San Francisco's cannabis dispensaries can stay open during lockdown

Relax! San Francisco’s cannabis dispensaries are declared ‘essential’ and will be allowed to stay open during coronavirus lockdown for medicinal and recreational users

  • San Francisco’s cannabis dispensaries have been told they can stay open despite the city going into lockdown over the coronavirus outbreak
  • The Department of Public Health said Tuesday afternoon that dispensaries can offer delivery and pick-up services because the drug is an ‘essential medicine’
  • This backtracked on previous rules which shuttered the stores on Monday, leading to long lines of people trying to stock up that day
  • Dispensaries sell to both recreational users and medicinal users, meaning both groups will be able to continue buying the drug during the pandemic
  • $2.5 billion worth of legal cannabis is sold a year in California  
  • San Francisco announced it’s shelter in place order on Monday, preventing its 7 million residents from leaving their homes except for necessities until April 7
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

San Francisco’s cannabis dispensaries have been told they can stay open despite the city going into lockdown over the coronavirus outbreak.  

The Department of Public Health (DPH) announced in a tweet Tuesday afternoon that cannabis dispensaries can continue to offer delivery and pick-up services across the city because marijuana is classed as an ‘essential medicine’.  

The decision to make the drug stores exempt from the city’s shelter in place order means both residents who use marijuana for medicinal purposes and those who use it for recreational reasons can continue to get high during the pandemic.  

The move backpedaled on previous rules which had shuttered the stores on Monday, when San Francisco went into lockdown to slow the spread of the virus.   

Cannabis users queue outside The Apothecarium dispensary on Monday: San Francisco’s cannabis dispensaries have now been told they can stay open despite the city going into lockdown over the coronavirus outbreak

The Department of Public Health (DPH) announced in a Tweet Tuesday afternoon that cannabis dispensaries can continue to offer delivery and pick-up services across the city because marijuana is classed as an ‘essential medicine’.

The city’s information page on the lockdown stated on Monday and for much of Tuesday that ‘recreational retailers are not an essential service’ and The Office of Cannabis had told dispensary owners they must close.  

City leaders and activists slammed the move to shut the stores, saying the drug is ‘essential’ to people who use it medicinally. 

‘Cannabis dispensaries should be able to stay open, for take out and delivery only,’ San Francisco District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney said on Twitter. 

‘They shouldn’t be told to close. They obviously serve as pharmacies for a lot of people.’

The backlash led city officials to renege on initial plans with the DPH tweeting on Tuesday afternoon that the stores now fall into the ‘essential’ category. 

He move backpedaled on previous rules which had shuttered the stores on Monday, when San Francisco went into lockdown to slow the spread of the virus

The decision to make the drug stores exempt from the city’s shelter in place order means both medicinal and recreational users can get the drug during the pandemic

Long line for California Street Cannabis Company Monday: City leaders and activists slammed the move to shut the stores, saying the drug is ‘essential’ to people who use it medicinally. Health officials quickly backtracked and said stores could stay open

A man waits in line to enter the Barbary Coast Sunset Cannabis Dispensary prior to the citywide shelter in place order on Monday 

The city’s information page on the lockdown stated on Monday and for much of Tuesday that ‘recreational retailers are not an essential service’ and The Office of Cannabis had told dispensary owners they must close.  

City leaders and activists slammed the move to shut the stores, saying the drug is ‘essential’ to people who use it medicinally. 

‘Cannabis dispensaries should be able to stay open, for take out and delivery only,’ San Francisco District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney said on Twitter. 

‘They shouldn’t be told to close. They obviously serve as pharmacies for a lot of people.’

The backlash led city officials to renege on initial plans with the DPH tweeting on Tuesday afternoon that the stores now fall into the ‘essential’ category. 

‘Cannabis is an essential medicine for many San Francisco residents. Dispensaries can continue to operate as essential businesses during this time,’ the DPH said in the post Tuesday.   

San Francisco Mayor London Breed also tweeted Tuesday evening that cannabis is essential for many residents 

Legal cannabis is big business in San Francisco, with about $2.5 billion worth of the the drug sold each year in the state of California

San Francisco Mayor London Breed also tweeted Tuesday evening: ‘Cannabis is an needed medicine for many San Franciscans and dispensaries are allowed to continue operating.’ 

Dispensaries sell to both recreational users and medicinal users, meaning both groups will be able to continue buying the drug during the pandemic. 

Cannabis users are being advised to keep a distance of six feet from other people when visiting the stores and on-site consumption remains banned as part of social distancing efforts. 

