Protecting Medical Cannabis Access During the Coronavirus Pandemic
We, the undersigned, urge governors of medical cannabis states to ensure patients can safely access their medicine in a way that is consistent with public health guidelines on preventing the spread of COVID-19. Cannabis is a crucial part of the treatment regimens of hundreds of thousands of patients, and for these individuals, the uncertainty created by the crisis we face is compounded by the prospect of losing access to a medicine that is essential to their wellbeing.
In line with the recommendations of leaders and experts in the medical cannabis community, we request that medical cannabis states take the following actions to safeguard access while promoting social distancing:
- Declaring cannabis businesses “essential” and ensuring they do not have to shut down operations in the event of a stay-at-home order.
- Allowing and encouraging cannabis delivery, including allowing for it to be contactless.
- Allowing and encouraging online ordering and curbside delivery.
- Providing standard operating procedures to cannabis businesses so they can implement best practices to protect public health in the face of the pandemic.
- Ensuring businesses can continue operations during the pandemic, including in the event some personnel are ill and there is a need for quick hires, such as by waiving requirements that employees first receive or renew identification cards.
- Ensuring patients are allowed to consult with physicians by telemedicine.
- Extending the expiration date of medical cannabis cards until after the crisis has abated.
We are grateful to those state leaders who have already taken action in this regard, and we encourage you to continue the consideration and pursuit of further steps that can protect patients and all Americans from being impacted by the pandemic.