At first blush, the cannabis industry seems among the least likely to be disrupted by the worldwide spread of COVID-19, better known as coronavirus. But there has been an impact on business, and the potential for users to spread infection is significant as well. Let’s take a look:

First, a bit of perspective: while COVID-19 dominates the headlines and has undoubtedly rocked the world’s financial markets, any given person in the United States is much more likely to come down with the flu than coronavirus. The flu also has a much higher mortality rate. While coronavirus is spreading geographically and is not to be taken lightly, the media response seems somewhat out of proportion to the actual impact.

On the business side, the obvious impact in the cannabis world is on those selling made-in-China peripheral products, especially vaping equipment. Widespread quarantines in China have put the clamps on manufacturing and shipping, and U.S. companies would do well to have alternate supply chain partners in place. Look for prices of those products to rise.

Cannabis is a product that is often shared among a group, and there’s the danger for users. The best practices here are mostly common sense:

Don’t share. This will help prevent the spread of any virus, not just COVID-19. We all learned in kindergarten that sharing is a good thing, but make an exception in this case and don’t pass it around.

Wash your hands. Not just marijuana users, but everyone, needs to be even more vigilant than usual about frequent and thorough hand-washing. Experts agree this is the single best way to limit the spread of any virus.

Don’t smoke. This should go without saying, but inhaling anything when you have a respiratory infection of any kind isn’t very bright. Stop smoking and get well.

Sick? Seek real medical attention. For all the proven curative properties of CBD, there are even more snake-oil claims of dubious value. CBD can relieve pain and help you sleep, but it won’t make a virus go away. If you’re sick, don’t self-treat with CBD products … see a medical professional.

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