Starting from a global perspective, the virus has had an impact on the production of goods in every conceivable sector, including those needed for cannabis production, consumption, and sale.
Though the cannabis industry has often bragged, and rightly so, that it is recession proof, much like tobacco and alcohol, in that consumers will continue buying and using weed under most circumstances, no one expected the panic that nearly ruined the vaping industry when the 2019 crisis hit.
What about cannabis legalization
Due to coronavirus fears, the US government could cancel large events and gatherings. The outbreak could also impact marijuana legalization measures. Many presidential candidates have discussed legalization measures in their election campaigns. If malls and shops shut down, it could also impact signature-gathering initiatives by many states to qualify for legalization. The already struggling cannabis industry was hoping to benefit from legalization. However, the hopes could crash if the coronavirus disaster continues.
As of the latest World Health Organization (WHO) situation report, dated March 10, 2020, there have been 113,702 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, and 4,012 reported deaths.
One of the most visible effects of the disease on the cannabis sector so far has been the cancellation of several high-profile cannabis events and conferences.
Most notably, the South by South West (SXSW) tech, music, and film festival held annually in Austin, Texas, has been cancelled under the direction of the City of Austin, citing concerns over coronavirus spread. SXSW 2020 was scheduled to host a ‘cannabusiness’ track, which would have featured several panels on the technological, cultural, legal, and financial realities of the cannabis industry in America today.
In Israel, the organizers of the annual CannaTech Tel Aviv conference, which brought together over 1,200 participants from 40 different countries in 2019, have decided to postpone the event until June. Also delayed until June is the PsyTech Summit, created by the organizers of CannaTech. PsyTech is Israel’s first conference focusing on the use and development of psychedelics as medicine.
“Our number one concern is the health and safety of our attendees and speakers, our partners, our colleagues and our vendors,” said CannaTech founder and iCAN Israel-Cannabis CEO Saul Kaye, in a statement. “While we are disappointed to postpone both CannaTech Tel Aviv and PsyTech Summit, we are very confident it will be worth the wait.”
In Germany, the Berlin edition of the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) has been rescheduled over health and safety concerns associated with coronavirus, moving from early April to late July. And in the UK, the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis’ inaugural conference, due to take place in April, has been postponed.
CelebStoner put together an updated list of cannabis event cancellations, starting with one of the best – Spannabis:
• March 13-15 – Spannabis, Barcelona, Spain
March 13-22 – SXSW, Austin, TX
• March 18 – California Cannabis Industry Association Policy Conference, Sacramento, CA
• March 20-22 – Ultra Music Festival, Miami, FL
• March 20-22 – NECANN, Boston, MA
• March 22-24 – Oklahoma Cannabis Expo, Oklahoma City, OK
• March 25-28 – National Cannabis Unity Conference, Washington, DC
• March 26-28 – NOCO Hemp Expo, Denver. CO
• March 30-31 – CannaTech, Tel Aviv, Israel
• April 1-2 – Hall of Flowers, Cathedral City, CA
• April 1-3 – International Cannabis Business Conference, Berlin, Germany
• April 10-12, 17-19 – Coachella, Indio, CA
• April 14-15 – AHPA Hemp-CBD Supplement Congress, Portland, OR
Marijuana users need to be careful
The coronavirus or COVID-19 is spreading rapidly throughout the world. The World Health Organization asked the general public to adopt precautionary measures to help keep the virus from spreading. A Leafly article discussed how cannabis users could protect themselves from getting and spreading the virus.
First, users shouldn’t share marijuana joints—one of the easiest ways to spread the virus. For now, individuals should stick to their own supply. Additional suggestions include frequent hand washing and avoiding physical contact with others.
There isn’t any scientific proof that CBD products can help with the coronavirus. Marijuana users should ignore the rumors. They shouldn’t get enticed into buying CBD products, especially from the illicit market.
Also, smoking marijuana isn’t a good idea if you have a cold or the flu. THC and CBD products carry pain-relieving, sleep-inducing, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, smoking marijuana if you have cold or flu symptoms could be harmful. The coronavirus symptoms include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The CDC also developed recommendations for a self-quarantine plan.