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How the coronavirus epidemic will hit the hemp industry

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From event cancellations to supply chain disruptions, here's everything you need to know about the coronavirus and the hemp industry

It is not known what the total economic impact of the coronavirus will be, but one thing is certain: As the world finds itself immersed in the biggest public health crisis of our lives, the Covid-19 pandemic is naturally at the heart of concerns of all. As difficult as it may be to think about the cannabis industry and the reform movement at a time like this, the reality is that the impact of the coronavirus on our economy and our society is affecting cannabis as well, with effects. likely to worsen considerably over the next few weeks. Through the American experience, how will the coronavirus hit the hemp industry?

With that in mind, here are some of the effects the coronavirus crisis has had on the cannabis industry, and things consumers and businesses need to keep in mind as we go through this health crisis together. Some changes brought by the new virus could support the nascent hemp industry, but it could also bring additional challenges and obstacles for the nascent hemp industry.  

Here's everything you need to know about how COVID-19 could or is already impacting the hemp industry. 

Implications for research 

De many Conferences, festivals and planned cannabis events are postponed or canceled in the United States, Canada and Europe.

The National Hemp Research and Education Meeting sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA was scheduled to take place March 17-18, but was postponed, all like the proceedings of his conference which could have helped hemp growers and was to include panel discussions and presentations on hemp genetics, best management practices and supply chains. hemp was to be unveiled. The conference was also set to establish working groups that would have identified priorities for hemp research and education for the next three to five years. Unfortunately, the cancellation of this conference will have adverse effects on infant industry Many people entering their first year of production will not have access to this education.

List of canceled events

Research Meetings are just two of many industry events that have been postponed or canceled so far in an effort to protect the health and safety of participants, employees and communities amid the changing world. the global coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19).

The loss of training and networking opportunities, especially in an industry where new information is constantly flowing, is a big blow to both new and experienced growers. 

Labor shortages 

Although a labor shortage has permeated labor-intensive jobs for years, the coronavirus may exacerbate these shortages and spread them in industries that have yet to see it as a major problem. 

On the other hand, the impact on all employees in the sector cannot be underestimated. Cannabis companies are already struggling to get standard insurance plans . This means that most companies will not receive reimbursement for offering their employees additional paid time off or any other costs they may incur as a result of the pandemic, leaving many companies with painful decisions about how to deal with it. with employees that other companies do not face.

Supply chain disruptions 

Like almost every other industry, experts predict that the hemp industry will inevitably experience disruption along the supply chain. A new economic report on China shows a drop in retail sales, industrial production and investment for the first quarter of the year, and economists predict the plunge is far from over, according to  CNN . 

The question of where these supply disruptions will occur, how long they will last, and whether they will have a long-term positive or negative outcome for the global hemp industry. 

One of the things the coronavirus will probably do for us is open our eyes to the fact that we have relied too much on foreign products for too long.

What businesses can do 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued detailed guidance for businesses on how to prevent occupational exposures to the coronavirus. The salient points of these recommendations are as follows and are valid for all:  

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home. 
  • Separate employees who appear sick immediately. 
  • Emphasize staying home during illness, respiratory etiquette, and hand hygiene for all employees. 
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning. 
  • Advise employees before traveling to take certain measures. 

Beyond health considerations, companies can take additional steps to protect themselves for the months to come. 

Finally, it should be noted that, harm reduction saves lives, the coronavirus pandemic will require certain behavioral changes on the part of consumers in order to protect themselves and those around them. Cannabis use has always been known as a largely community activity. Contrary to the alcohol, social norms demand that cannabis be shared with those around you. While no one would think of ordering a beer in a bar and passing it around with their friends, pass a joint, a bowl or a bong is commonplace. In fact, not sharing your cannabis is often seen as rude.

Until we come out of this crisis, that behavior must change. It goes without saying that at a time when everyone is asked not to shake hands or hugs, taking something from their mouth and passing it to a friend to put their mouths on must be strongly not recommended. For now, cannabis users must line up and not share their equipment.

Cannabis users and patients can take other precautions during the pandemic. Consider using vaporizers and avoid burning flowers, as smoke can irritate the lungs, and Covid-19 is primarily a respiratory disease.

Buying manufactured goods such as batteries and vape pen cartridges has already become more difficult, as most are created in China, where the virus originated and which has placed strict restrictions on the movement of goods and people. . As the United States increases its own travel restrictions, accessing these manufactured goods will only become more difficult, and in some cases impossible.

Is the black market a source of propagation?

Whenever possible, consumers should avoid products from the illicit market and only use products from the legal market, which they grow themselves or when they know and fully trust the growers. Products in the illicit market are untested and are more likely to contain pesticides or harmful contaminants that can stress and damage the lungs. We have already seen a wave of lung disease caused by illicit market vape cartridges. During this coronavirus pandemic, cannabis users should do all they can to limit the weakening of their lungs and immune systems.

Additional consequences

There are a myriad of other cannabis-related consequences of the current pandemic. Cannabis reform measures planned by governments could be delayed or abandoned as state legislatures focus on the crisis and limit their operations to engage in social distancing.

People serving prison time for cannabis-related offenses are at increased risk of dying from the virus, as prisons are the perfect confluence of conditions for spreading infectious disease and generally have substandard health care. Whether or not someone agrees with legalization, we almost all agree that a cannabis offense should never be jail time. States must consider early release for all cannabis offenders, and truly for all non-violent offenders in general, because of this health crisis.

This global pandemic affects all areas of American and global life and business. The cannabis industry without exception. Only time will tell how real the impact will be. The behavior of consumers, business owners, regulators and lawmakers over the next few months will go a long way in ensuring that cannabis businesses, employees and consumers are able to weather the storm ahead.

Tags : Leisure and Well-Being
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The author weed master

Weed media broadcaster and communications manager specializing in legal cannabis. Do you know what they say? knowledge is power. Understand the science behind cannabis medicine, while staying up to date with the latest health related research, treatments and products. Stay up to date with the latest news and ideas on legalization, laws, political movements. Discover tips, tricks and how-to guides from the most seasoned growers on the planet as well as the latest research and findings from the scientific community on the medical qualities of cannabis.