Barred from making dank buds for the recreational market, multiple cannabis companies in Massachusetts are swiftly switching the focus of their business to hand sanitizer production.

The Commonwealth Dispensary Association announced last week that about a dozen of its member companies are now approved to produce hand sanitizer. As important as cannabis is, in particular to those with medical issues, you could argue these companies are now providing an even more important service in the midst of the worst global pandemic in a century.

The CDA has said that it estimates its members will produce around 5,000 gallons of hand sanitizer per week.

“The CDA would like to thank Governor Baker, DPH and the CCC for empowering the cannabis industry to directly support those on the front lines of this pandemic by producing critical supplies,” said CDA President David Torrisi, as reported by WCBV 5 News in Boston.

Torrisi said that when the CDA first proposed the idea, “members jumped at the opportunity” to lend their services. “I am incredibly proud of members who are allocating time and resources to produce hand sanitizer, at cost, to help clinicians in the fight against COVID-19,” he said.

There has been a hand sanitizer shortagein the United States since early March amid the early stages of the country’s novel coronavirus outbreak. Many previously unrelated businesses, including multiple liquor distillerieshave joined the fray to try to help close the gap between supply and demand.

The first priority for the CDA members’ batch of sanitizer will be directed to area hospitals via the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Photo via Flickr/Valerie Everett