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How WA Cannabis Businesses Have Stayed Open During Pandemic

The cannabis store is one of the few retail experiences we still have

On January 21, 2020, a man in Washington State was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus after he traveled to China. This was the first confirmed case in the United States. A little over a month later, on February 29, a man in Washington died from what we were now calling COVID-19. This was the first reported COVID-19 death in the United States, though we would later learn that two residents of a nursing home in Washington State had died a few days before and a man in California’s autopsy later confirmed that he had succumbed to the virus on February 6.

At that point, everything began to accelerate. On March, 11  Governor Jay Inslee banned gatherings of more than 250 people in several counties. Washington was the first state to take what felt like an extreme measure of banning large gatherings. Twelve days later, on March 23rd, Inslee issued Washington’s state at home order shutting down non-essential businesses across the state. Among the few businesses deemed essential were the state’s marijuana retail stores, processors, and growers.

By now we’ve all become familiar with life under COVID-19 lockdown as these measures have been undertaken around the country and the world. The subject of reopening businesses has led to contentious debate and even protests. We don’t know when it will be safe to reopen or what will happen when we do but we do know that business is not going to simply go back to normal.

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