SAN JOSE — Dispensaries and licensed cannabis companies can remain open through the shelter-in-place order issued by Santa Clara and six other counties, the city said Tuesday.

So long as they practice social distancing measures, dispensaries are considered “essential” businesses, confirmed city spokesperson Rosario Neaves.

“In our case in the city, we’re considering medical cannabis a healthcare operation, as long as they comply with the social distancing requirements,” Neaves said Tuesday.

Outside the dispensary Haze and Smith and Phelan avenues, San Jose resident Robert Doering was among ten or so people waiting his turn inside.

Doering, a service technician for a window company, said he needed to pick up CBD for an arthritic knee that he injured while working a few years ago.

“Some people just use it to get high,” he said. “But for other people, it’s a medical use for pain.”

A few blocks away, dispensaries Caliva and CA Collective likewise appeared to be fielding customers. The 15 people lined up outside Caliva left about two to three feet of space between one another; the county’s social distancing requirement calls for six feet.

Some customers donned face masks and gloves.

At one point, a worker walked outside and called on customers to spread out.

“It’s critical for us to remain open,” he said.

Whether cannabis companies will remain open broadly in the Bay Area remains to be seen. In a letter to Alameda County officials Tuesday, a local Oakland lawyer asked that “the Board of Supervisors confirm on the dais that all licensed cannabis businesses in good standing are recognized” as essential under the order.

As for the 15 minute wait to get inside Haze Tuesday morning, customer Doering didn’t seem to mind.

“It’s way longer at the grocery store. Now those lines are really, really long,” he said.

Check back for updates.


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