As states move to reopen after the coronavirus shutdowns, dispensaries in parts of the country that failed to declare them essential businesses will also start serving their first in-person customers in weeks.
In Massachusetts, where dispensaries took legal action over the closure of their businesses back in April, Governor Charlie Baker unveiled his plan for the state’s gradual reopening. Starting May 25, 44 recreational marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to start offering curbside pickups.
When Governor Baker ordered the closure of all non-essential business on March 24, including recreational pot retailers, he said he feared out-of-staters looking to buy weed could have accelerated the spread of the coronavirus in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission announced the good news earlier this week as it highlighted its ability to effectively “preserve public health and safety through curbside operations and other emergency protocols.”
“I am confident that our adult-use licensees and their customers will adapt just the same when they reopen under similar protocols next week,” Executive Director of the CCC Shawn Collins said in a statement.
Curbside pickups have already kicked off in Nevada. Since the beginning of May the state has allowed cannabis retailers to offer curbside pickups.
These transactions begin online, where customers place their orders before driving to their local dispensary.
Dispensary employees wearing gloves and masks are required to ID everyone that arrives for their pickup while customers are required to pay for their purchases by dropping money in a bag as marijuana can only be bought with cash. The entire process is recorded on camera, the same as inside physical dispensaries.
Meanwhile, in Canada’s most populous province Ontario, authorities extended the possibility to private retailers to offer home delivery and curbside pickups.
Some retailers are already allowed to open up shop if they meet certain criteria such as the possibility to practice social distancing in-store. Ontario’s pot shops have been closed since April 4.
Dispensaries across the U.S. and Canada initially experienced a significant jump in sales as consumers moved to stock up on weed just before coronavirus lockdowns took effect. However, the surge in sales was short-lived as concerns over the pandemic eased.