As officials work to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, the state Cannabis Control Commission said licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers will be able to offer curbside pickup to patients and caregivers.
The CCC has issued an administrative order that temporarily authorizes medical dispensaries to offer the curbside pickup. Earlier this week, medical marijuana companies were deemed essential businesses by Gov. Charlie Baker, who ordered all non-essential businesses to close during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers, or MCTs, under the administrative order will be able to conduct sales by phone or electronic means. Employees of MCTs can dispense marijuana products in their parking lots or at the entrance of the dispensary. The order is in effect as of noon today.
At curbside pickup, MCT employees will need to verify the age, registration status and patient allotment of the patient or caregiver before the purchase is completed. Video camera coverage of areas where marijuana is handled or dispensed is still required.
“Safe patient access during Massachusetts’ state of emergency requires regulatory responsiveness and intentional protocols aimed at reducing exposure to Coronavirus,” said CCC Executive Director Shawn Collins. “I am proud the Commission has deployed several system and policy enhancements to the Medical Use of Marijuana Program that both improve the patient experience and maintain compliant operations in the face of unanticipated disruptions to our way of life.”
The CCC said that in the interest of public safety, cash payments will only be accepted inside the facilities.
For MCTs that utilize curbside pickup, operators will need to submit to the CCC a standard operating procedure, including an updated facility layout identifying designated curbside sales areas, traffic queuing plans and signage to direct patients. The businesses must also notify municipalities, including police and health officials, of their plans.
MTCs must submit to the Commission a standard operating procedure for curbside pickup, including
In other efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, the CCC has also enabled certifying health care providers to apply for a waiver that allows for the certification of new patients using telehealth.
Additionally, the CCC said earlier this month that medical marijuana patient renewal certifications can be submitted after phone consultation as long a clinical visit has occurred within the past year.
As of March, there are more than 67,700 certified patients in Massachusetts, the CCC said.