As you’re trying to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s lots of advice swirling around. Some of it is good, some bad, some is scary, and a little bit will make you feel better. In this case, we’re assuming you’re trying to protect yourself and others and stay at home as much as you can. If you’re an essential worker and still have to go to work, you may be doing everything you can to stay safe otherwise, like wearing masks and gloves. Luckily, dispensaries and grocery stores are also doing their part. Still, to be sure, here are some tips on how to protect yourself when you go to either get weed or food.

1. Safely Handling Groceries

Logistically, it can be tedious to deal with groceries. It doesn’t matter if you’re having them delivered, going into a store, or picking them up at the curb. There are still protocols for dealing with bagged groceries, and here’s one of the best videos on how to safely clean the products you buy at the grocery store, courtesy of a family doctor who has become somewhat famous amid the virus outbreak.

Does all of that seem like a lot? It is! And that’s a clear indication of just how easy it is to catch COVID-19, which makes it far more dangerous than other pandemics we’ve experienced.

2. Safely Handling Edibles

Edibles are similar to your groceries in that they are meant to be eaten, and luckily they should come in sealed containers. Gummies, chocolates and other edibles should come in tightly sealed plastic or tin containers, which are safe to wipe down with antiseptic wipes like you saw in Dr. VanWingen’s video above. If they’re wrapped in plastic wrap, it’s still a good idea to lightly wipe them down and let them dry off before opening. Baking and other high-temperature conditions found when cooking edibles applies enough heat to kill the virus, but we’re hopeful anyone making edibles is working with a mask. If you are getting package or delivery, Dr. VanWingen has tips for that, too:

3. Going to the Dispensary

In the best case scenario you can have weed delivered, but if not hopefully your dispensary has curbside pickup. This means you can stay in your car, pay from there and have someone bring your purchases to you (after checking your ID). You’ll still want to follow protocols for cleaning packages or groceries as above, of course. Also, be mindful that you should be careful with vape pens and their batteries, and don’t subject them to soapy water. Use a sanitizing wipe or spray disinfecting spray on them, wipe down with a clean paper towel, and dispose of any packaging immediately. It’s a good idea to wipe down any packaging you get, and if you have to keep your cannabis (from concentrates to joints) in a container, make sure that’s clean too. The virus is like a tiny bit of styrofoam, stuck by static electricity, hanging onto your fingers. You don’t want to risk contamination later, especially if you’re high.

Also, if you do have to go inside the dispensary for any reason, be mindful of any new protocols there. We’re being urged to wear masks in public in most places now, so do that. Also try to avoid being close to people, and try to stay 6 feet apart (not always easy in a small store, which is why some are limiting the number of customers inside). Above all, be patient and mindful not just for your own safety, but for the safety of others.

Here’s a video on the new rules for shopping around others:


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