Let’s be real: if in 2010 we told you that in 10 years, cannabis will be deemed an ‘essential product’ during a global pandemic, you’d probably look at us and laugh. There’s a lot there that seems a little unlikely. Well… we have news for you. Things are certainly changing, and changing fast, as LA announces that and cannabis dispensaries are an “essential.” Read on to learn more.
Thanks to the quarantine measures being taken across the globe to help suppress the novel coronavirus’ spread, we’re seeing an unprecedented amount of businesses closing across Canada and the US, and residents being asked to halt all “nonessential business and travel.”
An Essential Right For Everyone
This past Thursday, California was the latest city to announce precautionary measures on residents and businesses, asking them to follow the newly enacted “Safer at Home” order. Following the lead of many other states and countries, California Gov. Gavin Newsom shared the details of the order, asking the nearly 40 million residents of California to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Beyond residents being called on to stay home during this uncertain time, all “non-essential businesses and areas” are also being closed down across LA.
The good news? Marijuana dispensaries across the city are being considered as “essential businesses,” and they allowed to remain open during the lockdown. Under the “Safer at Home” law, Los Angeles has named any “cannabis dispensaries with a medicinal cannabis license” as “essential infrastructure” or “healthcare operations” and are exempt from closing during these uncertain times.
While dispensaries across the city are allowed to operate, they must adhere to some rules around social-distancing and cannot include more than 10 people in one place.
Maintaining The Rights Of Medical Marijuana Patients
As the pandemic is growing across the globe, and countries around the world and states across the US respond, one organization, Americans For Safe Access, is working to help maintain the rights of cannabis patients in the face of the coronavirus.
“In light of the current state of COVID-19 and the CDC’s actions, Americans for Safe Access has been monitoring the situation to make sure that medical cannabis patients are not forgotten,” Americans For Safe Access Founder and President Steph Sherer stated this past week. “We want to ensure that dispensaries are seen as essential businesses that will remain open for patients. We applaud states that have already put emergency precautions into action, and we will keep patients and the public updated on any future developments through our COVID-19 response page.”
The news that marijuana is seen now as essential after years of fighting for legalization is a beacon of hope and a distinct indication of a societal shift in thought around cannabis. Through deeming dispensaries as essential businesses, we are enabling those who use marijuana for medical purposes to maintain some semblance of normalcy during these tough times. In fact, a new study from Spain, researchers found that marijuana use was associated with overall well being in sick patients.
Here at Calm Collectiv, we strongly believe that medical cannabis is absolutely an essential need and during this strange time, people may need it more than ever. We hope that you’re staying healthy and safe!