Cities and states across the nation have implemented social distancing restrictions and have closed or limited the hours on “non-essential” businesses such as gyms, restaurants, bars, movie theaters and other venues because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Meanwhile, “essential” businesses such as banks, pharmacies, grocery stores and gas stations can remain open but are expected to implement social distancing techniques, such as wearing face masks and focusing on their delivery or pick-up services.
In areas like San Francisco with the strictest social distancing regulations, marijuana dispensaries have been deemed as essential, NPR reported.
“Cannabis is an essential medicine for many San Francisco residents,” said a San Francisco Department of Public Health tweet. “Dispensaries can continue to operate as essential businesses during this time, while practicing social distancing and other public health recommendations.”
In Illinois, the state enacted a new law to allow dispensaries to “sell medical cannabis on the dispensary’s property or on a public walkway or curb adjacent to the dispensary” until March 30.
In states such as Arizona where the virus has had a smaller impact than in other states, social distancing is only at a recommendation stage and not regulation. Thus far, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has only recommended that people take simple measures such as washing hands and utilizing businesses’ drive-throughs or pick-ups to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
AP Photo Sue Ogrocki; ADHS