States with legal marijuana are devising new ways of providing products to people, including relaxing medical marijuana guidelines.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected all sorts of businesses and government. While medical marijuana has been deemed an “essential” product in several states, Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has taken it a step further to ensure most people get access to medical marijuana by temporarily relaxing some of their regulatory requirements.
“We want to be sure cardholders in the medical marijuana program can receive medication for one of 23 serious medical conditions during this difficult time,” Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine told NorthcentralPA.com.
The state’s relaxed rules include allowing dispensary employees to deliver products to patient’s vehicles and giving patients the chance to purchase up to 90-days worth of cannabis products when visiting their local dispensary. Under normal circumstances, patients would have to enter the premises and would only be allowed to purchase up to 30 days of supplies.
When it comes to caregivers, Pennsylvania is now suspending the five patient cap, allowing workers to treat and assist more patients. For medical marijuana card renewals, patients no longer have to visit a physical location. Instead, they can ask for a card renewal remotely and acquire this with presumably more speed.
In the time of this pandemic, states with legal and medicinal marijuana programs have reported increased sales and traffic, with many customers fearing not having marijuana in the case of a lockdown despite the fact that these businesses are considered essential. Given the long lines, traffic and waits of dispensaries, businesses are considering providing delivery options or curbside pickup, which could continue to provide supplies to people and reduce the chance of spreading disease on site.
When it comes to the marijuana black market, dealers are working harder than ever, still making at home deliveries and, as a way of protecting themselves from the germs and bacteria easily found in cash, now accepting electronic forms of payment such as Venmo and PayPal.