Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission member Shaleen Title is joining advocates and business owners in calling for the state to re-open recreational cannabis dispensaries amid the coronavirus stay-at-home measures. Title said in a statement yesterday that safety measures applied at medical dispensaries – such as sanitization efforts and social distancing – could be used at recreational shops.
The closure of recreational cannabis businesses came last week when Gov. Charlie Baker (R) shut down all non-essential businesses. The governor included recreational dispensaries in the shutdown order due to traffic associated with out-of-state customers.
“Reopening these businesses would provide access to the many adult-use consumers who rely on cannabis for medical purposes.” – Title in a statement
Shanel Lindsay, an attorney who is a member of the Cannabis Control Commission Advisory Board, called for reforms to the cost of medical cannabis cards, rather than advocating for recreational dispensaries to reopen. In a statement, Lindsay pointed out the carDs are “hundreds-of-dollars expensive” making them unaffordable for many would-be patients.
“Though advocates have fought so admirably over the years to remove barriers so that all patients can be treated as such, we already know that, especially in underserved communities, the level of registered patients is far below the actual number of those who use and consume this plant for medical purposes,” she said in a statement.
The group recommended measures to open back up the dispensaries, including limiting sales to Massachusetts residents, establishing exclusive hours for customers 60-and-older, encouraging or mandating pre-order, and utilizing curbside pickup.
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