Mass. Medical Marijuana Applications Soaring Amid Pandemic

Almost 3 times the amount of usual applications have been filed

The majority of Americans believe medical marijuana dispensaries should be considered “essential businesses” during the coronavirus pandemic, a YouGov poll found last week.  Eight of the 11 states that have legalized adult-use marijuana have allowed recreational cannabis sales to continue, permitting stores follow strict social distancing protocol. In Maine, legal recreational marijuana sales haven’t started yet while Vermont has yet to form regulation around adult-use marijuana operations.

That leaves Massachusetts as the only state to halt legal recreational marijuana sales in the country. When Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker shut down all “non-essential” businesses on March 23, he included adult-use cannabis stores among the group. While some residents rushed to stockpile legal goods, others admitted they will turn to the black market. Baker stated last week restarting recreational cannabis sales was a “non-starter” until May 4.

In response, Massachusetts applications for medical marijuana cards have surged in recent weeks. Regulators see around 500 registrations in a usual 10-day period. In the weeks following the shutdown, more than 1,300 people have filed paperwork to receive medical marijuana cards.

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