Marijuana retailers went ahead with plans to open their doors for recreational sales and took precautions to deal with the threat of coronavirus.
Fear not, medical marijuana patients and Michiganders looking for something to cope with the stress of the coronavirus pandemic: The Michigan Medical Marijuana Agency issued an order this week that will allow marijuana shops to provide curbside pickup for legal weed customers.
The agency also said that dispensaries that want to home deliver products to customers — both medical and recreational — still have to fill out the application paperwork to get a permit. But the state will expedite the application and have a final decisions within 24-48 hours.
The decision was made in light of the rapid spread of the coronavirus in Michigan.
There are more than 200 medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan for people holding medical marijuana cards and at least 53 that are also selling recreational marijuana to anyone 21 and older.
Of those, 85 medical marijuana dispensaries and 17 recreational shops offer home delivery services.
“We want to protect the safety of workers and avoid crowding at the stores,” said David Harns, spokesman for the agency.
Robin Schneider, executive director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association, said she was grateful for the swift action taken by the state.
“Our retail workers are the front lines of our industry and they began expressing concerns about wanting to help flatten the curve and keep everyone healthy,” she said. “We put in several requests to the agency and within 24 hours, those measures were in place.”
While people need their medical marijuana to help ease the symptoms of a variety of ailments, Schneider said it’s also an essential item in this time of worry over a spreading virus.
“Everyone is having anxiety and stress right now over this entire situation,” she said. “And cannabis does have a calming effect on people. We don’t want people going back to opiates and this is an essential item that is very important to many of our citizens.”
Contact Kathleen Gray: 313-223-4430, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @michpoligal
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