As many Americans continue to sacrifice most of their normal lives to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, safe and legal access to cannabis remains essential according to lawmakers and consumers alike.
More than a dozen states have deemed legal marijuana dispensaries as “essential” operations that are allowed to conduct business throughout efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19, reports Forbes.
“The recognition by our government officials that cannabis is indeed not just here to stay, but an essential part of life for millions of Americans—particularly in the patient community—is a welcome move in the right direction,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri told Forbes. “It is also a move that could not have come at a better moment for those who still require access to maintain quality of life during these trying and troubled times.”
Much like other essential businesses such as grocery stores and banks, cannabis dispensaries are doing their part to slow the spread of the virus by incorporating heightened sanitary measures and social distancing practices such as curbside delivery and home delivery.
The Bay Area delivery service bud.com has experienced a major surge in order volume ever since California declared that residents should stay at home as much as possible. Drivers are instructed to keep a respectful distance, wear gloves, and apply sanitizer between calls.
“[Cannabis] patients should not unduly expose themselves to germs leaving the house to get medical marijuana,” reads a bud.com announcement on their website. “Other people will turn to alcohol from the market, drinking at home to blur the boredom.”
“We hope bud.com can provide a safe way for home-bound people to get access to lab-tested medical and recreational cannabis,” they added.
Brick and mortar pot shops are quickly pivoting towards delivery, but in the meantime many dispensaries are offering curbside pickup to visiting patients.
Nearly a dozen shops out of California’s 600 or so dispensaries have received licenses to conduct curbside pickup since March 17, reports Leafly.
Rather than purchasing their order indoors, customers are asked to place their order by phone or online. They will then meet at a designated parking space after receiving a text or email confirmation, and will be handed orders without leaving their car.
According to Debby Goldsberry, operator of Magnolia Wellness in Oakland, CA, about 10 percent of customers are now using curbside pickup since the dispensary began taking orders on March 18.
“Safer access is important in normal times but, in times of crisis like what we’re dealing with today, it is absolutely essential for dispensaries to continue serving patients and the community at large,” Goldsberry told Leafly.