Most red-blooded Americans think medical marijuana dispensaries should remain open as essential services during coronavirus-spurred stay-at-home orders, according to a nationwide survey.

The website YouGov polled5,369 adults in the U.S. with the question “Do you believe medical marijuana dispensaries should or should not be considered essential services?”

53% said dispensaries should be considered essential, 26% said they shouldn’t, and 21% said they did not know.

Differences of opinion, however, appear to shift given political beliefs and region in the country. Not surprisingly, Democrats were significantly more supportive of MMJ as an essential service than Republicans. 62% of donkeys said the dispensaries should remain open while only 42% of elephants and 52% of independents came to the same conclusion.

50% of respondents in southern states said that MMJ dispensaries should be considered essential, while 57% in the Northeast said they were essential as hell and those in the Midwest and the West were in the middle at 53% and 56%, respectively.

Age also seemed to contribute to beliefs on cannabis, but was only noticeable in one demographic. A majority of each respondents between ages 18 and 55 believed that medical marijuana was essential, but among those 55 and over, only 47% thought they should keep up services during the lockdown

The feelings of the American public are reflected in the policies of many jurisdictions throughout the country. Steph Sherer, founder and president of Americans for Safe Access said in a press release last Wednesday that “18 states have now declared cannabis businesses essential.” 

As reported by High Times, Sherer also noted that many areas have also revised their medical marijuana regulations to allow continuity of services while adhering to social distancing protocols.

“These include expanding delivery services, allowing curbside pickup, extending the expiration date of state-issued cannabis identification cards, and allowing telehealth visits for new and renewing medical cannabis certifications… We applaud these efforts at the state level and are honored to serve governments and medical cannabis stakeholders on behalf of patients,” she said.

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