Coronavirus and Cannabis: What You Need to Know
With the novel coronavirus pandemic at hand, many medical cannabis patients are left questioning if they will lose access to their medicine. The short answer is no. Texas deemed medical cannabis companies as essential and therefore we will continue to work safely and efficiently during this time to ensure continued access.
Federal, state and local officials are navigating COVID-19 through supplied data and oversight from healthcare professionals. While this is uncharted waters for most everyone, as a company we are doing our part in maximizing our health and safety protocols as deemed necessary by state officials.
We have compiled a few of the questions that we are receiving for current medical cannabis patients:
How is the coronavirus impacting the medical cannabis industry in the US?
The novel coronavirus or COVID-19 has disrupted the cannabis industry across the United States but not in a negative way. States with a medical cannabis program are ensuring patient access is not interrupted by deeming this industry as essential. In doing so, patients are allowed to safely pick up or have their medication delivered.
Is medical cannabis still available to patients in Texas?
Yes. Rest assured that our dispensary and pick up locations are OPEN and being stringently sanitized and cleaned to protect our patients, families and staff. We are urging any patient or caregiver that is not immunocompromised to pick up if and when able to help allow our delivery drivers from having to make longer trips and stay overnight in hotels.
Is there a longer wait time for deliveries?
No. Currently we are maintaining a delivery schedule that is aligned with our turnaround time. In order to maintain this structure, we ask that you notify us two weeks in advance of needing a refill when possible.
Our household has been exposed to COVID-19 and I need a refill, now what?
If your household has been exposed to COVID-19 first and foremost ensure that your physician/s know. Next, notify our dispensary regarding your COVID-19 exposure when ready to request a refill by calling 512-614-0343. We have a protocol in place to ensure a safe and minimal contact delivery during this time and will walk you through the process at that time.
Coronavirus in Texas? Stay home, work safe.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) may be transmitted through person-to-person contact especially in group settings. In an effort to slow the spread of the virus, most of Texas’ major cities are now under a “Stay home, work safe” mandate. Depending on your location, this can mean a multitude of new rules in place.
While it is important to practice these new measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, medical cannabis prescription pick-up and drop-off is essential and we will continue to operate per the guidelines set forth by the state and federal government.
Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation (TOCC) falls under Essential Healthcare Operations. Healthcare operations, including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, mental health providers, substance abuse service providers, blood banks, medical research, laboratory services, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services. Home-based and residential-based care for seniors, adults, or children are also considered healthcare operations.Healthcare operations also include veterinary care and all health and welfare services provided to animals. This exemption shall be viewed broadly to avoid any impacts to the delivery of healthcare. (Definition provided by https://www.readyharris.org/stay-home)
Do you qualify and want to get a medical cannabis prescription during the coronavirus pandemic?
In recent years, medical research has emerged regarding the use of medical cannabis as a treatment method for specific neurological and muscular conditions allowed under the Texas Compassionate Use Program.
These conditions include Epilepsy, Autism, ALS, Alzheimer’s, CTE, Multiple Sclerosis and many more. See the full list of conditions here.
I qualify for medical cannabis, can I still see a doctor to get a prescription?
While some doctors are still taking in person appointments, we have a network of physicians that are operating virtually through telemedicine and are accepting new patients. As stated above, we are classified as essential and remain fully operational for current or new patients. If you wish to talk to your current physician about medical cannabis as an alternative treatment method, download our “Is Medical Cannabis Right for Me?” pdf guide.
My doctor isn’t open to talking about cannabis. How do I find a doctor to prescribe medical cannabis?
If you have a qualifying condition and are looking to add medical cannabis to your treatment regimen, we are happy to help find a doctor who can prescribe medical cannabis in Texas. Click the button below to get in touch with the Patient Support team at Texas Original.
Sanitation? Increased safety measures for staff and our patients.
In an extreme effort to keep our staff, patients and their families safe, as communicated by our CEO, Morris Denton, we are doing the following:
Manufacturing and Production Methods
Our extraction, processing, and purification methods result in purified cannabinoid oil that has undergone several stages that reach temperatures above 100o, well above 25 degrees Celsius, that has been identified to result in the die-off of COVID-19. Formulation methods continue to be carried out under carefully controlled conditions to prevent human contamination of the medicine.
Facility and Delivery Vehicle Cleanliness
Not only do we have stringent, well-established cleaning protocols already in place, but we have significantly amplified those and stepped up our “heavy cleans” to highly sanitize our facilities and delivery vehicles. Best product and material handling practices are adhered to by using sanitizer deemed by the EPA to be effective against coronavirus. Our Manager, Safety and Compliance, Dalton Edwards is ensuring daily that the following :
- The entire facility has been decontaminated with Sanidate 5.0. This decontamination covers the entire facility, focusing mainly on commonly used areas, such as the handles of doors, lockers, refrigerators, cabinets, etc, as well as sinks, knobs, keyboards, phones, stainless-steel work surfaces and any place that contamination could easily be found after a workday.
- All trash has been taken out from the common areas, the alcohol bottles and shop towels have been checked and replenished as necessary.
- The Sanidate footbath in receiving has been changed out and refreshed.
We are closely monitoring our dispensing and distribution practices, and taking steps to enable an uninterrupted flow of our medicine. Our current inventory position is strong and we will continue to provide access to the medicine you need. Availability of safety equipment such as surgical masks, N95 masks, nitrile gloves, disinfectants, and other safety products are at the disposal of our production facility, dispensary and distribution staff.
Communication and Guidance
We are remaining diligent in taking guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, The State of Texas, Travis County, and a variety of other federal authorities for updates on COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Rest assured we have implemented all guidance and recommendations and will continue to do so.
Additionally, The Centers for Disease Control has issued guidance for COVID-19 prevention and treatment, including the following:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
Where do we go from here? Stay aware.
The further this progresses, the more likely you are to have come in contact with someone who has had coronavirus. Be mindful if you start to feel ill, and be aware of the symptoms associated with COVID-19. Stay home when able and remember to practice safe and healthy measures.
We are in this together and will continue to provide the most up to date information so be sure to sign-up for our email updates and follow our social channels for the latest information.