Despite the economic hardship caused by the pandemic, cannabis companies in a half-dozen U.S. states are hiring thousands of workers. The cannabis industry is playing a pivotal role in the American economy as it is one of the few industries providing jobs and needed services right now, alongside groceries and medical care.
The House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi affirmed the importance of cannabis to the economy in their newly proposed Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. This bill includes language from the SAFE Act which, if passed, would grant safe harbor for banks that provide financial services to legal cannabis companies.
Massachusetts is one of the few states that chose to shut down recreational cannabis sales during the initial COVID-19 lockdown. Now, steps are being taken to allow recreational dispensaries to do what the medicinal market has been allowed to do for years -- deliver.
The federal government of Canada has pledged C$1.1 billion in funding for COVID-19 research, and the anti-inflammatory properties of the cannabis plant have shown promise as a potential treatment for the virus. The University of Lethbridge's Dr. Igor Kovalchuk posits that CBD may be helpful in reducing COVID-19 infection rates and in rebuilding cells after the ravages of the virus. "Our work could have a huge influence," he says. "There aren't many drugs that have the potential of reducing infection by 70 to 80 percent."