Cannabis growers are changing the way they do things due to COVID-19

Published May 21, 2020 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Jedraszak

The demand for cannabis in today’s unsettling world is on the rise and an intricate part of why the cannabis industry is the growing marijuana stage.  All sectors of the industry have been affected by COVID-19. The industry has had to adapt to how business is going to be conducted going forward. Cannabis, by nature, is a close, warm, and loving plant that promotes peace, love, and togetherness, the total opposite of the COVID-19 virus. What changes will the cannabis space need to implement to keep growing cannabis in a safe and healthy environment?

Hiring and lay-offs

COVID-19 has created for some states an increased demand for growing marijuana, which has seen the need for new staffing solutions to be implemented. Other states have avoided laying off their cultivation staff by shifting work schedules and reducing the hours available for the workforce. COVID-19 has struck the cannabis space, and employees are nervous and at risk. An increase in cannabis sales has been sparked by many who have chosen to use cannabis to live with this worldwide health epidemic of 2020 comfortably.

How safe, is safe enough?

Cannabis growers have reported new protocols that are being put in place to ensure the safety of all staff. Some of those protocols include:

  • Preventing person to person contact by using digital solutions.

Cannabis growers have stepped up to the demand in cannabis and have provided their workers with solutions to keep them safer. An outdoor cannabis farm uses SLACK for its employees to communicate rather than face to face unsafe methods used before COVID-19. Companies are streamlining the contactless delivery venue when distributing products to retailers.

The delivery workers are suited up in personal protective equipment when delivering any products. To protect the workers at the cultivation level and retail departments of the cannabis space, they will no longer be accepting cash. The no cash on site protocol is to help slow down the spread of the deadly COVID-19.

  • Evening and weekend shifts implemented to ensure the staggering of the
    workforce.

For some states, marijuana has been deemed an essential service. Growing cannabis is on the list and requires the workers in grow rooms and cultivation areas to continue working and to remain safe. Social distancing is being practiced, and managers are spacing out shifts to keep workers safely distanced from each other. Workday hours are being extended, and weekend hours are becoming a normal part of the COVID-19 protocol. FULL SPEC, a Seattle based band, has had no difficulty in hiring temporary workers to help trim plants while COVID-19 drives the demand higher.

  • The most versatile employees capable of multi-tasking will be compensated well and encouraged to remain with the company.

COVID-19 has brought on changes to the cannabis industry like no other time we have seen before. Lay-offs have been necessary for some cannabis companies to keep their head above water. The employee who has a few different skills will be the one that will continue to have employment during these changing times. Multi-tasking will become the norm for companies to survive through these trying times that the cannabis industry, like all businesses, are learning to adjust to.

  • Employee health is paramount at the company during this health scare.

The company workers are putting themselves at risk every time they show up to work. Employers recognize this situation and attempt to compensate shown by offering increased wages. Encouraging workers to express their feelings regarding how safe they feel at work is paramount to a happy, safe, and productive worker in these strange and new ways of conducting business today.

Cleaning regimes are being rigorously implemented, and all surfaces are disinfected at scheduled periods throughout the day. Markings on factory floors have become the norm, as it's a one-way movement only zone to maintain social distancing. When these changes are implemented, the environment created operates at less risk to everyone.

Meghan Miller, the vice president for Chalice Farms, ensures all employees that there is no threat of anyone losing their job because of illness. Times have changed for all since COVID-19 has arrived in our lives. The growing marijuana space and all of the cannabis involved businesses are no different and may be changed forever thanks to the pandemic. However, the cannabis industry is rising to the changes that are necessary as the world moves forward down uncharted green paths.

How COVID19 may alter cannabis culture forever

Author

Related posts