Cannabis is just one of the many aspects of our lives that have been affected in some way by COVID-19. In the US and further afield, smokers have made changes to how they acquire and use the plant, and it’s likely to alter the industry for the foreseeable future.
If smokers aren’t using alternatives to in-store cannabis purchases, they’re growing their own plants. Some have switched from smoking bud to consuming edibles. Others have changed the way they share their weed, and then there are the people who are evolving stoner etiquette.
Here’s what you can expect when smoking in a post-COVID-19 world.
More Contactless Payment Options
Most of us knew that coins and banknotes were disease vectors long before COVID-19, and were content enough to face the potential risks. However, the monumental impact of the coronavirus has given numerous people cause to rethink how they make payments. Suddenly, a growing number of people no longer feel comfortable using cash or even entering their PIN into point of sale devices.
For many years, cash was one of the most popular forms of payment at many marijuana-related businesses. However, even Pre-COVID-19, the numerous impracticalities of handling large volumes of cash prompted businesses to seek alternative payment methods.
When the pandemic came along, it fast-tracked the implementation of contactless payment options â€“ not only for accuracy, safety, and efficiency but also for health reasons. If you’re not already able to do so, you may find that, not too far into the future, you’ll be able to use a mobile scan-and-pay service to purchase the herb using such technology as a contacless KIOSK.
Cannabis Online Shopping and Delivery
Some cannabis shops had delivery services long before COVID-19, and as much as some customers appreciated the convenience, many others preferred in-store visits. When social distancing was introduced, those who preferred to walk into a store had to consider alternative options.
Dispensaries that didn’t offer an alternative to walk-in service needed to introduce a new mode of collection or risk losing business. The need reached state-level, as evidenced by several states that altered their regulations to allow curbside collection of the plant, which was made an essential product.
Many smokers got used to fast, efficient cannabis deliveries over several months of lockdown. A healthy proportion of them will likely continue making their purchases using curbside collection, drive-thru, or delivery options, all of which can be provided from somewhere like this san diego dispensary. In the post-COVID world, smokers will need a special reason to venture into a store or dispensary.
More People Grow Cannabis
As corporate, independent, and social media can attest, a renewed interest in gardening was one of the results of COVID-19-related lockdowns around the world. For most people, the focus was on ornamental plants, fruit, and vegetables, or unique or threatened flora. A few others, however, included or focused on cannabis.
According to online publication Quartz, Scotts Miracle-Grow’s cannabis-focused subsidiary Hawthorne Gardening is one of the fastest-growing facets of the business.The subsidiary’s financial reports revealed that its $230-million earnings for the first quarter of 2020 grew by 60% year-on-year.
Although Hawthorne has enjoyed robust growth in the past few years, this year has been particularly intense. Chris Hagedorn, head of Hawthorne, said the subsidiary was sipping more filtration systems, lights, soil, air filters, containers, and hydroponic supplies than ever before.
Combating boredom and trying to become more self-sufficient is not the only reason more people are growing their own marijuana.
The buds you purchase in-store or online were touched by people when grown, harvested, cured, packed, and dispensed â€“ and they cannot be sterilized. When you grow your own cannabis using the supplies mentioned above, or others such as Vivosun grow tents, you know where your bud comes from and who touched it.
While growing trends have been affected by the pandemic, the way people are smoking and sharing the herb is changing too.
Evolving Stoner Etiquette
For millennia, the communal use of cannabis has been guided by etiquette. Whether the use is religious or purely social, the use of the plant and the behavior of those present usually conforms to a few basic principles.
Social so-called stoner etiquette, which previously did not exactly encourage social distancing, is being forced to evolve. Cannabis culture is changing to accommodate pandemic precautions that can reduce exposure to viruses and other germs.
Thoughtful Shared Smokes
In the past, sharing a joint was done without any thought behind it, but now, there are new factors to consider. If a smoker with a compromised or weak immune system is present when a joint, pipe, bong, or vape is going to be passed around, it makes sense to let that person take the first couple of hits.
If possible, they should pass the smoke when it comes to them or have their own joint or pipe that’s not shared. This is to minimize their risk of infection â€“ and, yes, they should pass the dutchie â€˜pon the left-hand side(pass the joint to the left).
Use Joint Tips/Cigarette Holders
Some cannabis smokers have started using metal joint tips, cigarette holders, and plastic filters to insert into a shared joint. Each of those smoking accessories prevents lip-to-joint contact, which decreases the potential risk of spreading germs.
If you use one of those accessories, sterilize it regularly with wipes containing 91% isopropyl rubbing alcohol.
Bring Your Own Bong
Cannabis enthusiasts who don’t want to take any chances with shared smokes have added another layer of meaning to BYOB. For years, we’ve known it to mean Bring Your Own Booze, but now it also can mean Bring Your Own Bong.
Of course, your implement of choice might not be a bong. In that case, bring a bubbler, pipe, vape, or joint. Whatever it is, the idea is not to share it with anyone.
The world of cannabis undoubtedly will continue to change and evolve not only in response to COVID-19 but to anticipate potential pandemics of the future too. One thing is for sure, whatever challenges the world faces, cannabis smokers will rise to meet them.