The Novel Corona virus has fundamentally changed the World in 2021.
We have all watched as this virus has devastated peoples’ lives, families and communities. This highly contagious disease has made hugs and handshakes calculated risks. The virus transformed the very way we interact and engage the people around us from day to day. Worldwide countless people have succumbed to Covid-19, and it’s impact and consequence has still not fully been resolved.
This has been a collective heartache for the global community, one of the few shared experiences that has forced humanity to reevaluate how we live with one another, affecting how we eat, travel, gather, work, play, and even entertain. We also have to accept these ramifications on our world might be long lasting. Which leaves me with one burning question, what about the cannabis community?
Our industry is tactile and visceral. We count on the shared experience in describing and distributing plant or product. The very protocols that allowed me to enjoy my cannabis with vigor, have become outdated by health and safety concerns.
Let me explain. Pre covid, I would pull my flower apart, using my index finger and thumb, I love to crumble, press and then smell the flowers oil released into the air. Bringing the plant material under my nose, and then inhaling deeply, registering that first encounter with the plant’s terpene profile. Taking in the very distinctive notes that makes this plant unique and desirable to the taste. And please believe, taste is everything. A quick draw on my joint before combustion brings out the quality of both flower and the farmer’s cure. Here you want complexity, curiosity, and even nostalgia for flavors and flowers past.
But beyond my description, the best part of tasting something like this is sharing it with someone you know who will appreciate your good fortune as much as you. And often it is more than just one someone, I always want to broadcast to my community when I find something that makes us take a collective pause and share. We have created our whole cannabis social interaction based on a sharing model. A session or sesh is the colloquial term for a practice that will not be the same due to the time of covid-19.
Pre-Covid 2019 sharing and passing cannabis to your neighbor was a social contract practiced worldwide. Participants being of sound mind and body would gather in a loose formation and share their cannabis, along with small talk or daily insights as we partake in the end result of cannabis together. A shared experience that links these people together in both the ritual and the physical. Some of my fondest memories in life can be attributed to this custom that we used to practice daily.
The cannabis experience at its best is a shared experience with others. A socially distanced cypher, circle or sesh are counterintuitive to our cannabis culture. We gather and partake. Now there is an extra level of concern and scrutiny that every cannabis enthusiast must calculate whenever they decide to join in. Cannabis or Covid?
In California, Cannabis industry employees and businesses have been deemed essential since Day 1 of the pandemic shutdown. There was no pause or reassessment, the public needed cannabis in these uncertain times. Our own brave and undervalued cannabis frontline workers have been nurturing and fostering an industry that would not have survived without them during lockdown. Unarguably, the Legacy Market would have swallowed the industry whole, and has only strengthened in these uncertain times.
Now, I can’t even imagine sharing my dab rig, or passing a joint to the proverbial left hand side. And please don’t cough around others or even worse letting your cough linger in your elbow. Science has found that unchecked coughs, and even elevated speaking volume create more droplets that spread the virus even faster and farther. Leaving cannabis to be shared in sparsely collected groups that are maintaining social distance with an acute consciousness about not getting sick. A new way of expressing, describing, and even sharing cannabis.
Now, if I smoke, and want someone outside my bubble to partake in flower, I split the bud, and have my personal glass pipe, my personal rig. If I am in a public gathering I wear a mask unless I am smoking, problem is I am always smoking. I make sure to have at least six feet of physical distance, from myslef and the closest smoker who is going to ask me to hit that. And yes, people still willing to hit a joint after me, means you will hit a joint after anybody and you probably already have.
My point is this, if we are going to beat this virus and be healthy happy cannabis enthusiasts we have to change how our community interacts around the plant and other people. As long as we have this virus to contend with, and we wait for the vaccine to be distributed we must be our own best stewards of our community. Find new ways to share, describe, and get high with our community, locally and globally.