While business after business is seeing its doors being forced to close as a result of the worsening coronavirus pandemic in the United States, cannabis dispensaries might not suffer the same fate. In fact, legal cannabis shops are being protected by government officials to ensure consumers continue to get access amid this growing crisis.
The situation surrounding the spread of the coronavirus continues to be dire, with over 40,000 cases of infection across the US as of the time of this writing and continuing to rise by the hour.
The circumstances have prompted government officials to order lockdowns of states and closures of “non-essential” businesses. People are encouraged to practice social distancing, making certain businesses difficult to operate without breaking these rules. To ensure appropriate distance is maintained to keep everyone safe, many businesses have been forced to temporarily shut down.
Cannabis shops may not only be spared these forced closures but may also thrive to a certain extent as a result of the current situation. In fact, many cities across the nation deem cannabis shops as “essential services” that many Americans depend on, especially during tumultuous times like these. And many states are taking steps to ensure that legal cannabis shops remain operational during the coronavirus outbreak.
States like Connecticut, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and New York, for instance, are deeming cannabis dispensaries “essential” businesses that are not required to adhere to a general closure order by state officials.
Officials of many states have gone so far as to put temporary policies into place to protect the cannabis industry throughout the coronavirus pandemic and keep business flowing. For instance, delivery and curbside pickup services have been expanded to better serve consumers looking to access cannabis without going against the two-meter social distancing protocol. Other states are permitting consumers to obtain medical cannabis recommendations and prescriptions from physicians virtually instead of requiring in-person doctor visits.
The long line-ups to get into grocery stores that are becoming more mainstream these days are carrying over to cannabis shops. Legalized cannabis dispensaries have reported heightened demand outside their shops in many cities. The steps being taken by government officials to protect cannabis dispensaries and keep legal cannabis available and accessible to adults is a testament to the role cannabis plays in the lives of many.
Cannabis has been shown to help curb feelings of anxiety , and considering the stressful time we are all in right now as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, consumers who rely on cannabis to alleviate their feelings of anxiety may need it now more than ever. Given the current state of cannabis dispensaries as they relate to wide-spread business closures, cannabis consumers are comforted knowing their access generally continues.
- Walsh Z, et al. “Medical Cannabis and Mental Health: A Guided Systematic Review.” Clinical Psychology Review, vol. 51, 2017, pp. 15–29, doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2016.10.002. Impact Factor: 8.897; Cited by: 61