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Why Cannabis is Essential and How COVID-19 is Affecting the Industry

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To call the current scenario the world is facing challenging and worrisome would be an understatement. With the looming threat of COVID-19 becoming an actual onslaught, the world as we knew it has changed. This pandemic has affected every corner of the world and has left no country untouched.

Social distancing is being held as a remarkably simple way to stop the virus from communal spreading. Governments have divided goods into essentials and non-essentials. This demarcation helps maintain the safety of the outlets that have people thronging them in hoards. Cannabis has made the cut as an essential good along with groceries and pharmaceutical products.

The reason behind this is pretty simple. Marijuana is no longer considered only for smoking up as a recreational activity. Its medical benefits are well known across the world. With researches and established organizations touting its goodness, the pot as you knew it has seen a makeover.

Naturally, it has become an integral part of medication for many. Its pain-alleviating properties make it a star component for various medications. So it was no wonder that marijuana stores, as reported by a Las Vegas dispensary, saw a huge surge in sales just before the quarantine set in.

COVID-19 has changed the consumption pattern of marijuana amongst its regular users. From as early as February 2020, people had started stockpiling on essentials as they feared an imminent lockdown. Cannabis was considered to be essential for medical and recreational purposes.

Canada, for example, has joined the group of countries that have deemed it as such. It has declared cannabis to be an “essential” to the country’s healthcare infrastructure, and cannabis stocks are seeing a subsequent increase.

While 2019 was a questionable year for cannabis stocks, profits it definitely soared in 2020. As proclaimed by TheCannabisRadar, California and Washington saw a more than 100 percent increase in sales in March 2020. Cannabis outlets and dispensaries saw a rush starting in January 2020.

This was basically people stocking up on their medical marijuana or regular pot for any potential quarantine-like situation. Now that this threat has become a reality, it seems like the business is only set to grow more.

The mere fact that cannabis was deemed essential as a medicinal substance tells you the importance of it in the world market. As outlets adapt to the new situation at hand, we are seeing more and more cannabis retailers moving towards innovative delivery methods.

While some countries choose to keep the cannabis market open for all through at-home delivery, some do not agree. The frenzied stockpiling of goods such as this would only lead to a shortage where it is actually needed. Therefore, some states like Chicago are limiting the sales to medical marijuana only.

The cannabis producers are prospering for sure. But how is the cannabis industry helping the COVID-19 crisis?

As all brands big and small are stepping up their game, coming forward with the production of various goods which medical facilities have a high demand for, marijuana companies are not far behind. For example, many cannabis companies are using their production facilities to mass-produce sanitizers, a product that has a global shortage at the moment.

  • Seabedee, a CBD wellness company is producing and offering discounted sanitizers to its customers. Further, it is donating 5 percent of its profits to a COVID-19 relief fund.
  • The Commonwealth Dispensary Association (CDA) in Massachusets declared that its facilities will produce sanitizers that will be donated to the local hospitals in need. One of the largest cannabis producers in Massachusetts, Revolutionary Clinics, is in this wake producing hand sanitizers at its Fitchburg facility and donating it to local hospitals.
  • Organigram, a Canadian cannabis company is donating ethanol from its production facilities which could be used in the production of hand sanitizers.

Associations like the CDA are coming forward as much needed rays of hope during such trying times. The fact that the cannabis industry and its biggest players are joining hands to work for society speaks a lot about their commitment and authenticity. They’re pivoting to produce products that help the fight against COVID-19 using the same facilities they have without any significant changes or loss.

As this health crisis worsens, we as individuals need to be more vigilant about our surroundings and habits. Coronavirus affects the immune system and the respiratory system. It is all the more necessary that recreational uses of marijuana are supervised carefully by everyone involved. It might actually be advisable to avoid it completely during such uncertain times.

If you are not a medical marijuana user, it would be better for your health to shift towards tinctures and edibles while the COVID-19 pandemic lasts. Ingested marijuana does not affect the lungs and will not put you at risk. Moreover, you can also monitor your dosage using the CBD/THC dosage calculator available online.

Needless to say, these are unprecedented circumstances. As the world comes together to fight off this novel virus, each of us has our own roles to play here. Keeping ourselves sanitized and our family protected by practicing social distancing is important to contain the spread of the infection and keeping ourselves safe. Follow the guidelines of the CDC to keep a check on yourself.

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