Before they were asked, some cannabis businesses sprang into action last week, providing hospitals personal protection equipment (PPE) and other materiel from their inventories that could be used to fight COVID-19. Then Health Canada asked executives from licensed parties for access to laboratory space that could help ease the enormous backlog in COVID-19 testing.
BNN Bloomberg, MJ Biz Daily
- With that, lab space normally used for testing cannabinoid potency is being shifted into the COVID effort. But how quickly? LP executives complained they had space available but couldn’t figure out how to let the government know.
- A Health Canada representative said they’d been contacted by several labs and were assessing equipment, certifications, and other capabilities.
MJ Biz Daily
Prior to the Health Canada request, aid was piling in from a variety of industry parties.
- Canopy reported donating “thousands” of masks, gloves, and Tyvek suits from its shuttered greenhouses in BC.
- Organigram gave 500 litres of ethanol for hand-sanitizer production.
- Supreme, Aurora, and Hexo each gave hundreds of N95 facemasks to health service providers in their local areas. WeedMD and Starseed gave tens of thousands of gloves and facemasks to Ontario hospitals. Other LPs told BNN Bloomberg they were tallying the materiel they had available.
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- Highlife Cannabis REC franchise in Sudbury sourced a huge supply of toilet paper and gave it out to community members, six rolls per person.
- Tilray joined Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana, the Arthritis Society, and the Canadian AIDS Society in petitioning federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu to designate MED an essential service, in order to protect patients from mail-service
The shift is happening across US industry as well, as American producers pivot to producing supplies for the pandemic. Others across the Canadian sector called on LPs that haven’t yet donated to do their bit for the cause, and for those who have to keep up their work.
MJ Biz Daily, OHS Canada