Some cannabis companies are now producing hand sanitizer

Published Apr 10, 2020 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Nodar Chernishev

Demand for toilet paper, Clorox wipes, face masks, and hand sanitizers have shot through the roof since the arrival of COVID-19, leaving store shelves empty, and those who need these kinds of products with few options. Of course, the absolute best advice is always to wash your hands for at least 30 seconds with soap, but not everyone who still needs to work has that option.

As businesses and factories all over the world shut down, a brave few remain open out of necessity. Companies like Instacart, Door Dash, and Skip the dishes employ thousands of individuals who spend their days out on the roads and in-store shopping for those who want to remain indoors during this pandemic. Police Officers, nurses, and other emergency workers often don’t have the luxury of a sink with running water or soap available, and for them, something like hand sanitizer can make a world of difference.

The shortage has everyone pitching in, but one of the most generous contributors to the cause has also been one of the most shunned since its inception, the cannabis industry. Since cannabis dispensaries and producers are deemed an essential service, they are staying open, so they have seen firsthand the fear and anxiety that comes with being ill-prepared for proper sanitization, and to help, many have made the switch to producing hand sanitizer and wearing alternative gear so that they can donate.

Though most think of producers as a giant greenhouse, a whole lot goes on behind closed doors that we don’t know about, and the majority of these facilities were already well equipped with the tools and experience necessary to get the job done, they just needed the raw materials to make it happen.

Cannabis companies working towards a solution

Since most of these companies still have their own normal production to worry about, they are quite busy, and can’t entirely stop doing what they’re already invested in, or it could leave consumers with a weed shortage. Instead, most have chosen to either donate raw materials or a fraction of their facilities, to produce hand sanitizer in large quantities to be distributed.

1. Aloha Green Holdings in Honolulu
This cannabis company owns several different kinds of facilities that range from production to dispensary storefronts, and they have begun producing hand sanitizer for their card-carrying medical patients. All customers who make purchases through either of their two dispensary locations can receive one bottle for free, and this change was adopted to protect some of the sickest and most vulnerable within the community.

2. The Commonwealth Dispensary Association in Massachusetts
All of the 36 agencies that currently operate under the Commonwealth Dispensary Association now have the approval to start producing hand sanitizer that will ultimately be given to healthcare professionals right across Massachusetts.

3. CannaCraft in California
This cannabis business is a manufacturer, and they have now dedicated a large portion of their production space to making hand sanitizer for as long as it is needed. CannaCraft chemists even developed their own effective recipe, which is being used to make hundreds of bottles of the in-demand hygiene products.

4. Organigram in New Brunswick
This small Canadian cannabis company is not capable of producing hand sanitizer, but they were able to offer a significant donation of 500 liters of ethanol, a product that can be processed into sanitizer to be distributed to the local healthcare agencies.

Other contributors

Of course, the cannabis industry can’t take all of the credit, as there is another demonized section of the market that is pitching in to help. Some alcohol breweries and producers have switched their production away from their typical products so that they can provide hand sanitizer to our most vulnerable people.


Is hand sanitizer an effective preventative tool for COVID-19?

Hand sanitizer is an incredibly important tool for those who rely on its powerful effects to work in spaces that do not supply water and soap, but for most people, it is not a necessity. So, while yes it is effective in combating the spread of illnesses such as COVID-19, washing your hands should still be the number one priority whenever it’s possible, as it is the most effective in this situation.

How to make hand sanitizer

If you don’t know how to make hand sanitizer and you need it for work, or due to having a compromised immune system, it can be terrifying, but it’s really not that challenging to make your own at home with only a couple basic ingredients on hand.

You will need

  • 1/2 cup isopropyl alcohol (90% or higher)
  • ¼ cup aloe vera gel
  • 5-10 drops tea tree oil
  • 1 dispensing container


  1. Pour all of the ingredients into a sealable container.

  2. Shake the container for a few minutes until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

  3. Use sparingly, and only when hand washing is not available.

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