The Cannabis Industry is Now Essential But is It Equal?

The Cannabis Industry is Now Essential But is It Equal?

Cannabis has been deemed essential, but when will equality rules be enforced?

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HighChi on Monday Sep 7, 2020

The Cannabis Industry is Essential But is It Equal?

essential but not equal

The coronavirus pandemic that rocked the entire world in 2020 helped many to come to different realizations in terms of what is really important to the general public. The effect of the pandemic rocked different sectors of the economy and with the necessary measures that were needed for the safety of the populace, some businesses suffered greatly.

Lockdown measures in different places around the world meant that all businesses except essential businesses were closed to limit the spread of the virus. The growing acceptance that cannabis has been enjoying over the years now paid dividends as some of the states with legal laws classified cannabis as essential much to the delight of many cannabis users. This came as a welcome development for many who had initially had fears of the closure of cannabis dispensaries prior to the announcements made by the legal states before heading into lockdown.

Cannabis and the Corona virus pandemic

The beginning of the pandemic in the United States was earmarked by a rapid surge in sales of cannabis products heading into the lockdown. This surge was majorly attributed to the panic-buying nature of many cannabis users who were worried about the closure of cannabis dispensaries in legal states. The coronavirus whose effects was really felt at the beginning of March facilitated the surge in the sales of cannabis products. This was also accompanied by the 4/20 unofficial holiday set aside for cannabis users. And as we all know 420 always sparks an increase in sales. The sales and boom recorded by the cannabis industry during the coronavirus pandemic can also be attributed to the fact that the majority of individuals make use of cannabis to deal with the fears and anxieties that surround the pandemic.

Essential, but is it equal?

One worrying fact about the classification of the cannabis industry as essential is that it does not seem to be equal. The reality of the matter is that some states have classified the cannabis industry as essential heading into the lockdown but they were only opening them for medical patients.

This puts a dent on the classification of the cannabis industry as essential because unlike groceries and pharmacies that were opened without restrictions, there is seemingly a sector of the cannabis industry that are treated as 'not essential'. This puts a dent on the high hopes of the majority that had earlier rejoiced with the declaration of the industry as an essential service.

This development as expected was met with an outcry in a number of states where laws favor the use of cannabis for recreational purposes. Massachusetts for example initially headed into the lockdown with their cannabis dispensaries open primarily for medical patients while it was closed for recreational use. This was stipulated despite the fact that the full industry was considered as an essential service. This stance was however changed after two months due to different lawsuits.

The same situation was implemented in Colorado where patients needing cannabis for medical purposes had access to the services of cannabis dispensaries while those who needed it for recreational purposes had the services minimized. The steps being taken by these state governments show the inequality that exists between how they view the essential nature of the cannabis industry.

How big of an impact does this have on cannabis users?

The reason why the matter of this inequality in the essential nature of the cannabis industry matters so much is that a considerable amount of cannabis users makes use of the natural product for its recreational purposes. This reality is even more true in the 11 states in the United States where the use of cannabis for recreational purposes is legalized. The lack of an equal view to all arms of the business places a good part of the beneficiaries of the cannabis industry at a loss. The implication of this in terms of the situation around the pandemic is very dicey especially for recreational users. All these trends tell us is that there is a great deal of inequality in terms of how these governments see the cannabis industry.

The nature of the coronavirus pandemic is sure to cause a reduction in the number of cannabis users who will opt for the conventional smoking method of use as opposed to other methods. This is because the respiratory system is majorly affected by the coronavirus which has accounted for a considerable amount of lives lost. The implication of this is a rise in other forms cannabis products such as cannabis edibles, oils, and tincture. So, the inavailability or scarcity of these products as well as cannabis strains for recreational users is bound to push them over to illicit sources. Illicit sources of cannabis cannot be trusted because the quality of the product cannot be guaranteed as opposed to getting it from reliable sources like cannabis dispensaries.

Bottom line

The present situation clearly depicts how far the cannabis industry has come in terms of acceptance and legalization and also how far it still needs to go.The cannabis industry engages a good number of people and for cannabis users that are used to the cannabis markets, there really isn’t much of a distinction between those who use it for medical and those who use it for recreational purposes.

A lot of cannabis users shop in recreational markets for cannabis to be used for medical purposes especially those who use it for sleep disturbances and for facilitating a calm and relaxed mood. Recreational and medical users are all part of the big cannabis family. There's no need for any baseless discrimination. The unnecessary divide poses a lot risk to users and the cannabis industry at large.

It is therefore necessary to put an end to the discrimination of recreational users so as not to push cannabis users to risky activities like illicit procurement of cannabis, and so on. Despite the hurdles, the cannabis industry is forging ahead. Exciting times for a cannabis lover.











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