Categories: Cannabis

California declares licensed Cannabis businesses to remain unaffected during statewide lockdown

The global lockdown is causing immense chaos and panic buying, as the population tries to prepare itself for the quarantine. To cope up with the new restrictions, necessities such as food and toilet paper are the first to be stocked up by the population.

However Californians have recognized another “essential”– cannabis. While the local officials are shutting down the non- essential businesses, huge cannabis sales have been recorded in California and other states, by the dispensaries and delivery services.

Gov. Gavin Newsom had issued an order across the state, allowing all licensed cannabis businesses in California to be uninterrupted of the effective statewide lockdown that was executed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. While this decision has classified the cannabis companies as “essential businesses”, it has boosted the sales in the marijuana industry during this statewide lockdown.

Before Newsom’s official declaration, there was ambiguity of where the business could operate legally in the state after the Governor’s official issuance of the statewide lockdown. However, the sales shot up to nearly 230 percent within a week, owing the increase mainly to Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley (giving a combined sale of 66 percent), right before the official declaration of the cannabis businesses as “essential businesses”.

The identified business and industries that had been categorized as “essential” were stated in the official clarification document by Newsom. During the effective lockdown, along with hospitals and other medical facilities, cannabis retailers were legally allowed to continue their businesses, uninterrupted.

The document was not biased towards any part of the supply chain, but considered every distributor, manufacturer etc involved, as essential under the new state policy.

Nicole Elliot, the senior advisor on Cannabis in Newsoms’s Office of Business and Economic Development, had chosen to not differentiate medical and recreational cannabis companies. Thus, Elliot allowed all cannabis businesses to operate smoothly, as they did before the lockdown – as long as they were licensed.

As stated by the state Bureau of Cannabis Control – “Because cannabis is an essential medicine for many residents, licensees may continue to operate at this time so long as their operations comply with local rules and regulations.”, the businesses are allowed to operate under legal rules and regulations.

However, during the rise of the global pandemic, the Center for Disease Control has expected the cannabis businesses to implement and adhere to their guidance regarding the prevention of the spread of the COVID-19

The guidance includes

  • Sick employees must be encouraged to work from home, thus implementing social distancing.
  • Proper hygiene must be followed to take precautionary measures regarding the spread of COVID-19
  • Maintenance of cleanliness at workplaces to ensure sanitization.

After the issuance of the statewide order, on Thursday night for the lockdown of approximately 40 million people, Weedmaps recorded the highest number of sales and orders in their 12 year history. Thus, that had increased their average 4/20 sales by almost 50 percent.

According to Weedmaps, California, alone had increased sales up to 204 percent within 7 days.

The cannabis businesses take a sigh of relief as their businesses remain unaffected by the lockdown, and as Californians continue to boost their sales despite the lockdown.

Jane Clarke

Masters in Biotechnology, the author loves to write about health and fitness in her spare time.

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