In ‘This Week in Cannabis’ we want to help you uncover leading cannabis news, industry insights, scientific discoveries and more. Our hope is to help educate the greater public on the many uphill battles we still need to achieve prior to legalization. There are still a lot of laws, regulations and problems that cannabis companies and consumers are faced with.

This Week in Cannabis: March 29th-April 4th 2020

This week has been a painful awakening for some. Investors across the US realized that America’s economy might not be as impervious to disease as they’d hoped. Schools learned that actually getting together to learn isn’t essential. And we’ve all had to figure out how to stay productive and sane, even when barred from our favorite festivities. It’s been a wild ride.

But there are good things to learn from the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak as well. Despite some ups and downs, the cannabis industry has actually faired pretty well! Some analysts say it’s nearly recession-proof. It turns out that people really do need their cannabis for physical and mental health…here are the details from this week.

Cannabis Co.’s Now Producing Premium…Hand Sanitizer?

Some cannabis companies made quite the pivot this week. California-based CannaCraft is one of them — part of their manufacturing facility has been retrofitted to make hand sanitizer. 

“When we started hearing reports of a shortage in hand sanitizer, we knew that we could be of assistance without negatively impacting our employees or our operations,” CEO Jim Hourigan said. The company plans on making 40 gallons (enough for 5,000 1 oz. tubes!) of sanitizer and donating it to non-profits, customers, and employees. 

Other cannabis companies, like Canada’s Organigram, aren’t actually making hand sanitizer but have been refreshingly generous with the raw materials (i.e, ethanol) they have on hand. We’re all in this together, after all. 

Most States View Cannabis as Essential

It’s amazing how far cannabis legalization has come in the past few years. Just think: Most of us can remember a time when cannabis was totally illegal.  Fast forward to today and all of a sudden the cannabis industry is being deemed essential by many states in lockdown. 

The entire West Coast, for example, has allowed home deliveries of cannabis to continue unabated. States like Hawaii have made provisions for cannabis cultivation to continue. Even traditionally conservative states are allowing medical cannabis programs to march on. 

As Forbes  rightly points out, it’s a new era. The article states, “cannabis providers in many states are held up as vital members of the community […] providing a valuable service on par with picking up prescription drugs at a pharmacy or filling up your car at a gas station.” 

Talk about a huge leap forward! So here’s to destressing with a home-delivered joint or two. Who knows, it might just make this crisis a little more bearable.  

Recreational Cannabis Delayed in Maine

In Maine, it’s legal to use cannabis recreationally. But there’s a catch: There are no recreational dispensaries in which to buy it! Just like the good old days, you have to know someone…or know someone who knows someone…or get an expensive medical card. 

That’s left Maine residents in quite a quandary, and the state’s only hope at resolving it keeps on getting delayed. The opening of Maine’s first recreational dispensaries was already pushed back to June, but now the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy is saying even that’s too early. 

“Several communities preparing for local authorization and to opt-in for adult use – most notably those that serve as hosts to our prospective marijuana testing facilities – may have to postpone those actions due to the effects of COVID-19 on their communities,” the OMP stated. 

Hemp Farmers Pushing Forward

For the most part, hemp farmers had been playing it safe and waiting to order seeds for this year’s growing season. But now, thanks in large part to shelter-in-place restrictions, the rush to order seeds and seedlings is on

“We have had more farmers calling and looking to nail down a plan and ensure that they have plants,” reported Cultivaris Hemp, a leading California supplier of young plants. Hemp “nurseries” on the East Coast are echoing that statement. “From our perspective, stock production is in full swing,” Hemp Mine co-owner Travis Higginbotham told Hemp Industry Daily

We can only hope that America’s demand for hemp (and hemp derivatives like CBD!) keeps pace with its farmers’ motivation. In light of how important CBD can be to health, wellness, and immunity, maybe it will. Feel free to check out this enlightening article for more specific info about that…and stay healthy, everyone!

To Sum Up This Week in Cannabis News:

The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on many industries, but cannabis continues to thrive. Some cannabis companies are helping to produce hand sanitizer, and while most states with recreational dispensaries deem the green ‘essential’ during this global crisis, Maine continues to drag its heals on opening its first legal establishments. Farmers are feeling the pressure of this pandemic as well, stocking up on seeds and seedlings as fast as they can. While a lot still remains uncertain, cannabis will seemingly always be there for you when you need it!

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