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Safe access to cannabis during the coronavirus pandemic. OIl and buds

Safe Access To Marijuana During The Coronavirus Pandemic

It’s more important than ever to get safe access to marijuana during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19’s alarming spread throughout the world has forced many non-essential businesses to close. In some states, however, dispensaries have been deemed essential, albeit, commercial activity is limited to curbside pickup and delivery options.


During these uncertain times, it’s imperative to protect medical patients first and foremost and recreational patients as well since many use marijuana as a treatment method, too. Below, you’ll find a list of states and their policies, as of March 24. Our guide helps you understand which states allow for cannabis home delivery, curbside delivery, telemedicine appointments, or other emergency policies during the COVID-19 crisis.


Only Anchorage in Alaska has enacted shelter-in-place policies to limit the spread of coronavirus. The emergency ban to “hunker down” does not apply to cannabis businesses, but stores that sell only paraphernalia may not continue to operate. Alaska does not allow home delivery. Telemedicine options are available, but only for renewals.


Arkansas’ medical marijuana market including home delivery is business as usual, albeit, there’s a notable sales surge. Arkansas health officials, however, have called for a temporary shut-down of tattoo shops, salons, massage parlors, and barbershops. Arkansas shops may be preparing for a statewide lockdown.


Arizona hasn’t taken any specific precautions against the spread of COVID-19. For now, medical patients can order home delivery or visit a dispensary. Dispensaries are changing hours and offering online orders only, while others allow to-go orders. Telemedicine services are available only for renewals.


California is under a statewide lockdown only open to essential businesses, which, generally, include cannabis dispensaries. Some California counties have continued to keep dispensaries open with some limitations, although telemedicine services are available. In San Francisco, lounges are closed, but shops are open. Los Angeles County shops remain open. 


Alameda County allows cannabis businesses to remain open and allows curbside pickup through April 7. Marin and San Diego County are letting pot shops remain open. In Sacramento County, half occupancy regulations have been enacted. In Santa Cruz County, shops are still open. Generally, California consumers can get safe access to cannabis with home delivery.


Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has deemed cannabis dispensaries “critical” retail businesses and has limited the activity to curbside pick-up and online ordering. Only one delivery permit has been issued by Colorado, but more dispensaries may apply. Telemedicine services are still available, too. The City of Denver, however, has ordered all recreational shops to close until April 10.


Connecticut has ordered all non-essential businesses to close up. Healthcare-related facilities will remain open, which include medical marijuana dispensaries. Cannabis home delivery is available for hospice patients.


Delaware Gov. John Carney has called for a closing of all non-essential businesses until after May 15, 2020. Healthcare and public health businesses are deemed “essential”, which would include medical marijuana dispensaries. No specific regulations on pick-up options have been issued.


Florida continues to stall a full-blown shutdown across the state. Currently, Florida’s medical marijuana dispensaries remain open. Patients are allowed to renew their cards via telemedicine. Home delivery is available.


Hawaii’s medical marijuana dispensaries continue to operate, although the Department of Health’s Medical Cannabis Program urges clients to order online and arrange for a caregiver to pick up orders to those in poor health conditions. Delivery is not allowed. Telemedicine services are allowed for renewals.


On March 17, Illinois announced it would only allow medical cannabis dispensaries to remain open, Curbside ordering is allowed until March 30 with certain guidelines dispensaries must follow during the transaction. Illinois has issued a stay-at-home order, but medical cannabis businesses including dispensaries and cultivators are deemed “essential.” Telemedicine services remain operational for renewals only.


Iowa’s low-THC medical marijuana market has not completely shut down. The state does not allow delivery, but has allowed curbside pickup for the time being. Medical cannabis shops are considered essential if the state were to undergo a shutdown.


Louisiana lawmakers strongly encourage its residents to stay home. For now, medical cannabis dispensaries remain open. During this emergency, the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy has authorized pharmacies to deliver marijuana “where ever that patient is located – at home, hospital, or any other location.” Telemedicine services are also available for renewals.


In Maine, medical dispensaries remain open. Medical cannabis delivery is available. Some cities in Maine have issued curfews for restaurants and bars. Telemedicine services continue to remain available.


Maryland announced all non-essential companies had to close. Its medical marijuana market, however, is deemed essential. Home delivery is available. Maryland is allowing dispensaries to deliver cannabis to the parking lot, as well. Deli-style sales and sniff jars are prohibited during this time. Telehealth is available for renewal.


