Labs have been taking protective steps like staggering workers’ shifts and implementing additional sanitation measures.
Despite layoffs and downsizing in the cannabis industry over recent months, U.S. cannabis testing labs are still doing a brisk business, even in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Staff at some labs have voiced concerns over a potential lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves and goggles, as well as sanitization supplies. But there is another issue. Should any such labs be forced to close as a result of the outbreak, many states could experience serious delays and other issues with their cannabis supply.
Labs have been taking protective steps like staggering workers’ shifts and implementing additional sanitation measures to allow lab techs to maintain social distancing and hygiene practices. The hope is that such measures will prevent or minimize infection from the potentially deadly virus that has already killed over 1,300 in the U.S.
But with hospitals and clinics overrun with COVID-19 patients and stores of PPE running dangerously low, labs could soon be asked to donate the gear to physicians and healthcare workers on the front lines to treated affected people and mitigate further spread.
Confidence Analytics co-owner Nick Mosley told Marijuana Business Daily that his lab remains well-stocked on PPE amid the pandemic. “We’re fortunate that we work in a business that by its very nature is very clean and sanitary,” Mosley said.
Although cannabis dispensaries and other related businesses have been declared essential in a number of states, it may make sense for cannabis testing labs to simply halt operations and prioritize getting the remaining PPE supplies to workers who need it most: healthcare staff.
Although Mosley said the “essential” declaration has been “a huge blessing to our industry and all of our employees,” the country, and the cannabis industry, may be facing questions of what services are “most” essential as the death toll continues to rise.
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