COVID-19 and Cannabis

written by Alexandra Arnett

The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has got the entire globe on its toes. COVID-19 is a strain of the coronavirus that humans have no natural immunity to or vaccines for. The spread of this virus is airborne, through droplets from talking, sneezing, coughing, etc. and it can live up to 3 days on hard surfaces. 

It is important to take note of what the cannabis industry is doing to help slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19, for their employees and customers. As in many states, dispensaries in Oregon have been deemed an “essential” service, but they have to operate within guidelines provided by the Oregon Health Authority and OLCC. The first thing the OLCC enacted was the ability for dispensaries to conduct curbside pick up orders within 150 feet of their shop. The employee must take down the order, customer name and date of birth. When the customer has arrived the employee must verify it is the same person who ordered. In addition, for medical patients, the OLCC increased daily limits for flower purchases to 24 ounces per day but still no more than 32 ounces in a month.

On top of these new OLCC rules, dispensaries must follow the social distancing guidelines, maintaining 6 feet between employees and customers and limiting the number of people on the sales floor. Employees are also instructed to no longer allow smells of any product and to change gloves frequently, as well as maintaining frequent proper handwashing procedures.

When you are making your trips to dispensaries, please be mindful that these are stressful times for everyone, especially those in an “essential” service. Many dispensaries have been overwhelmed with customers and short-staffed, so please be kind to your neighborhood budtender and leave a tip if you can! 

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