Cannabis Advocates Call On Governors to Protect Patients During Coronavirus
March 19, 2020 | Geoffrey Marshall
By Graham Abbott for Ganjapreneur
In a letter addressed to governors and medical cannabis program directors throughout the country, Americans for Safe Access has called on officials to protect cannabis patients during the alarming spread of COVID-19, or the coronavirus.
The letter argues that special actions should be taken to protect cannabis patients, “who represent some of the states’ most vulnerable citizens.”
“To help avert another public health crisis,” the letter reads, “we encourage all state programs to be flexible at this time to allow for additional precautions to be put in place to protect the millions of patients nationwide that rely on this medicine.”
The recommendations include making special allowances for delivery or pickup/curbside sales, offering tax relief for cannabis patients and businesses, ensuring that dispensaries and cannabis producers/manufacturers can remain open as “essential businesses” during the nation’s various quarantine efforts, the extension of expiring medical cannabis ID cards to free up doctors and health departments to focus on the coronavirus, and more.
“In light of the current state of COVID-19 and the CDC’s actions, Americans for Safe Access has been monitoring the situation to make sure that medical cannabis patients are not forgotten. We want to ensure that dispensaries are seen as essential businesses that will remain open for patients. We applaud states that have already put emergency precautions into action and we will keep patients and the public updated on any future developments through our www.safeaccessnow.org/COVID-19 response page.” — ASA Founder and President Steph Sherer, in a statement
San Francisco city officials have already ruled that cannabis dispensaries in the city can remain open during the official “shelter in place” order issued there.
Activists in Washington state, meanwhile, are circulating petitions on social media to ask the governor and elected representatives for special consideration for cannabis patients.