Multi-state cannabis operator Columbia Care has launched a virtual shopping experience – Virtual.Care – that allows patients to meet with physicians remotely, place orders online, and apply for the company’s credit card.
CEO Nicholas Vita said the system is “designed to deliver exceptional care, convenient access and continuity of service” to the communities served by Columbia.
“Using one, simple to use online portal, customers can access our highly trained team members and receive the same personal in-store experience from the comfort of their homes. This amazing leap forward in convenience is the first scalable, end-to-end solution in the cannabis space to offer shoppers a seamless online service and we’re proud to be making its debut at a time when our customers need it most.” – Vita in a statement
The launch comes as most U.S. states have implemented stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic. Medical cannabis has been deemed essential in states where it has been legalized and the Virtual.Care platform also allows patients to sign up with state programs where Columbia operates in real time. Several states have reported upticks in the number of medical cannabis applicants during the coronavirus outbreak.
Under state rules, essential businesses must maintain social distancing practices, which has led to officials in states with legal cannabis changing rules for the industry to allow them to, safely, serve patients and prevent the spread of the virus. Last week, Colorado regulators approved online cannabis ordering for both medical and recreational consumers.
Columbia Care operates in Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.. Currently, the Virtual.Care platform is only available at their San Diego location but the company expects it to be rolled out in its other markets by the end of the month.
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