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California Cannabis Retailers See Sales Boom, But Coronavirus Forces Some Store Closures, New Regulations

“It’s an hour-by-hour and day-by-day period that we’re in”

Well before the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S., cannabis experts predicted significant contraction for the legal California marijuana industry this year.

Cannabis sales are currently brisk at many California marijuana shops as consumers stock up over the fear MJ retailers could shutter indefinitely – but even so, the business fallout surrounding coronavirus has pushed some California MJ firms closer to the brink as they deal with:

  • Uncertainties related to potential shop closures that government officials might mandate by law.
  • Unclear or changing rules from California municipalities.
  • Long-term business anxieties that might follow even after coronavirus issues subside.

On Monday, several local governments in the San Francisco Bay Area issued orders for cannabis retailers to adapt operations by shuttering storefronts and allowing sales only via delivery or through online orders and curbside pickups.

Additionally, San Francisco regulators ordered all marijuana retail to stop on Monday.

That move was offset by quick action by the state Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), which was reportedly fast to respond to retailers asking for permission to perform curbside pickups for customers.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the state had issued no clear mandates for how the MJ industry should continue to operate, which only added to the uncertainty around how the coronavirus will affect California’s cannabis industry in weeks and months to come.

“It’s an hour-by-hour and day-by-day period that we’re in, adapting and adjusting to the changes,” said Josh Drayton, spokesman for the California Cannabis Industry Association.

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