Massachusetts has issued a stay-at-home order except for some essential businesses such as medical marijuana dispensaries. Recreational pot shops will not be open at this time. Home delivery is allowed. Lawmakers have also allowed delivery services to expand the areas they service. Telemedicine services are available for renewals.


On Monday, March 23, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer required all non-essential businesses to close as part of a stay-at-home order that will last at least three weeks. Medical marijuana dispensaries, however, are allowed to sell medical and recreational products during this time. Only curbside pickup and delivery options are available. Some dispensaries are offering online orders to speed up the curbside delivery process.


Minnesota has not issued any shelter-in-place orders yet. Home delivery is not available, but telemedicine services are available for renewals. Some retailers are taking active measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.


Missouri does not have any current dispensaries open, but nearly 40,000 patients have signed up for their medical marijuana program, which allows home cultivation when patients apply for a cultivation ID card.


Montana has not taken any statewide measures to reduce coronavirus concerns. Home delivery is not available for medical patients. Telemedicine services are available for renewals.


Nevada has issued a declaration of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A section of the declaration allows retail cannabis dispensaries to operate by delivery only until April 16, 2020. Telemedicine services continue to remain available.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program continues to remain operational, but these facilities have reduced hours. Patients are encouraged to call ahead and pre-order. Curbside pickup has been approved. Telehealth services remain available and the requirement for an “in-person” examination has been suspended.

New Jersey

New Jersey has deemed medical dispensaries as essential businesses, but has limited restaurant activity to take-out. Curbside pickup has been approved for medical dispensaries. Patients can also register caregivers to pick up their products at a reduced fee of $20. Telehealth services are allowed for renewals.

New Mexico

New Mexico regulators have classified medical dispensaries as essential services. Dispensaries are offering curbside pickup services, extending expiring patient and caregiver cards by 90 days, and suspending background checks for new cannabis industry employees. Home delivery is available. Telehealth services are available for renewals.

New York

Medical marijuana dispensaries remain open during this crisis. Dispensaries are authorized to deliver cannabis to a patient’s home and expand those services without written approval. Telehealth services remain available.

North Dakota

North Dakota has not issued any statewide orders to shut down due to the COVID-19 threat. Medical dispensaries remain open


Medical dispensaries remain open in Ohio during a statewide stay-at-home order. Regulators have limited capacity for waiting rooms. Dispensaries are required to serve older adults and other at-risk patients first and disinfect ATMs, keypads, counters, and waiting areas every hour or after every 10 patients. Telehealth services are available for renewals and registration.


Oklahoma is one of the least aggressive states against the COVID-19 spread. Oklahoma’s medical marijuana dispensaries remain open.


Oregon has issued a stay-at-home order, but cannabis stores are allowed to remain open. Retailers are allowed to sell cannabis curbside for now. Temporary regulations also allow cardholders to buy more marijuana per day (up to 24 ounces), but not the monthly limit. Home delivery is allowed. Telehealth services are available for renewals.


Pennsylvania has deemed medical marijuana dispensaries as essential services during this pandemic. Patients are allowed to use online ordering to streamline the dispensing process. Dispensaries also offer curbside pickup at the moment. Caregivers are allowed to deliver medicine to an unlimited number of patients. Telehealth services remain available.

Rhode Island

Medical dispensaries remain open in Rhode Island. Home delivery is available. Telehealth services are also available. Curbside pickup may be approved soon.


Texas has not taken any statewide measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Patients can still purchase low THC products. Harris County has issued a stay-at-home order. Healthcare services are listed as essential businesses in Harris County.

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Utah has only opened one medical marijuana dispensary so far. No coronavirus measures have been issued.


Vermont’s cannabis shops and delivery services are still running. 


Cannabis shops remain open in Washington. Customers must remain at least six feet away from one another. Curbside pickup is available for qualifying patients or their designated caregivers. Dispensaries are taking their own preventative measures such as encouraging preordering and designating shopping times for those who are 65+ or immuno-compromised. Telehealth services are available for renewals. 

Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. plans to order non-essential businesses to close. Medical dispensaries remain open. Telehealth services are allowed for renewals.

West Virginia

No medical dispensaries are currently open.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s medical dispensaries remain open.

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