San Francisco announced it’s shelter in place order on Monday, preventing the roughly 7 million residents in the Bay Area from leaving their homes except for necessities over the next three weeks

Businesses post sings on their doors announcing closures during the shelter in place order

Legal cannabis is big business in San Francisco, with about $2.5 billion worth of the the drug sold each year in the state of California.   

Fears of a ban on the stores sent vast swathes of people queuing up in the streets outside dispensaries on Monday to stock up. 

Even in light of the initial lockdown advice, some dispensaries continued to stay open Tuesday, according to the San Francisco Examiner. 

Grass Roots in Lower Nob Hill and Stiiizy Mission in the Outer Mission kept their doors open Tuesday for customer collections.  

San Francisco announced it’s shelter in place order on Monday, preventing the roughly 7 million residents in the Bay Area from leaving their homes except for necessities over the next three weeks. 

Individuals have been instructed only to leave their houses for ‘essential’ reasons and businesses have shuttered.

The mandate – which will continue through April 7 – went into force midnight Monday and marked the most extreme measure taken to date of any US states in efforts to reduce the spread of the virus. 

CORONAVIRUS SHUTDOWNS IN THE UNITED STATES

ALABAMA

Alabama health officials on Tuesday ordered the closure of day cares, senior centers and on-site restaurant dining in six counties to contain the coronavirus outbreak. 

The order from the Alabama Department of Public Health applies to Jefferson County, which has the highest number of cases, and the surrounding counties of Tuscaloosa, Walker, Blount, St. Clair and Shelby.

Public gatherings of more than 25 people banned across the state. 

All public schools closed until April 6.

Jefferson County Health Officer Mark Wilson said: ‘I know this has a big impact on our community. It’s quite restrictive.’

The Alabama Department of Public Health on Monday urged people statewide to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people, unless they can maintain a 6-foot distance between others, to limit spread of the new coronavirus. 

ALASKA

Anchorage – a ban on dine-in service from 5pm Monday until March 31.

Theaters, gyms and bingo halls closed through March 31.

The mayor of Anchorage signed the order Monday closing gyms and entertainment venues and barring restaurants, bars and other establishments from offering dine-in service to the public through the rest of March. 

PENNSYLVANIA 

All liquor stores and licensee service centers will close indefinitely at 9pm on Tuesday.

Gov Tom Wolf extended the shutdown to the entire state of Pennsylvania on Monday bar essential services.

LOUISIANA 

All bars, nightclubs, casinos, movie theaters, gyms and health clubs will be closed until April 13. Restaurants may open for take-out options only.

Governor John Bel Edwards said the new restrictions take effect Tuesday and will last until April 13.

Public gatherings of 50 people or more will be banned. No one will be allowed to eat onsite at a restaurant. 

In heavily Catholic New Orleans and in Baton Rouge, church leaders announced cancellation of masses until further notice. 

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has been postponed. 

CONNECTICUT 

Gatherings of more than 50 people banned.

Bars and restaurants shut indefinitely for dine-in customers.

Clubs, bars, cinemas, gyms shut indefinitely.

Hospitals across the state are restricting visitation, and some, including UConn Health in Farmington, have announced the indefinite postponement of elective surgeries. 

MASSACHUETTS

Gatherings of more than 25 people banned.

Bars and restaurants to offer take-out only until April 7.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is shutting down construction sites across the city. Walsh also announced all branches of the Boston Public Library will close.

NEW JERSEY 

Curfew from 8pm – 5am; gatherings of more than 50 people banned; bars and restaurants shut indefinitely for dine-in customers, but can offer take-out.

Clubs, bars, cinemas and gyms shut indefinitely. 

New Jersey expanded coronavirus mitigation efforts, ordering indoor malls and amusement centers closed.

All public and private schools, colleges and universities are joining the list. 

The city of Hoboken on Tuesday also ordered its 55,000 residents to isolate at home for a week.

NEW YORK   

Gatherings of more than 50 people banned.

Bars and restaurants shut indefinitely for dine-in customers, but can offer take-out.

Clubs, bars, cinemas and gyms shut indefinitely.

Essential businesses such as supermarkets and gas stations will be able to stay open after 8 p.m. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is ‘strongly encouraging’ nonessential businesses to close in New York after 8 p.m. 

New York City – Eateries could only accept takeout and delivery orders. Mayor Bill de Blasio also ordered nightclubs, movie theaters and other entertainment venues closed

New York City announced its public school district, the nation’s largest, will be closed starting Monday, joining most of the rest of the country

New Rochelle – one mile containment area set up 

ILLINOIS 

Bars and restaurants shut to dine-in customers until March 30

KENTUCKY 

Bars and restaurants shut to dine-in customers until March 30. 

The Democratic governors of Connecticut, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington on Monday all ordered the full or partial closure of certain categories of businesses. 

