The coronavirus crisis has taken a toll on the resources of health systems around the world. And as hospitals run low on supplies, celebrities, local entrepreneurs and regular citizens donate what they can to keep the systems running. And cannabis companies have also joined the coronavirus fight.
In North America, some cannabis businesses rallied behind the common cause and started producing hand sanitiser which they donate to local hospitals.
How cannabis businesses ended up producing hand sanitiser
You might be wondering how, during the coronavirus pandemic, cannabis businesses ended up producing hand sanitiser, out of all the things they could make.
Well, like everybody else, cannabis entrepreneurs watch the news. And just like a lot of people, they wanted to offer their help in these trying times. Cannabis manufacturing facilities are not equipped to make masks or ventilators, but they have a lot of ethanol in storage.
Here’s the thing. Until recently, there were two types of cannabis extracts available on the market — butane extracts and supercritical CO2 extracts. But many manufacturers switched to ethanol because this solvent can be used to produce superior extracts. In fact, many specialists believe that ethanol is the best solution for cannabis extraction.
Butane is highly combustible and has caused multiple explosions over the years. This, combined with the fact that some shady cannabis producers used low-quality butane to create toxic extracts, gave it a bad reputation in the industry.
Supercritical CO2 is a safe extraction process that’s also environmentally-friendly, so many manufacturers recommend it. However, this extraction process is lengthy and can alter the final product’s cannabinoid and terpenoid profile, which can lower its quality.
Ethanol is safe, effective and efficient. And chances are, you already consumed a lot of ethanol in your life. Ethanol is commonly used as a food preservative. You can find it in cakes, vanilla extracts, food colouring, alcoholic beverages and more.
But ethanol is also used to produce hand sanitiser. And the good news is that you don’t have to have an advanced degree in molecular chemistry to produce it. You only need ethanol. A lot of it.
The World Health Organization (WHO) released a guide instructing people on how to produce their own hand rub formulations. The WHO’s recipes can be used for both hygienic antisepsis and for presurgical hand preparation.
This gave a growing list of cannabis businesses the idea to help the medical system by producing hand sanitiser.
Cannabis businesses not the only ones helping fight coronavirus
But cannabis entrepreneurs were not the first who thought of helping the medical system. A lot of mainstream companies pivoted to provide products that are vital to first responders.
Global clothing manufacturer The Gap produces face masks for health workers. Ford and General Motors stopped their regular production lines and started making ventilators. Tesla also plans to retool its solar panel factory to make ventilators. Up to 75 percent of alcohol distilleries in the U.S. pivoted to produce hand sanitiser. Fortunately, the list can go on and on.
And cannabis businesses are doing their share. Some cannabis producers, such as Massachusetts-based Revolutionary Clinics, have the capacity to produce up to 200 gallons (about 757 litres) of hand sanitiser per week.
At the time of writing, Revolutionary Clinics already donated its first batch of 35 gallons (about 132 litres) of hand sanitiser to local hospitals.
Helping the community during coronavirus pandemic can boost the reputation of cannabis companies
Cannabis businesses are now showing that the interests of their local communities top their priorities during these challenging times. And that can only have positive effects in the long run.
Nowadays, people are bombarded by ads and publicity anywhere they look. You only have to unlock your phone to see an ad, so most people are used to ignoring them by now. But hearing about acts of kindness or good citizenship in your local community tends to stick with you.
By being there for their communities in their time of need, cannabis businesses might attract better partnerships, more customers and more high-quality employees. In addition, these companies might also work better with local regulators who could take note of their past contributions to the community.
This concept is known as corporate philanthropy and corporations around the world, but especially in the U.S., have been using it as a tool to boost their image for decades.
Studies have shown that corporate philanthropy leads to a positive work environment, boosts employee productivity, enhances customer relationships, creates a positive public image for the company and more.
In the U.S. alone, corporate philanthropy raised over $20.05 billion in 2018. And up to 77 million Americans (about 30 percent of the country’s population) volunteer their time and energy to making a difference. Moreover, about 90 percent of American high net-worth households donate to charity, making them some of the most generous people in the world.
Even though corporate philanthropy can be used as a tool to boost a company’s image, it is exactly what the world needs right now. By donating to local hospitals, cannabis and mainstream businesses are actively saving lives, and that should be commended.
Everybody can help during coronavirus pandemic, not just cannabis businesses
The good news is that you don’t have to be a first responder, a cannabis entrepreneur, or a celebrity to join the coronavirus fight. Everybody can do it.
If you’re fortunate enough to be healthy, have enough food on your plate and a job, consider donating to your local community.
The coronavirus pandemic has disturbed the economic system of most countries. And with an economic crisis looming, the poor in your area will most likely be the most affected in the following period.
If you’re not familiar with any charity, search online for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that accept donations in your area. Remember that united we stand, divided we fall.