Recreational cannabis dispensaries in Massachusetts reopened their doors today.
Pot shops were allowed to begin operating again with restrictions.
Dispensaries will now be permitted to offer curbside pickup and are encouraged to go cashless and take customer orders online as well as over the phone.
As for all other businesses, recreational dispensaries across Massachusetts must implement increased sanitation and reduce customer volume to comply with statewide mandated regulations.
Customers and employees will also be required to wear masks and additional social distancing strategies should be factored in as much as possible.
“We’re planning for a reduced volume of approximately a third of what our volume was prior to COVID – that includes our adult-use and our medical operations,” said NETA president, Amanda Rositano.
According to a Final Cease and Desist Order issued by the Cannabis Control Commission originally released on March 23rd and amended on April 7th, “All licensed Marijuana Establishments (MEs), Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MTCs), and Colocated Marijuana Operations (CMOs)…are permitted to operate their physical workplaces and facilities…and begin a phased reopening of their business subject to the Governor’s COVID-19 Order No. 33.”
This is after the government mandated shutdown forced recreational marijuana shops to close in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, deeming them nonessential services in the Bay State.
Governor Charlie Baker ordered all businesses considered nonessential to shut down on March 24th.
When asked about any concerns regarding the potential spread of COVID-19 by cannabis smokers, Gov. Baker admitted that he still had those concerns, however, he also expressed that it “makes sense” to allow recreational dispensaries to open for business.
“If you’re gonna do curbside, it makes sense to do curbside for everybody,” said Baker.
Other states have declared cannabis an essential product in an effort to prevent any possible resurgence of the former black market for marijuana.
Pure Oasis co-owner Kobie Evans recently told WBUR, “We’re just excited. We’re looking forward to seeing our staff and our customers, and really want to make sure that people are safe and staying healthy and, you know, just looking forward to this new opportunity to be open after being closed for so long.”
Commonwealth Dispensary Association President David Rorrisi told Boston.com, “We appreciate this gesture of confidence by the Administration and believe it is reflective of our industry’s commitment to workplace and consumer safety, as well as our history of compliance and significant regulatory oversight.”
Boston Globe Marijuana (@MarijuanaNews) Tweeted earlier today, “Recreational marijuana sales are resuming in Massachussets today. With months of pent-up demand and the reopening falling on a holiday, unusually large numbers of customers are expected.”
Recreational marijuana sales are resuming in Massachusetts today. With months of pent-up demand and the reopening falling on a holiday, unusually large numbers of customers are expected. https://t.co/GNfqtuswpe
— Boston Globe Marijuana (@MarijuanaNews) May 25, 2020
Another Tweet by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (@MA_Cannabis) also posted a Tweet saying, “Starting on 5/25, adult-use cannabis retailers will be allowed to reopen utilizing curbside operations, in accordance with Governor Baker’s phased reopening of workplaces to address COVID-19.”
Added Rorrisi, “We have long maintained that adult-use retail facilities are uniquely prepared to safely operate as we combat the spread of COVID-19 as our industry has successfully done so on the medical side.”