Recreational cannabis sales have been restarted in Massachusetts after being shuttered by Gov. Charlie Baker (R) in late March as part of the state’s coronavirus response, WBUR reports. The shops are now allowed to take online and telephone orders and offer curbside pickup under the state’s re-opening rules.
Baker had shut down the recreational industry but allowed medical sales to continue over fears that people would travel from outside Massachusetts to purchase cannabis legally. Massachusetts is the only state in the Northeast to allow regulated cannabis sales.
Businesses that are reopening as part of the state’s Phase 1 plan had to submit written plans to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, display hygiene posters, and implement social distancing protocols for employees and customers.
According to WBUR, New England Treatment Access (NETA) is planning to limit their volume to a third of what their volume was prior to the pandemic in both the medical and recreational businesses. The company also said it plans to limit adult-use sales to no more than 600 customers per day and require orders placed in advance.
In a statement to WBUR, the Commonwealth Dispensary Association (CDA) said they “appreciate this gesture of confidence” by the Baker Administration “and believe it is reflective of [the] industry’s commitment to workplace and consumer safety, as well as our history of compliance and significant regulatory oversight.”
“We have long maintained that adult-use retail facilities are uniquely prepared to safely operate as we combat the spread of COVID-19 as our industry has successfully done so on the medical side.” – CDA in a statement
The CDA said that adult-use sales in Massachusetts have generated $120 million in revenue and the recreational cannabis industry has created 8,000 jobs.
In-person sales are expected to commence in Phase 2 of the reopening plan which isn’t expected until at least June 8.