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Ask a Stoner: How Are Dispensaries Responding to Coronavirus?

Ask a Stoner: How Are Dispensaries Responding to Coronavirus?
Westword

Dear Stoner: How is the marijuana industry responding to coronavirus? Dispensaries don't seem to be taking many precautions.
Anonymous Toker

Dear Anonymous Toker: While we certainly can’t vouch for all of them, dispensaries had largely upped efforts toward sanitization and meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines over the past couple of weeks. Earlier this month, Denver officials sent a letter to every dispensary in town, urging them to adopt online ordering and social distancing, as well as to ask customers to wait in their cars instead of lobbies, prohibit people from smelling buds, increase ventilation indoors and adopt pre-packaged products instead of weighing out weed in front of customers.

Customers stand ten feet apart from each other while waiting in line at L'Eagle dispensary.
Customers stand ten feet apart from each other while waiting in line at L'Eagle dispensary.
Thomas Mitchell

Less than a week later, Governor Jared Polis made all recreational sales in Colorado go curbside until at least April 17, with medical stores allowed to stay open. But the day before that happened, on March 23, the City of Denver announced plans to close all recreational stores from March 24 to April 10 as part of a stay-home order — a move that sent hundreds of customers to pot shops, which were already moving slower than usual. After the lines grew — and grew — Hancock reversed the closures, keeping dispensaries open during this difficult time.

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Based on the majority of conversations with and messages we’ve received from dispensaries, they’re taking their operation procedures very seriously — not that they really have a choice anymore. That will no doubt continue under the latest rules.

Send questions to marijuana@westword.com.

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