How clean is my dispensary?

Is my dispensary taking precautions against Coronavirus?

Right now you are probably staying at home, practicing social distancing and washing your hands often. If you are like many cannabis users, you are ordering online and picking up curbside. 

But what is actually going on at your dispensary?  What sorts of precautions are being taken there?

Many dispensaries report that they insist their bud tenders wash their hands between every transaction and that surfaces are being wiped down regularly. 

After visiting the websites of many dispensaries in Chicago, I was surprised to discover that none of them had added content pertaining to the measures they were taking during the outbreak to keep facilities sanitary. 

 

Cleanliness and the cannabis industry

How long does Coronavirus live?

We know that COVID19 lives on copper for up to four hours, on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on plastic and steel for up to 72 hours. 

It’s unclear how long the virus can live on food. The general advice is to wash produce and cook every thing thoroughly.

Can it live on your pot? Well, the good news is that viruses degrade over time, so if you are immune compromised or terrfied, wait 72 hours before imbibing. 

 

What can I do to take precautions?

  • Don’t share your stash
  • Don’t share your joints, vapes, pipes, blunts, or bongs either
  • Keep your piece clean 
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Stay at home if you can
  • If you have seasonal allergies, rethink smoking or vaping so that you won’t irritate your nasal and bronchial passages
  • Cover your mouth when you sneeze and dispose of your tissues 

Should I dose myself with CBD or THC preventatively?

CBD was thought to be an immuno-suppressant until recently, hence its efficacy in modulating auto-immune disorders. Currently, it is thought to be an immuno-regulator. That is, it delivers what you need to your immune system. Please see our previous article for detailed information. However, please don’t undertake any regime before consulting a physician who is familiar with medical cannabis. 

 

How clean is my growing facility?

Cannabis sold in the state must be grown in the state. Marijuana growing facilities are scattered throughout Illinois.

The Chicago Tribune reports that sanitation standards are high:

“Grow facility workers are often required to wear scrubs or other protective gear. They must cover their shoes, hair and beards. Some facilities require everyone to walk through an anti-bacterial solution before entering the facility.

The goal is to make sure outside contaminants or pests don’t make it to the plants, and to avoid pesticides.’

 

How clean are my edibles?

Shockingly, Food Safety News reported in 2018 that there are no regulatory standards for edibles. The article goes on to say:

“Because there’s no oversight or regulations, some of the edibles being sold in the U.S. aren’t manufactured from food-grade ingredients. A document from the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment recently noted that some cannabis products being sold in the U.S. are coming from unregulated, unsafe and unsanitary manufacturing facilities. Further, some of these edibles contain unapproved ingredients, have been produced in unsafe conditions, and had unsubstantiated health claims on their labels.

Other articles report that plants in Denver had no facilities for employees to wash their hands.  

Please research your edibles, buy from reputable companies and sources, or consider making your own while you are confined at home. 

An introduction to making edibles

Keep your equipment clean

 A recent study found that the average public toilet seat is cleaner than the average bong. Compare this fact, the average gas station toilet seat was about 900 bacteria per square inch, whereas the average bong was 3,000 bacteria per square inch. The same study found that the average cannabis pipe has as much surface bacteria as 2  1/2 dirty gas station toilet seats or 25 dog food bowls. Regardless of Coronavirus, you might want to keep good hygiene practices going after the pandemic is over. 

Below is the way to clean without alcohol.

How to clean a bong if you don't have alcohol

How to clean your pipe

Summary

  • Practice social distancing
  • Don’t share your equipment
  • Clean your equipment
  • Practice good hygiene
  • Consume edibles from reputable manufacturers

Stay safe everyone!

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