Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

New York, California, Ohio Dispensaries Remain Open As Coronavirus Closures Spread

In multiple states, dispensaries are being deemed essential businesses.

Shutterstock

Regulators in New York, California, and Ohio have determined that cannabis dispensaries are essential businesses, allowing them to remain open during mandatory closures enacted to help contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The decisions to permit marijuana retailers follow similar moves by government officials in other states struggling to cope with the outbreak.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced at a press conference on Friday morning that all nonessential business in the state would be required to close as of Sunday evening and all residents were being asked to stay home. But cannabis retailers will be allowed to remain open.

Under an executive order announced by the Democratic governor on Wednesday, nonessential businesses were instructed to institute telework policies for their workforces. When asked for clarification, a spokesperson for Cuomo said that “registered organizations in the State’s Medical Marijuana Program are essential medical providers and will be allowed to remain open.”

Cuomo acknowledged as he announced the stay-at-home restrictions that they “will cause disruption. They will cause businesses to close,” he said. “They’ll cause employees to stay at home. I understand that. They will cause much unhappiness. I understand that also.” 

But, he added, “I accept full responsibility. If someone is unhappy, if somebody wants to blame someone, or complain about someone, blame me. There is no one else who is responsible for this decision.”

California First To Order Statewide Lockdown

On Thursday afternoon, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California was the first to issue a statewide closure of nonessential business, which went into effect at midnight. The order also requires residents to stay at home unless necessary and to maintain social distancing when in public. State and local officials have confirmed that recreational and medicinal cannabis retailers will be deemed essential businesses.

Officials in Los Angeles County echoed Newsom, issuing a “safer at home” emergency order for its residents. But to avoid confusion over the status of cannabis dispensaries seen in other jurisdictions including San Francisco, L.A. County noted proactively that marijuana retailers would not have to close.

In Ohio, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine closed all schools statewide and health officials have advised residents to limit trips out of the home. On Sunday, bars and restaurants were ordered to close and three days later, barbershops, nail salons, and other nonessential businesses were added to the required closures. However, state regulators said that medical marijuana dispensaries would be treated the same as pharmacies, allowing them to stay open for business.

The Ohio State Medical Board said on Wednesday that it would not enforce a rule requiring an in-person visit with a physician to obtain a recommendation for medical marijuana. Instead, doctors will be permitted to conduct consultations with their patients via telemedicine appointments in an effort to support social distancing, especially for people who are already ill and may have a compromised immune system. The state also suggested that medical marijuana patients at high risk for contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus designate a caregiver to pick up their medicine, if possible.

Other jurisdictions that have ordered business closures during the continuing coronavirus outbreak including the Netherlands, Michigan, and Illinois have also allowed cannabis dispensaries to remain open during the crisis.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Jerry Freeman

    March 21, 2020 at 11:33 pm

    Hi,
    Can you offer any advice on securing a dispensary license in the states of Alabama and Georgia. Just trying to be proactive based on where were at in the legalization Process. What are the most difficult? Growing, Supplying a dispensary or the dispensary?
    Thanks in advance!
    Jerry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

HT Newsletter

Subscribe for exclusive access to deals, free giveaways and more!

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Advertisement

You May Also Like

News

Because of the restrictions necessary in the time of COVID-19, many are looking for new ways to consume cannabis—including drinking it.

News

Recreational cannabis users may now buy their favorite flowers in Massachusetts.

News

Due to the limitations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohioans can collect signatures on certain petitions electronically.

Activism

The fight to end the War on Drugs continues on a different front.

News

Massachusetts pot shops will be allowed to reopen later this month.

News

The fight for cannabis legalization in New York is not over.

Health

A vaccine component using a cannabis-based protein could be ready as soon as the end of August.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!