California Cannabis Brands Send Letter To State Requesting Exemption From Lockdown


*UPDATE 4:02pm 3/16* (Included statement from Etienne Fontan – Berkeley Patients Group)
*UPDATE 6:52pm 3/16* (Included statement from Graham Farrar – Glasshouse Group)

Cannabis retailers in California haven’t had the easiest go of legalization. Issues such as illicit storefronts dotting Los Angeles as well as an ever-shifting set of regulations from the BCC have been the reality of California’s adult-use market. This past week the cannabis industry, along with the rest of North America, was hit with a new problem in COVID-19.

COVID-19, or Coronavirus, has taken the world by storm since first appearing in the Wuhan province of China more than 4 months ago. Now entering pandemic stages some states have taken drastic steps to help ‘flatten the curve’ or curb the ever-increasing infection rate. One of these steps to ‘flatten the curve’ has been social-distancing and event closures across the country.

As the virus progressed, San Fransisco’s Bay Area has implemented what is the strictest policy thus far in the country. ‘Shelter-In-Place’ states that effective at midnight, San Fran city residents would be required to stay at home “except for essential needs” and that all but essential businesses and public services would be asked to close. That order will remain in place through April 7.

In response, cannabis brands are uncertain as to how they are listed when it comes to essential businesses or non-essential. Graham Farrar, President of Glasshouse Group (which includes Glasshouse and The Farmacy) is currently circulating a letter to be sent to the Governor’s office requesting to be able to continue servicing patients during the crisis. That letter is embedded below.

Graham included this statement: “We encourage Gov Newsom and the local municipalities to remember that cannabis is at its essence medicine. The state of California has a 21yr+ history in its recognition of that fact, and nothing has changed since that. Cannabis is an essential service for many California citizens. In the face of everything that is going on, the relief that cannabis brings is needed now more than ever.”

Since this is a fluid situation we will bring you updates as they come.

*RETAILER UPDATE 4:05pm 3/16*

Etienne Fontan, director at Berkley Patients Group: “We sought immediate clarity upon learning of the shelter in place order and reached out as we could since we’re regulated by our city first, then by the state. We look forward to the Alameda County Supervisors meeting decision tomorrow. We can only work with what we have, which is today, which is static and changing. “

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