By now, there are probably only a handful of people left that haven’t yet been directly or indirectly affected by the coronavirus pandemic that is gripping the world.
Amid all the chaos and economic downturn, a number of cannabis companies across American and Canada have decided to do their part in helping healthcare workers do their job by offering supplies that can be used to protect them from the virus.
Cannabis growers, extractors, and lab technicians all need to wear special protective equipment to make sure the cannabis they handle stays as pure as possible, and that means they have lots of masks, protective gowns, gloves, and other personal protection equipment (PPE).
These exact items are currently in short supply for health workers and hospitals. That shortage has led a number of cannabis companies to search for creative ways they can do their part in beating the coronavirus.
Below are some of the best examples of cannabis businesses taking their commitment to health and well-being to a whole new level.
1. Glass House Group gives medical gowns to a California hospital
Like many other cannabis companies, Glass House Group uses PPE gowns in its cultivation facilities. The firm’s president, Graham Farrar, decided to donate as many gowns as the company could spare to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara.
All in all, it has given away 1,000 protective PPE gowns and is also working with its suppliers to find extra masks for healthcare workers battling COVID-19.
Glass House Group’s dispensary, the Farmacy Santa Barbara, even started a Food Bank give back program for kids so they can still receive a healthy lunch while school is out. The company also donated $20,000 to its local growers’ industry association CARP, which is trying to collect $200,000 to support causes in its local community.
2. CannaCraft made 25,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to protect the elderly in California
As part of its cannabis extraction process, CannaCraft based out of Santa Rosa, California, uses ethanol, which just so happens to be one of the main ingredients for hand sanitizer.
“Luckily, we had a lot of the ingredients for hand sanitizer at our facility. We use ethanol for parts of post-processing and we use aloe and essentials oils in our CBD topicals,” Tiffany Devitt, President of Wellness at CannaCraft, told Green Entrepreneur.
“We also had several thousand pump bottles on hand that we could no longer use for cannabis products as the regulations had changed. With the combination of the ingredients, our large-scale manufacturing equipment, and our team of in-house chemists, we were ready to start making a lot of hand sanitizer within days of learning about the shortage around the country.”
The company has already pumped out 25,000 bottles to be distributed to senior centers and healthcare workers and hopes to be able to produce a whopping 100,000 bottles of hand sanitizer for its next order.
“We planned on making and distributing 5,000 bottles of hand sanitizer this week, but we received so many requests from local hospitals and non-profits that we quadrupled the amount and we’ll now be making 20,000 bottles this week. We have an order in for the materials to make another 100,000 bottles of hand sanitizer.”
3. Canopy donates protective gear to hospitals all over Canada
Canopy Growth has donated “thousands” of gloves, full-body protective suits, and masks sourced from two massive greenhouses in British Columbia that it decided to shut down earlier this month.
“We committed our personal protective equipment from our recently shuttered B.C. sites to the front-line medical staff at a local health unit in Victoria,” the company told BNN Bloomberg.
4. Hand sanitizer for everyone
In addition to CannaCraft, a lot of other cannabis businesses are also using their production process to make and give away hand sanitizer.
The Commonwealth Dispensary Association of Massachusetts, which includes 36 cannabis companies, said all of its members are producing hand sanitizer that will be donated to local hospitals, according to MJBizDaily.
In Honolulu, Hawaii another company is jumping on the hand sanitizer train. Aloha Green Holdings is donating the sanitizer it produces to its medical patients, many of whom belong to higher-risk groups that are especially endangered by COVID-19.
Back in Canada, Organigram announced on Twitter that it is “committed to donating 500 liters of ethanol from our production facility to be repurposed into hand sanitizer for distribution within our local health care network in New Brunswick.”
As a long-time lover of cannabis, the solidarity shown by the cannabis industry is truly something to be proud of and will hopefully help in making a significant dent in keeping the coronavirus at bay.
Until it’s all over, remember to stay safe, stay home, and stay high.