Staying Safe When Purchasing Cannabis During COVID-19
Safety First... then Cannabis!
A few weeks ago, we highlighted the impact that COVID-19 has had on the Cannabis industry. In addition, various provinces across Canada have enacted different mandates in regard to the status of the Cannabis industry. Some provinces have deemed Cannabis an essential service, but with strict regulations on the transference of safe Cannabis.
Originally, the province of Ontario had designated Cannabis as an essential service. British Columbia was soon to follow suit. On April 4th, Ontario decided to reverse its decision. But then again a few days later on April 7th, they decided to reinstate Cannabis as essential. Talk about mixed signals!
Although the province of Ontario has allowed Cannabis stores to reopen, there are some rules. These rules also play perfectly into the topic of this article: how to stay safe while enjoying Cannabis during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the different strategies that Cannabis retailers (like us) are taking to ensure safe cannabis pickup plan.
#1 Cashless Payments
You may have noticed a growing trend when visiting privately owned essential businesses lately. Many of these companies have opted to not accept cash as a method of payment.
One of the challenges with cash is that a lot of people touch it. In fact, a 2017 study discovered that bills in the United States carried tons of different bacteria, fecal matter, illicit drug residue, and more.
One of the ways that Cannabis businesses are adapting is by encouraging people to utilize cashless payment methods such as Interac Flash (tap), Apple Pay, and good old Visa and Mastercard.
At ARCananbis, we're dedicated to utilizing this great new method. Across Vancouver (and Canada in general), most Cannabis retailers are allowing their customers to order their products online. Usually, when people make online payments, they receive their purchase in the mail. However, Cannabis laws vary across provinces. Delivery oftentimes requires either a special license or is not permitted.
The process of click-and-collect is quite simple. Essentially, you order your favourite Cannabis products online on your trusted Cannabis retailer's website. Once payment is processed, make your way down to the local location and pick up your order.
Think of it as mobile pickup, but for weed!
#3 Safe Cannabis' Curbside Pickup
Earlier, we mentioned that the province of Ontario did a few 180 degree turns, and reinstated the designation of Cannabis as an essential service. In doing so, however, came the need to implement further safety precautions. In the updated list of regulations from the Ontario Provincial Government, one of the designated rules was to implement curbside pickup for retail Cannabis stores.
This is a hybrid type of scenario, often taking advantage of click-and-collect. Instead of going inside of the store, however, you would line up outside at a safe distance from other people, preventing spread.
#4 Gloves and Mask
This one might seem a little bit more obvious, but it's certainly worth mentioning. Government agencies have taken it upon themselves as of late to promote the use of masks. Because there is a shortage of N95 masks, cloth masks have been deemed better than nothing.
Even the prime minister in his live daily addresses has outlined the value of wearing protective equipment. And in Cannabis retail stores within BC, the use of gloves and a mask is largely useful for preventing the unfortunate and potentially life-threatening spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Stay safe out there! We're happy that Cannabis has been deemed an essential service in British Columbia, but with that designation also comes the responsibility of taking care of both our customers and each other.
When possible, try to take advantage of click-and-collect services. It allows retail store owners to prepare for incoming volume, allows them to order as much stock as needed, as well as keeping the health of staff and customers in check.
In light of the current situation, we'd also like to thank all of the great employees and workers out there that are pushing through. Without them, this Cannabis industry would be stuck! Stay safe everyone.