Buying Weed During a Pandemic: State by State Rules

The rules may change in response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, but here are current COVID-19 guidelines for buying weed in each state. 

Jar of marijuana and twenty dollar bills Source: iStock

All states with medical marijuana programs have kept dispensaries open. The only state to consider adult-use cannabis retail store non-essential is Massachusetts.

Customers should call their local dispensary or cannabis retail store before heading over as each store may have its own set of social distancing policies in place. 

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The rules may change in response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, but here are current COVID-19 guidelines for buying weed in each state. 

Arizona

Dispensaries are considered essential services in Arizona. Some Arizona dispensaries are implementing policies to mitigate the risk of spreading disease including changing business hours, limiting the number of patrons in the store at a time, and switching to online orders only. 

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Telemedicine is only allowed for patients who need to renew their cannabis license, not initial appointments. 

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Arkansas

Medical marijuana is essential in Arkansas. Some dispensaries are taking extra precautions like switching to delivery services, shortening business hours, and limiting the number of patients in the building at a time. 

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Telemedicine is not allowed for initial license appointments or renewals. 

California

Cannabis retail stores are considered essential in California whether they sell medical or recreational marijuana. Delivery is encouraged, but patrons can pick up cannabis in-store or curbside. 

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Telemedicine can be used for initial and renewal license appointments. 

Colorado

Marijuana business is essential in Colorado. The state has ordered that cannabis retail stores and dispensaries ensure social distancing. Medical marijuana patients can have cannabis delivered to them or they may go inside dispensaries to purchase their medicine. Retail cannabis customers are only able to pick up their product curbside. 

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Telemedicine can be used for initial and renewal license appointments. 

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Connecticut

Medical marijuana has been deemed an essential in Connecticut. Patients are able to access their medicine in-store or via delivery. Recreational cannabis can be accessed via curbside pickup. 

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Telemedicine can be used for initial and renewal license appointments. 

District of Columbia

Patients can still access medical marijuana through usual channels in Washington D.C. Some dispensaries are implementing social distancing policies such as limiting the number of people who can be in the building.

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Currently, delivery is not allowed in D.C. The legally gray cannabis “gifting” industry is still functioning as usual. 

Telemedicine is only allowed for license renewals. 

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Delaware

Medical marijuana is an essential business in Delaware. Patients can access medicine in person at dispensaries, but are encouraged to use online delivery services if possible. 

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Telemedicine is only allowed for license renewals. 

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Florida

Florida has deemed medical marijuana dispensaries essential businesses. Patients can access their medicine via delivery or curbside pickup. 

Telemedicine is allowed for initial and renewal license appointments.  

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Hawaii

Medical marijuana dispensaries are essential in Hawaii. Patients can have their medicine delivered or they can access it in person at a dispensary. 
   
Telehealth is only allowed for license renewals. 

Illinois

Medical and adult use cannabis are essential in Illinois. Patients and patrons can pick up their cannabis in store or curbside. Delivery is not allowed. 

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Telemedicine can be used for initial and renewal license appointments. 

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Iowa

Medical cannabidiol is legal in Iowa and an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients can access their CBD medicine by picking it up curbside. 

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Telemedicine is encouraged for patients who want to see their doctors. 

Louisiana

Medical marijuana is essential in Louisiana. Patients can have it delivered to them wherever they are by dispensary employees.  

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Telemedicine is allowed for initial and renewal appointments. 

Maine

Medical marijuana dispensaries are essential in Maine. Patients can access their medicine by having it delivered to them or visiting dispensaries in person. The opening of adult use cannabis stores is likely to be delayed. 

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Telemedicine can be used to meet with doctors. Expired ID cards will be accepted if they are accompanied with an unexpired patient certification. 

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Maryland

Medicinal marijuana is essential in Maryland. Patients can have their medicine delivered to them or they can pick it up from the dispensary or curbside. Dispensaries are encouraged to implement social distancing policies. 

