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Coronavirus and Weed: The Panic Is Here

If you have turned on the news, looked online, or even just opened up your email – it is hard to avoid seeing something about the coronavirus aka COVID-19. Every day more and more schools are closing down, and businesses are encouraging employees to work from home if possible. The panic is sweeping the world and many stores are starting to have hoarders clean off their shelves. This makes sense for cleaning supplies and necessities like food. But, what about coronavirus and weed?

Empty shelf of store

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is actually just a type of virus. This specific virus is known as COVID-19, which got its name from it being coronavirus disease 2019 (CO from corona, VI from virus, and 19 from 2019). The virus was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has since spread worldwide.

It has officially been declared a pandemic and is a public health emergency. The virus spreads quickly and is highly contagious. There have been deaths associated with COVID-19, which is also common for other viruses as well such as influenza.

As of now, this virus is very new and there are a lot of unknowns surrounding it. However, older adults or those with immunocompromised conditions are most at risk for having severe cases of the disease. This means patients who have certain medical conditions where they have to take medications that suppress their immune system are more at risk of having a severe case because it is harder for their bodies to fight off the disease.

Another reason for concern is the long incubation period of 14 days – meaning that people can be contagious for up to two weeks, unlike the common flu where it is usually three to seven days. This is why all these acts of “social distancing” have started to ramp up.

Person holding hand sanitizer

The Coronavirus Panic

Because of all the reasons listed above, and the constant fear of this COVID-19 virus that the news cycle is perpetuating, panic has started to set in worldwide.

Many schools and universities are starting to close down for a few weeks to help prevent people from catching it. Countries have put travel restrictions in place as well. Here in the United States, President Trump recently announced some travel restrictions relating to Europe for the next thirty days.

Every day more and more businesses are sending out emails about how they are dealing with this outbreak. Many have implemented stricter cleaning protocols, emphasizing the importance of proper hygiene, and encouraging employees to work from home if possible. Many agencies are also telling people to stay home and avoid crowds to prevent the spread of the virus from getting worse.

It is easy to see why people are terrified and starting to panic. If you haven’t been in the stores lately or seen pictures online – many stores are sold out of cleaning and hygiene supplies such as disinfectant wipes, Lysol, gloves, face masks, and hand sanitizer.

Side note – although many people are wearing face masks there really is no need for them if you are using them to protect yourself from the virus (unless a health care professional has told you to wear them). The face mask really only protects you from infecting others if you are infected.

Blue and White Face Mask

All of this also has people panic buying things out of fear of possibly being isolated for a long time. Stores are quickly having items sold out and are having a hard time keeping their shelves stocked. These are things like toilet paper, water, meat, and other food items. These “coronavirus hoarders” are stocking up in case of quarantine. Many people are saying that they have never seen anything quite like this.

So, how is coronavirus affecting weed?

Coronavirus and Weed

With everything that is going on, it is no surprise that the coronavirus panic has hit the weed market too.

A lot of people are starting to stockpile weed in anticipation of needing to stay home for a long time. One reason for all the crowds is for medical marijuana patients who are concerned they will not be able to get their supply to help with their conditions. Patients cannot stock up on their normal prescription medications because of the current health care industry and insurance practices. However, medical marijuana does not have these same restrictions. People can buy more of it at a time. So, many people are trying to stock up in case they are unable to get to a dispensary later on.

On the other hand, there are a lot of recreational marijuana users who are looking to buy weed to just escape from all this craziness. Many people just want something to help them relax and forget all this coronavirus panic. Plus, if you have to stay home – why not enjoy yourself? You could even try out some new recipes that will help you chill out.

How Are Dispensaries Coping with It?

Many dispensaries are starting to get concerned about the safety of their customers. Especially those who have immunocompromised conditions. This is due to the high volume of patients with serious medical conditions that come to dispensaries.

Dispensaries have started increasing their sanitizing routines and ensuring that things such as touchscreens that are commonly shared are being cleaned more often. They are also encouraging people to shop online first to minimize the amount of contact they will have when they come to the dispensary. Some dispensaries have also started telling people to order online and an employee will take their items out to their car for them, so they don’t have to come in contact with larger crowds.

Other dispensaries are only giving their supplies to medical marijuana patients. Or they are restricting their recreational sales until the coronavirus panic dies down. This is also out of concern for the safety of their medical marijuana patients (and their staff) because they want to limit the number of people that come in contact with the store and with the patients. This is to help minimize further spread of COVID-19. It is fairly common to have a large crowd at these dispensaries, especially in states with recent legalization of recreational use.

Take Away

All in all, these times are starting to look a little worrisome, but don’t let the panic get to you. Take the proper precautions and practice good hygiene skills. Stay educated with what is going on in your area and stay safe.

As for coronavirus and weed, talk with your local weed stores to see what restrictions they are putting in place. Just remember, these restrictions are being put in place for safety concerns and will eventually die down.