Food. Toilet paper. Cannabis.
As the Colorado marijuana industry is faced with daily challenges stemming from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, similar to certain grocery items, marijuana sales have continued to increase. In a time where we as a nation are being advised to practice “social distancing” by avoiding gatherings of more than ten people and maintaining at least six feet away from the nearest person, what can Colorado marijuana businesses do to continue serving patients and consumers while limiting the possible spread of disease? Across the board, these are only a few minimum practices we are seeing being implemented:
Encourage online pick-up orders over in-person purchases Consider suspending walk-in business and moving to a temporary policy of “pick-up orders only” Provide employees and customers with hand sanitizer Prohibit physical contact, such as shaking hands, or touching any display cases Limit the number of employees at cash registers, and keep the same employee on the same register for the duration of their shift Limit the number of customers inside check-in and sales areas Have a staff or security member monitor lines to ensure a social distance of six feet between customers If necessary, place markers advising consumers of the recommended six foot distance Provide employees with a list of symptoms of COVID-19 and instructions on what to do if they present symptoms Know your suppliers and ensure they are following good manufacturing practices (GMPs), since many may be facing staff or equipment shortages Do not allow customers to handle product or smell it Disinfect surfaces after each transaction Disinfect registers in between employee shifts
Marijuana businesses [or Canna-businesses] are essential in these times. The mere use of marijuana, in terms of legislative approval, has been historically rooted in its medical applications and benefits. Therefore, it only makes sense for our Colorado localities to follow the majority position in the Bay area where both medical and retail cannabis businesses were deemed “Essential Businesses” for the purpose of remaining operational. (Please see here for
article discussing SF).
As essential businesses, the cannabis industry is contemplating “what’s next?” Given the first medical marijuana delivery license being approved three months after Delivery Permits became available, it may be time to push for fast-tracking local delivery approval. At a minimum, given the social distancing advice we keep hearing about, temporary curb-side pick-up should be authorized to help limit potential exposure of other consumers, employees, and products.
If you would like to discuss best practices for your cannabis operation in light of a global health crisis, or if you would like assistance in advocating for immediate policy changes our Cannabis Law Group is more than happy to talk. You can partner Rachel Gillette at