SATURDAY UPDATE: Westword reports on new measures by Gov. Jared Polis to keep those “essential” dispensaries open and safe:
While pre-ordering marijuana products that you later pay for at the dispensary is already legal in Colorado — and something that many pot shops have suggested customers do to avoid interaction during the virus spread — paying for orders online and then picking them up curbside was not allowed until Polis’s new executive order.
“I temporarily suspend the prohibition on retail marijuana store online sales…to facilitate pick up by consumers twenty-one years of age and older in a manner consistent with social-distancing guidelines promulgated by the [state Department of Public Health and Environment],” Polis’s executive order reads.
Coloradans in large numbers have been faithfully tuning in every day to Gov. Jared Polis’ regular briefings on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic from the state capitol, watching to see what measures are being taken here compared to both more lenient and far more stringent responses by other states. In particular, Colorado has not yet taken the step taken elsewhere of ordering “nonessential” businesses to completely shut down–which would result in substantial additional economic hardship and further restrict the availability of all kinds of products.
But as ABC News reports from California, one particular fairly recent business is being declared “essential” under the closure orders in that state and allowed to continue operating: legal marijuana shops!
Designated by many cities as “essential businesses,” legal weed purveyors from Oakland, California, to Denver have been reporting long lines of customers outside their shops similar to those recently seen at entrances to grocery stores and pharmacies.
“We’ve had both lines of cars and lines of people wrapping around our buildings,” Steve DeAngelo, co-founder and chairman emeritus of Harborside dispensaries in California, told ABC News. “It’s not about getting high, it’s about being well.”
Early numbers from the nationwide cannabis data intelligence firm Headset showed that legal marijuana sales in California skyrocketed 159% on Monday compared with the same day in 2019.
In New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also declared liquor stores to be essential businesses that will be allowed remain operating along with grocery stores and pharmacies. In both cases, we’d say cutting citizens off en masse from their favored “medicinal” inebriants, in addition to all of the other stressors every homebound American is experiencing today, would be a mistake with harm outweighing any benefit.
Instead of puffing and passing, though, everybody smoke your own.