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Some States Are Vaccinating Cannabis Workers Against COVID-19

It’s patchwork as to whether employees are eligible as the vaccine rolls out

Old Apple Farm, which supplies Oregon’s legal marijuana industry, is a series of greenhouses and brightly painted, hangar-like buildings in the Willamette Valley. 

Inside, pickers and trimmers work away, kitted out in thousands of dollars of new personal protective equipment to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic and keep contributing to an industry the state has deemed essential. But according to CEO Michael Getlin, cannabis workers aren’t eligible to be vaccinated, even though the business has taken a huge dive to comply with Covid rules.

“It’s been crippling to us and slowed our time to market down threefold in 2020,” Mr Getlin said, “and we don’t have any change on the horizon for that unfortunately.”

Old Apple Farm’s workforce includes as many as 34 people during peak season, but that number has been slashed to allow for social distancing and other protective measures. Mr Getlin says he understands “there’s a lot of essential workers doing a lot of essential work” across different industries in Oregon and doesn’t envy the choice before public health authorities, but believes cannabis workers should 

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