms include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. People who have been in contact with a coronavirus patient or traveled recently to an area with ongoing spread should also be checked by a physician.
Have A Plan
People with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 symptoms should closely follow the CDC’s recommendation for these cases. Some people may choose a work-from-home option or a complete quarantine to avoid infecting others in the household.
How Does COVID-19 Affect The Cannabis Industry?
Cannabis industry insiders don’t expect the coronavirus’ import delays to affect the supply of cannabis itself. Legal states operate within their own jurisdiction meaning they produce their own marijuana without the need to import any from other states.
Other cannabis product sectors may be affected, however. Vape batteries and wholesale vape cartridges are produced in China. Due to the infection’s presence in China and the subsequent quarantines, the supply chains for these products have slowed down.
The United States imports about 30 million vape pens and cartridges from China every month. Shipments of these products stopped due to the Chinese New Year closedown in the middle of January and haven’t returned to normal due to COVID-19.
Dan Fung, CEO of American Made Vapes told Leafly, “a supply pinch is coming in weeks and will persist for months. Prices will rise. Shortages of packaging and vape pens could occur.”
Many packaging supplies for the marijuana industry come from Chinese companies. A delay in shipments could prompt a diminished production in legal states. Novel cannabis products can be slow to come out as well due to the delay in wholesale products from China.
How Will Coronavirus Affect 4/20 Celebrations?
It’s not a matter of if the coronavirus will affect 4/20 events, but how it will affect these events. 4/20 organizers are already considering how to deal with a breakout of COVID-19 and have a little over five weeks to come up with a plan.
Cannabis companies are holding off on booking food trucks and other event services for their 4/20 events over health concerns. Ultimately, areas of ongoing spread will be the most affected. Major mainstream festivals are already rescheduling events in the spring for the fall.
How Will COVID-19 Affect Legalization Campaigns?
As coronavirus concerns spread to more cities, more event cancellations will come. Large gatherings of any kind will reduce turnout at commercial centers and drive down the number of people outside. Reduced pedestrian traffic could affect the ability of signature gatherers of legalization initiatives to get enough signatures to qualify before a deadline.
Cannabis Training University’s 2020 legalization initiative blog post gives you the breakdown of all the state legalization efforts aiming to make the November 2020 ballot.
For more up-to-date information about developments in the marijuana industry and the latest marijuana news, follow Cannabis Training University’s blog and sign up for our online cannabis college to take your learning to the next level.