California is including cannabis workers as part of their Phase 1a and Phase 1b vaccine distribution tiers, the state Department of Public Health announced last week.
Medical cannabis industry employees are included in the 1a tier, while adult-use industry employees are included under 1b, according to the February 4 guidance.
“Medical cannabis workers should be accommodated as necessary in Phase 1b, Tier 1, by nature of their designations in eligible essential workforce classifications.” – California Department of Health, Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Guidelines, Feb. 4, 2021
Also included in 1b are education and childcare workers, emergency services, and food and agriculture employees.
Shannon Goodsell, a 53-year-old cannabis delivery driver with underlying health conditions, told Patch that she was able to make an appointment for a vaccination at a Rite Aid, although she was unsure whether the pharmacy would honor the appointment. She was given a letter by her employer to show to pharmacy workers along with her company badge.
In January, Maryland regulators included medical cannabis workers who hold active industry registrations in their 1a priority group for the vaccine. The Medical Cannabis Commission order covers cultivation, dispensary, processing, and testing laboratory employees.
Throughout the U.S., cannabusinesses were deemed essential as states imposed stay-at-home orders and business closures.
Last month, a Michigan dispensary, Greenhouse of Walled Lake, launched its “Pot for Shots” promotion, offering a free pre-rolled joint for anyone who provides proof they received the vaccine. The promotion runs through February 28.
Activists in Washington, D.C. announced their own “Joints for Jabs” plan to give away cannabis at vaccination centers throughout the city.
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