Dispensaries Operating During Quarantine
by Justin May for Loud News Net
COVID-19 has turned the world upside down, including the cannabis industry. Take 4/20 for instance. Typically a social holiday to celebrate with friends, this year the national stoners day simply had users confined to their homes. No passing of joints or bong rip competitions, just a few Instagram Live sessions, and the power of the imagination. The nationwide quarantine has caused stoners all over to make major adjustments to their plans, not just on 4/20. Likewise, dispensaries around the country are learning to adapt during a time when their patients and clients are quarantined.
Weed Becomes Essential
Grab and go
During quarantine, several states have deemed dispensaries an essential business in locations where cannabis is legal and available for purchase. This is a huge win for smokers as well as those who work and invest in the cannabis industry. The initial panic of possibly running out of weed and having to stock up is now gone. Though leaving the house is still a huge risk, and not currently recommended, being able to grab some bud when dry is a plus.
With dispensaries remaining opening, you should be able to grab your essentials with no problem. Looking deeper, however, how else are dispensaries being affected by this?
Which States Are Essential?
Thankfully, the majority of legal cannabis states are considering dispensaries an essential business. There are, however, several small details that differ between each state.
Some states such as California, for instance, may have differing laws based on counties. Santa Clara County being the perfect example, as sales have been limited to curb side pick up. In totality, most states where you were legally able to purchase cannabis products prior to quarantine are still able to serve your recreational or medical needs.
How Dispensaries Are Adjusting
And the media hype against flower smokers
Enter any cannabis dispensary today and you’re likely to find long lines, with plenty of space between each customer. Dispensary owners are finding new ways to maintain business while keeping patrons and staff safe. As mentioned above, Santa Clara County has limited cannabis purchases to curb side pick up only. This is just one way dispensaries are changing to accommodate safety precautions.
Workers can also be found in masks and gloves throughout their shift. This is now become commonplace amongst most essential businesses. It appears one of the greatest issues dispensaries are facing is dealing with recent media suggesting that smoking, whether tobacco or marijuana, can increase risks of infection. This leads to our next point.
Edibles Over Flower?
As news makes its way across the nation that smoking cannabis may increase risk factors for COVID-19, both dispensaries and stoners have had to adjust. Many dispensaries are increasing the amount of edibles they have in stock as patients are becoming more and more likely to opt for edibles over flower. This may actually have a huge long term effect on cannabis culture. Edibles have long held a stigma within cannabis culture, You either love ‘em or hate ‘em. Some have horror stories, others swear by them. With the necessity for some to make the switch, there’s a great opportunity for awareness regarding edible consumption such as learning your tolerance levels and adapting to micro-dosing.
The Path Forward
So where do dispensaries go from here?
The truth is nobody quite knows yet long term. Short term, the best and most universal solution seems to be dispensaries continuing operation with new or limited rules. Curbside pickup is likely to become far more commonplace as it offers the most direct way of keeping safe distance while making a purchase. Additionally, the idea of making dispensary reservations has been bounced around, and seems to be picking up steam as a long term solution to keep customers engaged and safe at once.
All in all, the main thing dispensaries should be, and are worried about, is the safety of their staff as well as their customers. As time moves on, new methods of safely consuming cannabis will surely make their way to the light. In the meanwhile, stay safe and stay medicated!
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