BOSTON (SHNS) – With the governor’s emergency declaration about to lapse, the Cannabis Control Commission issued a string of regulatory orders Monday to keep in place a handful of pandemic-era policies for the cannabis industry.
Executive Director Shawn Collins issued administrative orders to allow medical marijuana dispensaries and recreational shops to continue to offer curbside pick-up and for license applicants to hold their required community outreach meetings virtually. He also issued a bulletin to allow providers to certify or renew patients for medical marijuana cards via telehealth.
The commission’s extended allowances are to remain in place until Sept. 1 or until the commission revokes or amends them, whichever happens first. Non-medical marijuana shops were ordered to close as part of the essential work order Gov. Charlie Baker put in place to control the spread of COVID-19 last spring. After two months, non-medical sales resumed in late May 2020 with curbside operations only. “The whole point behind curbside is it doesn’t require people to go inside and stand around,” Baker said at the time.
Retailers have since resumed mostly normal operations, though the curbside option remains available to them. While adult-use shops were closed, the CCC saw a surge in registrations for the medical marijuana program when it allowed patients and doctors to hold initial meetings virtually. After Sept. 1, new medical marijuana patients will have to attend an in-person clinical visit to obtain an initial registration.