Online sales of recreational marijuana are legal in Colorado thanks to new emergency rules established in the state in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Associated Press reports that, under the new rules, “customers can pay for marijuana online and then pick up their purchase at the store.”
The rules are yet another example of a state taking measures to ensure the safe completion of marijuana transactions during the coronavirus outbreak, which has forced much of the world into isolation. States such as Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois have relaxed rules to allow cannabis dispensaries to conduct curbside pickup of orders in an effort to reduce human-to-human interactions.
“Our top priority is to minimize the risk of and protect as many people from exposure to COVID-19,” Toi Hutchinson, a senior advisor for cannabis control to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, said last month after the new rules were implemented in the state. “These steps prioritize that critical objective, while also ensuring medical patients have access to the medicine they need.”
Cannabis In Colorado During Coronavirus Quarantine
In Colorado, state regulators decided last month that the state’s recreational pot dispensaries can reopen after a previous order had limited the retailers to curbside pickup.
Under Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ original executive order last month, medical marijuana dispensaries were deemed essential businesses, allowing them to stay open while other businesses closed due to the pandemic, but recreational shops were not covered by the order.
But Polis shifted course, ultimately allowing the recreational businesses to remain open during the pandemic as well.
Morgan Fox, a spokesman for the Denver-based National Cannabis Industry Association, told the Associated Press that the government orders are an opportunity for the industry to demonstrate its capabilities.
“We have an opportunity to prove that cannabis businesses can run these operations and do so effectively under extremely dire circumstances,” said Fox.
Colorado legislators passed a bill last year to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to conduct home deliveries, but the lawmakers left it open to individual municipalities whether to permit it. Last month, a medical dispensary in Boulder obtained the first license in the state to carry out home deliveries.