OHIO 

Bars and restaurants shut to dine-in customers, but can offer take-out.

Ohio marked St. Patrick’s Day on Tuesday with no parades and no primary election over fears of the coronavirus. Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued an order late Monday shutting down polls Tuesday. 

Youngstown State University and Capital University in Columbus were among those announcing the cancellation of May commencement ceremonies, saying they couldn’t comply with restrictions severely limiting the size of gatherings. 

Ohio’s Roman Catholic bishops suspended all publicly celebrated Masses through Easter on April 12, extending an earlier suspension of services through Palm Sunday one week earlier. 

OKLAHOMA 

Public schools closed at least until April 6.

Oklahoma’s governor declared a statewide emergency Sunday evening.

The Oklahoma Legislature approved sweeping changes to the state’s Open Meeting Act on Tuesday to allow government bodies to meet via teleconference. 

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt both ordered the immediate shutdown of bars, while restaurants can serve only take-out orders. Similar measures were also imposed in Stillwater and Norman, including orders that theaters, gyms and amusement facilities must also close.

Officials with the Remington Park horse track in Oklahoma City said it was closing to the general public and races would be held without spectators.

The archbishop of Oklahoma City announced Tuesday that all public masses and liturgies at Catholic churches in the archdiocese of Oklahoma City would be canceled through Easter Sunday, April 12. 

MICHIGAN 

Bars and restaurants shut to dine-in customers indefinitely, but can offer take-out. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has banned more than 50 people in a gathering at a time.

Whitmer issued a sweeping order Monday banning dine-in customers at restaurants and closing all bars, movie theaters, gyms and other sports facilities to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The measure was to last through March.

Besides those restrictions, all Michigan schools are closed. 

WASHINGTON 

Restaurants and bars ordered to shut temporarily.

Gatherings of more than 50 people banned for at least two weeks.  

MINNESOTA

Dine-in restaurants and bars ordered to shut through March 27 beginning Tuesday evening.

Gov. Tim Walz ordered bars and restaurants across Minnesota to temporarily close to customers who dine in. 

Delivery and curbside takeout services may continue to operate. The temporary closure also applies to other places of public amusement, including theaters, museums, fitness centers and community clubs. 

Affected businesses must close by 5 p.m. Tuesday. While the governor’s order runs through March 27, he said he’ll likely end up extending it. Supermarkets, pharmacies and other retailers are not affected. 

OREGON  

Gatherings of more than 25 people banned. 

Restaurants and bars allowed to offer take-out only.  

Gov. Kate Brown on Monday banned on-site consumption at bars and restaurants around the state for at least four weeks in a bid to slow the spread of the new coronavirus and said gatherings will be limited to 25 people or fewer.

Restaurants can still offer takeout or delivery, she said at a news conference. 

CALIFORNIA 

All bars advised to shut, restaurants cut occupancy by half and over 65s are told to self-quarantine.

San Francisco Residents are ordered to ‘shelter in place’ in five counties. Residents in the city are legally banned from leaving their homes for three weeks for non-essential reasons.

Disneyland closed to the public. 

Palm Springs orders residents to shelter in place

WASHINGTON D.C.

Restaurants, bars and clubs to shut down by 10pm Monday, with take-out and delivery still available until April 1.

Health clubs, spas, massage parlors and theaters to shut down.

MARYLAND

Bars and restaurants shut indefinitely for dine-in customers, but can offer take-ou.t

Clubs, bars, cinemas and gyms shut indefinitely.

FLORIDA 

In Florida, Walt Disney World and Universal-Orlando closed Sunday night for the rest of the month, joining their already closed California siblings.

Farther south, Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale closed their beaches, where thousands of college spring breakers flocked.

All bar and nightclubs are set to close. 

NEVADA  

Wynn Las Vegas and MGM Resorts to plan closures

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak says all public, private and charter K-12 schools in the state will be closed Monday until at least April 6 in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus

COLORADO

Restaurants closed to dine-in customers for the next 30 days

INDIANA  

Bars, nightclubs and restaurants closed for dine-in with and takeout allowed until the end of March

RHODE ISLAND 

All restaurants, bars, coffee shops shut down for dine in until March 30

Drive-thru and delivery services remain open 

VERMONT 

Bars and restaurants can only serve takeout from Tuesday night

ARIZONA

All schools closed through March 27.  

Restaurants will be limited to offering to-go service, and bars, theaters, fitness centers and indoor recreation facilities will be closed in Flagstaff under a proclamation issued by the city’s mayor over concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus.

The closures go into effect Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the mountainous city.  

ARKANSAS

All schools closed from Tuesday. 

