Marijuana deliveries have long been a heated topic of discussion, with federal governments preventing these motions due to cannabis’s complex legal standing. Now that businesses and global health are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries are turning to curbside pickup.
Curbside pickup is the middle ground between keeping a business open and providing a much-needed delivery service during this time of social distancing. Costumers call ahead of time, drive or walk towards the dispensary and are met by an employee who hands them their product. While there still is some contact occurring between these people, curbside pickup eliminates the risk of packed stores, which is the worst thing people can do when facing an easily transmissible respiratory illness.
“We’re providing a very important medical service for the state of Pennsylvania medical marijuana patients by staying open. By doing this we’re not only helping our staff stay healthy, for those of us who do have chronic medical conditions, but we’re also keeping the patients safer by keeping the amount of contact to a minimum,” pharmacist Michael Ruggiero told WJACTV.
Businesses have differing opinions on this situation and on whether cannabis provisions will be affected in the long run. While curbside pickups and delivery options are functional and keep businesses running, there’s way more people than usual ordering large amounts of marijuana products.
“In the next few weeks we might notice a shortage of products. I can’t really speak for whether or not this is actually going to happen but I think we will see as time goes on if this is going to have an impact on a larger scale or not,” says Ruggiero.
The New York Times reports that marijuana businesses in San Francisco experienced a sharp spike in sales when the Bay Area issued a stay-at-home order. People were curiously ordering more edibles than usual. “It’s probably the easiest way to get high without touching your face very much,” said Liz Connors, director of analytics at cannabis research company Headset.
Coronavirus safety measures are evolving rapidly, constantly challenged by new government information and ways of managing crowds. A lot of these safety measures and decisions are also up to the individual stores, which have to come up with a way of complying with laws and protecting customers, such as implementing schedules for seniors and enabling curbside pickup.
Now that large states like California and New York are encouraging people to stay at home at all costs, dispensaries will have to work hard to provide different delivery options, schedules, or some way that prevents large gatherings outside stores as people wait for their products.