As different jurisdictions adapt to changing pandemic realities, we strive to keep our readership safe and updated on how the pandemic affects them. In case we haven’t mentioned it, stay away from people and wash your hands. But, like, for twenty actual seconds. That’s a really long time. But do it.
Locally, Ganapreneur is reporting Washington rule changes similar to those we reported in Oregon earlier this week. This will mean allowing curbside deliveries of cannabis that’s been pre-ordered through app or phone. Utah has also loosened requirements for medical access, allowing purchase with a doctor’s letter for those whose medical applications are currently pending approval from the state, says local news coverage. Elsewhere, the Cannabis Business Times reports that pandemic concerns have forced officials in Maine to again delay the launch of the state’s recreational marijuana program, which was approved by voters in 2016. We feel for those Maine voters. Four years is a long time to wait and there’s no better way to shelter in place than with some sweet legal greeny.
The pandemic’s early impact on the cannabis business is unclear. Leafly, following an earlier round of layoffs last year, was forced to lay off an additional 40% of its remaining staff among coronavirus fears, says TechCrunch. But on the retail and delivery side, self-isolation seems to have provided a durable boost to cannabis consumption even after the initial hoarding bump has subsided. The Sacramento Business Journal reports several cannabis processing and delivery services that are hiring new staff to meet surging demand. The article notes that loosened restrictions on curbside delivery have been a major driver in keeping dispensaries safely operating during the covid isolation era.
We salute the OLCC and other regulatory agencies for taking proactive steps to temporarily adjust the rules that govern the industry to keep consumers safe. We continue to advocate for a temporary easing of delivery norms to make it easier for more dispensaries to deliver to customer homes.