Canadian cannabis dispensaries take precautions against COVID-19

Published Apr 4, 2020 11:00 a.m. ET
iStock / JeffKearney

Businesses of all sorts are attempting to navigate these unchartered waters, as the rules and recommendations rapidly change to adjust to a new reality. COVID-19 has halted almost all movement of people in Canada, and the few establishments that remain open to the public are taking special precautions to increase the safety for both customers and employees.

Some of the measures in place at dispensaries

Unfortunately, there is no golden standard to go by, as all of Canada’s recreational dispensaries are designing and adopting their own safety measures, these are some of the things that we’ve seen and heard that cannabis stores all across the country are doing to keep everybody safe. So if you want the very best shopping experience, then you might want to phone ahead to find out which ones your local dispensary is using.

1. Frequent sanitizing

Most recreational dispensaries sanitize their storefront diligently and frequently, as it is necessary to avoid the contamination of products, but many locations are taking things a step further now that this pandemic looms overhead. Many are choosing to sanitize things that are out of the ordinary like button pads on interact machines, countertops, and employee's hands between purchases.

2. New payment methods

Cash goes through so many people's hands that it’s no wonder it picks up so many germs along the way, but that’s exactly why multiple recreational dispensaries are offering new, more technologically friendly payment options for customers. Whether it’s an e-transfer or online payment, either is safer than exchanging money with the budtender that serves hundreds of other customers.

3. Changes in delivery

Some dispensaries are changing how they present themselves to customers in hopes of cutting down on the spread of germs by serving them from the comfort of their own vehicle or home through delivery. Though there are still a few locations you can walk into, many are opting to keep consumers out of the store, in hopes of protecting employees and products from exposure.

4. Customer limits

Viruses can transfer from one person to the next in a variety of ways, but COVID-19 is incredibly contagious, which is why recreational dispensaries that are still allowing customers inside, and limiting the number of people at any given time to allow a safe distance. These measures align with social distancing recommendations and help to keep everybody who is involved safe.


5. Employees and shoppers illness screening

If you haven't been yet, then you might be surprised to learn that some recreational dispensaries are taking temperatures of those who wish to enter using a contactless forehead thermometer. Though we do know that people can be contagious when they aren’t showing any sign of symptoms, it’s is an extra measure that helps to keep sick people home, which is necessary at a time like this.

What you can do to stay safe

Canadian dispensaries like other businesses are doing their part by taking these extra precautions for the duration of this pandemic, but there are a few things that you as a cannabis consumer, can do to make the entire experience safer and easier on everyone.

  1. Shop cashless

  2. Visit infrequently

  3. Avoid dispensaries if you’re sick

  4. Opt for delivery whenever possible

  5. Sanitize all purchased products

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