As coronavirus prevention measures are being taken throughout the world, cannabis dispensaries are being kept open across the United States as essential businesses.
Dispensaries are categorized as essential businesses alongside grocery stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, etc. Cannabis dispensaries provide necessary and oftentimes life-saving medicine to people who are healing with a wide array of pre-existing conditions including epilepsy, posttraumatic stress disorder, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and anxiety.
Massachusetts is allowing medical dispensaries to stay open but deeming recreational dispensaries to be “non-essential.”
“Recreational is open to everybody, but just because it’s purchased recreationally doesn’t mean it’s not medicine. Is an herb store not providing medicinal products?” says one Candid Chronicle reader from a state where only medical dispensaries are open.
Nevada is allowing both medical and recreational dispensaries to stay open, which is a relief to those who use cannabis medicinally but have yet to register for a medical card.
“Anxiety, for example, doesn’t have to be prescribed by a doctor to be real. This is a time where many people who have not felt anxiety before are experiencing it now,” says a Candid Chronicle reader.
Many states, like California, have allowed dispensaries to expand their delivery services as well as provide pick up orders as to reduce human-to-human contact. Dispensaries are applying social distancing regulations in storefronts that are still allowing in-person sales, such as requiring clientele to stay 6 feet away from one another and limiting the number of persons allowed in the dispensary at a given time.
Other states like Pennsylvania, which are medical-only, have allowed dispensaries to stay open. While Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis industry is relatively new, patients and caregivers are seeing massive lines and waits while seeking out their medicine. Pennsylvania dispensaries saw a 19.2% increase in medical cannabis, according to Intelligence Analyst Ostap Rapeyko.
One issue in states which only allow medical cannabis is that many medical patients are at a high risk of being severely affected by COVID-19, meaning that they should not be leaving their homes. Getting a caregiver isn’t always easy, either. Pennsylvania’s caregiver program, for example, doesn’t allow caregiver ID’s to people without a Pennsylvania State ID. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based Black Dragon Breakfast Club assists medical patients and caregivers in the process of receiving their proper identification. Black Dragons are a cannabis advocacy, education, and community enrichment organization.
Americans for Safe Access sent a letter to US Governors, urging them to protect medical cannabis patients amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
For states that have yet to legalize any form of cannabis sales, the widespread denotation of cannabis companies as essential businesses sets an example; cannabis is a proven medicine that is integral to the health and wellbeing of countless people. Cannabis is an essential part of daily life for millions in America.
“Modern medicine is about profit and treating the problem when it comes, when it’s already showing. Holistic medicine, which I include marijuana to be apart of, is about maintaining and keeping your body and spirit aligned before you need treatments from a doctor. Marijuana to me is a pre-emptive healing agent, it keeps my spirit calm, which allows my body to stay regulated and working properly. Our minds and our bodies are intertwined, we can’t just look at cannabis as either a medicinally or a recreationally used substance, because even “recreational” users are benefitting medicinally from consuming cannabis,” says one Candid Chronicle reader whose jurisdiction does not yet allow recreational cannabis sales.
To our readers, please stay safe and stop sharing jays. Check out Candid Chronicle’s 5 tips for carefully consuming cannabis while preventing coronavirus.