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Telehealth may be used for renewals. 

Massachusetts

Medicinal marijuana is essential in Massachusetts, but adult use cannabis is not. Medical patients can access their medicine via delivery, in store, or by picking it up curbside. 

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Telemedicine may be used for initial and renewal license appointments. 

Michigan

Cannabis businesses are essential in Michigan. Customers can have their product delivered to them or they can pick it up curbside. 

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Telemedicine is allowed for renewal license appointments only. 

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Minnesota

Medical marijuana is an essential business in Minnesota. Patients can access their medicine in store or by picking it up curbside. Delivery is not allowed. 
   
Telemedicine can be used for initial and renewal license appointments. 

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Montana

Medical marijuana is essential in Montana. Patients may purchase their entire month’s supply of medicine in one trip. Patients may pick up their medicine curbside. Delivery options are allowed in some municipalities. 

Telemedicine can be used for initial and renewal license appointments. 

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Nevada

Cannabis businesses are essential in Nevada. Delivery is the only option for both adult use customers and medical patients. Storefronts are closed. 

Telemedicine can be used for initial and renewal license appointments. 

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New Hampshire

Medical marijuana is essential in New Hampshire. Patients can pick up their medicine curbside. Delivery is not allowed. 

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Telemedicine can be used for initial and renewal license appointments. 

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New Jersey

Medical marijuana is essential in New Jersey. Patients can purchase their cannabis in advance and make an appointment to pick it up curbside. 

Telemedicine can be done by phone for new patients. Renewal consultations are not required. 

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New Mexico

Medical marijuana is essential in New Mexico. Patients can receive their medicine through delivery or pick it up curbside or in store. 

Telemedicine is allowed for renewal license appointments only. 

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New York

Medical marijuana is essential in New York. Delivery services have been expanded. Patients can have their medicine delivered to them or they can pick it up curbside. 

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Telemedicine is allowed for initial and renewal license appointments. 

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North Dakota

North Dakota has not placed any restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries as of yet. Patients can access their medicine as usual. Patients are encouraged to call ahead as some dispensaries may be implementing social distancing policies unique to their stores. 

Ohio

Medical marijuana is essential in Ohio. Patients can access cannabis in store. Curbside and delivery are not available. 

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Telemedicine is allowed for initial and renewal license appointments. 

Oklahoma

Medical marijuana is essential in Oklahoma. Patients can access their medicine in store or pick it up curbside. 

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Telemedicine can be used for renewal license appointments only. 

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Oregon

Recreational cannabis is not officially labeled as essential in Oregon. However, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission published a new release, on March 22nd, stating that cannabis retailers are temporarily allowed to offer curbside delivery.

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Pennsylvania

Medical marijuana is essential in Pennsylvania. Patients can access their medicine by picking it up curbside or having it delivered to them. 

Telemedicine is allowed for initial and renewal license applications. 

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Rhode Island

Medical marijuana is essential in Rhode Island. Patients can access their medicine via delivery or curbside pick up. 
   
Telemedicine is allowed for initial and renewal license appointments. 

Utah

Medical marijuana is essential in Utah’s brand-new industry. Patients can access their medicine in store but should call ahead. Some dispensaries are incorporating social distancing policies that may affect how many people can be in the building at a time. 

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Vermont

Medical marijuana is essential in Vermont. Patients pick up their medicine curbside or have it delivered to them. 

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Telemedicine is allowed for renewal license appointments only. 

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Washington

Medical marijuana is essential in Washington. Patients can pick up their medicine curbside or in store. Delivery is not allowed. 

Telemedicine is allowed for renewal license appointments only. 

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Don’t see your state on the list?

If your state didn’t make it into this guide, it’s likely because medical and/or recreational cannabis is illegal in your state.

Cannabis containing THC is not legal to sell in any form in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
Buying Weed During a Pandemic: State by State Rules was last modified: by