March 11, 2020

 

With the cancellation of Spannabis this morning, much to the lamentation of the attendees, it made me realize that this pandemic is going to have an impact on many industries, including our own.  Whether or not you believe that novel coronavirus is a threat to your own well being, you have likely already been impacted by the side effects of the current situation. With social media being flooded with jokes about toilet paper panic purchasing, it is easy to make light of it all, but the truth of the matter is that we are just starting to feel the ripples of disruption in North America.  While all of this is going on most of us seem to be left scratching our heads and wondering how this is going to affect us over the next few months, myself included, so let’s look at what we do know so far together. 

Spannabis being cancelled a mere 48 hours before the event has thrown thousands of stoners plans askew, and left them wondering what to do with themselves.  Seed breeders, extraction experts, growers and consumers alike from around the globe who had invested thousands are now being turned away. Aside from lost revenue, there are missed networking opportunities which may have led to new and exciting ideas, which may mean that we could see developmental delays in our industry.  With other events like the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin rescheduling for later this year, it has brought up the question of whether or not 420 celebrations will be cancelled. Dana Larsen has posted the following in regards to the annual event: 

“In regards to 420-2020. As of now we’re still moving forward with the protest.  However, we’re aware of the Covid situation, and we will make a final decision about 4/20 in early April.  If we do have to cancel, all booth reservation fees will be refunded. But this seems unlikely right now.”

 

When it comes to our own local celebration here in Victoria, so far we are still going ahead, although we will be encouraging basic safety measures such as refraining from sharing joints, bongs, pipes etc.  Proper handwashing and limiting physical contact with strangers will drastically cut your average protestors chances of contracting any virus. If you know that you are sick, stay at home, its as simple as that.  

Aside from public event cancellations we have already seen products being affected by factory shutdowns in China.  Even some products at the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club have been affected by the shortage of packaging, leaving local companies like Green Haired Freak Treats to scramble for alternatives.  People who vape as their main mode of consumption will be hit hardest likely, with batteries and wholesale cartridges coming largely from China. There are already reports of shortages so it is likely to be felt as soon as in the next few weeks and could last for months.  

There have been some fake reports  claiming CBD as a cure but these are entirely unfounded.  There are no treatments or vaccines for the virus itself so we are left to do our best at preventing the spread of it, or in the case of actually getting sick, alleviating the symptoms while riding out a self-quarantine situation.  With that being said I think everyone should do their best to plan ahead and stock up with products that would help over a two to four week period where smoking likely won’t be your best option. Capsules, tinctures, edibles, topicals, and even suppositories are great ways to medicate when smoking or vaping would only aggravate symptoms of a respiratory illness.  Understandably, not everyone is able to stock up, which is why it is great that you can get products delivered to your door nowadays, either through the mail or via delivery service.

In times of uncertainty, I think that the best course of action is to follow the advice of Bobby McFerrin and simply “Don’t worry, be happy!”, and I think we all know one good way to reduce stress.  I also think that it is extremely important to check on each other during these times to make sure that everyone is taken care of, and in my opinion, that is what sets Canada apart from a lot of other places.  It’s the willingness to help one another, to stop what we are doing if we see something that doesn’t look right, to check up on someone who looks like they may need an extra hand. For these reasons I think we will fair well enough here in Canada, and although we may see some disruptions in product flow, event cancellations, and investment losses, it is important to remember how lucky we are to have what we do!  Stay safe, take care of each other and remember to wash your hands you filthy animals!