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One of the industry’s most prolific MMJ Consulting Firm writers published an article in Forbes Magazine for the second time.  The first article Michael Mayes published in Forbes, addresses ways to run a lean company. The most recent article speaks on how Cannabis Dispensary Owners can address the pandemic. The Forbes article can found here.  There are many steps MMJ Consulting Firms like Quantum 9 suggest.

MMJ Consulting Forbes Article Written by Michael Mayes

Unexpected Hero

But what about the unsung hero, the dispensary agent, aka your local medical cannabis budtender? Did you ever think of Vegan Tom, your local budtender, as a healthcare worker?

Medical cannabis dispensaries appear on the Essential Business list, and medical cannabis remains an Essential Supply, in most Stay at Home or Shelter in Place orders.

Here are the risks identified by the MMJ Consulting firm Quantum 9:


According to the MMJ Consulting Firm, the cannabis industry remains an all-cash business. Depending on the traffic of the dispensary, from 250-1,000 transactions occur daily with an average ticket sale being $85-$105. Most patients pay with $20 bills. The average $20 bill changes hands nearly 75 times a year. Most $20 bills have an 8-year life span.  One Dollar ($1) and five dollars ($5) bills exchange hands every three days, on average 110 times a year.

The Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that the COVID-19 virus can stay on currency for as many as 24 hours. Research suggests it lives for up to 72 hours on hard and shiny surfaces. New research suggests the Coronavirus can last between three hours to three days on surfaces, depending on the material. A New England Journal of Medicine study outlines that COVID-19 is detectable up to twenty-four (24) hours on cardboard, up to four (4) hours on copper. Up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel, the sturdy shows that the virus’s half-life on stainless steel is 5.6 hours and plastic as 6.8 hours.


Current healthcare regulation prohibits alcohol disinfection when gloves are worn. Mainly due to the concern that sanitary intactness of gloves could present issues with the use of alcohol. It also bans examination gloves from being re-processed because of their composition, thinness, and inelasticity. Although, using disinfecting sanitizers does effectively kill virus bacteria’s based on phlebotomists studies, should dispensary agents risk it? MMJ Consulting Firm Quantum 9 suggests replacing gloves after touching surfaces and cash.

A dispensary isn’t a hospital, and gloves go quickly. If the store sees 250 patients a day, that is 250 require gloves in a supply shortage nationally.

Danger at Every Corner

Firstly, MMJ Consulting Firm states that dispensary agents are risking their lives to dispense medical cannabis. Secondly, the most vulnerable group visiting the dispensary are older patients with compromised immune systems with pre-existing medical conditions (like asthma, heart disease, and diabetes) based on information published by the World Health Organization.

Lastly, door handles, handrails, benches on our way to work, school, play, shop, and every other destination. There’s a risk of contaminating these surfaces if we touch them with virus-laden fingers. Moreover, they risk contracting the virus from every surface they encounter. The typical fast-food restaurant has running water behind the counter, dispensaries do not. Very few have running water behind the counter. This lack of water means budtenders have to walk to a restroom to wash their hands. Upon returning, they need to replace gloves after each interaction or use hand sanitizer to make the gloves last longer.

Surface Touching

In other words, every surface touched, every interaction, each bill passed, the Coronavirus could be waiting to claim its next victim. The US is on track to experience 100,000-200,000 deaths from the virus. The incubation period could be 1-14 days. Therefore, the time between catching the virus and showing symptoms of the disease. Budtenders could contract COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces or objects – and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. 

MMJ Consulting Firm Quantum 9 quantified that the average person touches their face sixteen (16) times in an hour, 128 times in an 8-hour shift. However, with supplies for healthcare workers dwindling in every industry, face masks, and nitrile gloves require constant change, if available.

Above all, after every transaction, the dispensary agent has to remember not to touch their face.  Also, remember not to cross-contaminate surfaces, and ensure the product remains untainted.

In conclusion, those in the medical cannabis industry are terrified at risking their lives for minimum wage and especially compared to other front line workers making twice as much.  Most of which require ten times more training on proper hygiene and sanitation procedures.

Related Articles:

Quantum 9 featured in the Arkansas news report.

Chicago Tribune Articles

Wall Street Journal Article.

Fox News Article.

Michael Mayes

Author Michael Mayes

Quantum 9, Inc. is a Chicago, IL-based cannabis consulting firm. We specialize in getting high net worth individuals and private equity cannabis business licenses to cultivate, manufacture, and dispense marijuana. We have over 50 marijuana consultants that work for the company, and we have practiced in 12 countries. Our areas of expertise include permit acquisition, team building, employee training planning, and process planning. We help clients fully maximize the potential of any cannabis cultivation, processing, and dispensary business.

More posts by Michael Mayes

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