The coronavirus pandemic may be bringing some permanent changes to the cannabis industry. Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division says it is pursuing options to extend the state’s cannabis policies which were put in place as emergency measures.
Despite early and permissive cannabis regulation in Colorado, the state has not allowed “to-go orders” or curbside pickup until this year. During the state’s safer-at-home order, in order to limit in-person interaction in cannabis shops, Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order allowing for these practices.
Some in the industry are in favor of keeping these services after the temporary safer-at-home order expires. Given that the coronavirus is likely to be in the population well into next year, it could continue to protect the health of both workers and customers.
“I’d like to see the curbside option stay around after this, even with more restrictions in place,” Hannah Munsterman, general manager of the Clinic dispensary in Denver told Westword. “That way, we still have limited exposure with people coming in the store.”
The state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) says it would require a change in law or another executive order to enable to-go orders permanently. However, it is currently looking into whether it could extend the current guidelines without any changes to regulation.
“We understand our stakeholders’ interest in maintaining a range of options they can utilize to serve their customers consistent with social-distancing guidelines. On that front, we are currently evaluating which rule provisions we have the ability to implement on a longer-term basis,” said MED communication director Shannon Gray.
While there is hope that the practice could last a little longer, Gray insists that there are no guarantees that things won’t soon go back to the way they were.
“Absent those changes, licensees should keep in mind the 120-day timeline that applies to the emergency rules,” she added.
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