Arkansas casinos are closing temporarily because of concerns about the coronavirus.

Arkansas’ largest city is imposing more restrictions, including a curfew, in an effort to curb the spread of the new coronavirus as the number infections in the state continues to rise.

Mayor Frank Scott said Monday that a curfew from midnight to 5 a.m. will be in effect in Little Rock beginning early Wednesday. 

DELAWARE 

All restaurants closed for dine-in, take out and delivery continues 

Bans on public gatherings of 50 or more people  

GEORGIA 

All public schools and universities closed 

HAWAII  

Ban on gatherings of more than 50 people on city property until April

City’s indoor venues for events and recreation close

Hanauma Bay is closed 

IDAHO 

Boise: State of emergency declared Monday, city buildings closed with the exception of the Boise Airport 

IOWA

Cedar Rapids: City buildings closed

Dozens of Iowa school districts are following the governor’s guidance and suspending classes for four weeks to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

And after legislative leaders made a similar decision to suspend the legislative session, lawmakers began the process Monday of at least temporarily shutting down their work at the Capitol. 

KANSAS 

Kansas State University to teach remotely 

In Kansas, Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday banned public gatherings of 50 or more people for the next two months. 

MAINE 

Maine’s largest city, Portland, declared an emergency and adopted a curfew to prevent the spread of the virus on St. Patrick’s Day.

The curfew applies to establishments where groups gather all day Tuesday and from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. from Wednesday to Saturday.

 L.L. Bean is closing all of its retail stores across the country, including its flagship store in Freeport, Maine, to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

The North Haven Select Board voted Sunday to ban visitors and seasonal residents immediately to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to the Penobscot Bay island, where there have been no cases yet. 

MISSISSIPPI 

Casinos, public universities and school districts closed until further notice 

MISSOURI 

Restaurants, bars and movie theaters ordered shut for 15 days in Kansas City metro from Tuesday 

MONTANA 

Public schools closed for two weeks 

Billings, Missoula, Bozeman, Butte and Helena restrict restaurant openings 

NEBRASKA 

Omaha bars and restaurants limited to 10 and under patrons

NEW HAMPSHIRE 

Restaurants will be restricted to take-out, schools are shut down and large public gatherings are being banned in an effort to contain the coronavirus in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire’s directive, which extends until April 7, also will ban public gatherings of 50 people or more. 

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and affiliated hospitals are no longer allowing visitors. 

NEW MEXICO 

Restaurants and bars to operate at 50 per cent capacity; tables must not seat more than six people, and must be separated by at least six feet.

 NORTH CAROLINA 

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is ordering all restaurants and bars be closed to dine-in patrons.

Cooper’s office announced he would issue a new executive order directing the closings effective at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The establishments can continue to offer takeout and delivery. 

NORTH DAKOTA 

 No mandated closing of restaurants and bars.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum issued an executive order closing schools across the state for one week beginning Monday. 

 PUERTO RICO 

Two-week closure for the majority of businesses; 9pm overnight curfew through March 30.

Puerto Rico Secretary of State Elmer Román said at a press conference on Monday that no one is allowed to go to the beach. 

On Sunday, Gov. Wanda Vázquez ordered a two-week closure of nonessential government offices and commercial businesses except for gas stations and those in the food, health and finance sectors. Puerto Rico also cancelled major events, including an Ironman race scheduled for this past weekend. 

SOUTH CAROLINA 

Charleston banned gatherings of more than 50 people outside of stores and private offices. 

Columbia restricted businesses to no more than half their legal occupancy and won’t allow more than six people to sit at a restaurant table. 

Schools closed from Monday 

SOUTH DAKOTA 

No current plans to close restaurants or bars.

 The governor signed a state of emergency order last week, requesting public schools to close and ordering non-essential state employees to work from home. 

South Dakota public universities announced on Monday that all classes will move online next week after an extended spring break. 

TENNESSEE 

 All bars closed in Nashville; restuarants ordered to operate at no more than 50 per cent capacity.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Monday asked schools to close, exhorted people to avoid crowded bars 

TEXAS 

Austin considering closing restaurants and bars 

SXSW canceled  

US VIRGIN ISLANDS 

State of emergency declared 

All public schools closed for at least three weeks from Wednesday  

UTAH 

Salt Lake City shuts restaurants to dine in customers and bars; take out continues  

VIRGINIA 

Gov. Ralph Northam bans public gatherings of more than 100 people 

WEST VIRGINIA 

So far, West Virginia has just one coronavirus case. 

WISCONSIN   

Bans on 50 people or more gatherings; bars and restaurants limiting customers 

WYOMING 

Dine in customers banned at restaurants and bars   

Source: Read Full Article