How cannabis users can stay healthy around coronavirus
-Don't share joints, blunts, and bongs while coronavirus is spreading
The puff-and-pass traditions in cannabis consumption are time tested and loved by stoners. But passing around a joint is is a good way to spread any virus, including COVID-19. For now, stick to personals.
-Wash your hands!
Thorough handwashing really, really, really does help prevent transfer of coronavirus. Before you light up for a session or dig into a bag of doritos, make sure you wash your hands for a count of 20 seconds. If you need a frame of reference, just sing the chorus to "Africa" by Toto.
-Be aware of COVID-19 symptoms
Get yourself tested if you feel you have COVID-19 symptoms. These include:
- Shortness of breath
- Have been in contact with a COVID-19 patient, or traveled recently to an area with ongoing spread.
-How will cannabis product supplies be affected?
Legal cannabis products are produced within the state in which they’re sold. Because of this, the industry is not expecting a shortage of product due to import slowdowns.
That’s not to say there won’t be shortages or supply interruptions in certain products. Most vape batteries and wholesale vape cartridges are manufactured in China. Supply shipments have already seen slowdowns and interruptions due to quarantines impacting the Chinese manufacturing sector.
The US imports about 30 million Chinese vape pens and cartridges every month. Most shipments stopped due to the annual Chinese New Year shutdown in mid-January and haven’t fully resumed due to the coronavirus.
Much of the packaging materials utilized by cannabis companies is also manufactured in China, so a slowdown in those materials may result in a slowdown in stateside production.
The development of new cannabis-related products may be slowed as well, as designers and manufacturers can’t rely on a steady supply of wholesale products and materials from China right now.
-Will this affect 4/20 events?
Yes. Organizers of 4/20 celebrations, which are now less than six weeks away, are already considering how a wider outbreak of COVID-19 could impact their events.
One cannabis store manager said he was putting a food truck ordered for 4/20 on hold because of health concerns. 4/20 festivals were already changing and evolving due to the expansion of legalization. The coronavirus outbreak may further accelerate that change in ways that are hard to predict right now.
-What about legalization campaigns?
If COVID-19 spreads to more American cities, we may see more cancellations of larger events. Shopping malls and commercial districts may see a downturn in pedestrian traffic. That may affect the ability of signature gatherers to bank enough names to qualify legalization initiatives by a given deadline.
Our Super Tuesday article goes over the democratic candidates who are still in the race, and where they stand on cannabis.