Last month Governor Baker issued an emergency order that required all employers who do not provide COVID-19 essential services to close their physical workplaces to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Industries that are exempt include healthcare, public safety, groceries and take-out restaurants, utilities and infrastructure.
The list does not include recreational marijuana shops, which has upset many in the cannabis industry who are asking, if liquor stores are essential, why aren’t dispensaries? Several recreational dispensaries have filed a lawsuit stating that shutting these stores during COVID-19 is “crushing their businesses and hurting public health.”
Groups asking Gov. Baker to reconsider, including the Veterans Cannabis Project, are concerned individuals will turn to seeking out unsafe products on the illicit market.
Gov. Baker said keeping these shops open would draw crowds from other states, going against the COVID-19 mitigation strategy of social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travel. This could further the spread of coronavirus throughout the state.
What do you think? Should recreational marijuana shops be considered essential during the COVID-19 pandemic? Vote in our poll and add your comments in the section below.
(Note: Medical dispensaries are considered essential and remain open for patients with medical ID cards.)
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