Quebec & B.C. Deem Cannabis Essential During COVID Response

Officials in Quebec and British Columbia have declared that cannabis operators are “essential” and can remain open during the coronavirus outbreak.

Full story after the jump.

Quebec, Canada officials have included cannabis retailers as essential businesses after the provincial government ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses amid the coronavirus outbreak. The order also allows cannabis cultivators, processors, and manufacturers to remain operational because they are suppliers for the now essential cannabis businesses.

In all, there are 40 provincial-run Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) shops throughout Quebec and spokesperson Fabrice Giguere told MJBizDaily that, despite the coronavirus outbreak, SQDC planned to open two more stores by next week.

“For the moment we’re not scaling back on the opening hours. We’re closely monitoring the situation which is rapidly evolving.” – Giguere to MJBizDaily

British Columbia officials declared a state of emergency last week and also included cannabis as an essential service. The B.C. Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch is allowing retailers to take online and telephone orders for in-store pickup, Dugald Smith, general manager of the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch, told MJBizDaily.

Amid the outbreak, Canada Post said they would no longer deliver packages to residences that require signatures – which includes age-restricted packages such as cannabis deliveries. Under the changes, such packages will be dropped off at a nearby post office and a notice will be left at the residence.

Additionally, at least two private retailers – Canopy Growth and Superette – announced they would close all of their storefronts. Canopy said they would continue selling online.

Canada’s response to the coronavirus outbreak also includes business loans but cannabis companies are not eligible for financial relief.

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