The quickly spreading coronavirus has created confusion among companies
Most state governments around the nation have deemed medical marijuana companies “essential” during the coronavirus pandemic, meaning the vast majority can keep doing business after residents were told to stay at home and many businesses were ordered to scale back or close their operations.
But the picture is murkier for recreational cannabis companies.
The quickly spreading coronavirus – and the surge of states telling residents to stay home since last week – has created confusion among cannabis companies over whether officials would require them to cease operations, even temporarily.
Decisions handed down from various government sources
At least 17 states so far have issued statewide orders for residents to remain home, along with corresponding directions to close “nonessential” businesses, and 14 of those states have operational marijuana industries. (See the map above.)
Of those 14, a dozen states have allowed at least some cannabis companies to remain operational during the coronavirus battle.
The only two so far that have not addressed the marijuana industry specifically? Delaware and Louisiana.
Beyond those states, the decision about whether marijuana operators can keep doing business has occurred state by state, and in some cases, city by city.
One such instance was in Colorado, where Denver’s mayor on Monday initially told recreational cannabis retailers they would have to close up shop before the city quickly backpedaled after long lines threatened to create more social disruption than is already occurring due to coronavirus.
Even some states that haven’t ordered all residents to stay home have told all “nonessential” businesses to close for now – such as movie theaters and bars.
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