The state of Massachusetts has recently implemented new pandemic guidelines, including a state-wide business curfew, said MassLive. The rule, which requires establishments to cease sales at 9:30 PM, covers recreational marijuana. However, medical cannabis sales can still continue beyond the curfew.
The new rule was mandated by Governor Charlie Baker through an executive order that serves as a stay-at-home advisory. It seeks to minimize the spread of the virus in Massachusetts, as the state is currently seeing a second wave of positive cases. In the past few weeks, more than 1,000 new cases were recorded over several days. This second wave came after a decline in infection rates during the summer and a portion of September.
Another MassLive report said that the advice became necessary because the state “let [its] guard down,” when it came to addressing the pandemic. This report said that state officials have reported 1,139 new cases and 613 hospitalizations of suspected and confirmed individuals. A CBS Local Boston quoted Baker saying, “Our message here is very simple. We can’t afford to continue to do what we are doing.”
The advisory covers all kinds of industry, including restaurants, liquor stores, and places that serve alcohol, indoor and outdoor events, theaters, amateur sports activities, and golf facilities just to name a few.
There is also now a limit to the number of people attending private gatherings. Only ten people are allowed to gather indoors, while only 25 are allowed outdoors.
The advisory said that all residents must stay at home between 10 PM and 5 AM every day. Some exceptions exist, including essential activities such as buying groceries, availing health care services, and “taking a walk,” according to MassLive. Medical marijuana is classified under health care.
Looking back on Massachusetts’ policies on the pandemic back in spring, the marijuana industry was considered non-essential and was shut down for almost two months. Dispensaries were only allowed to open in May. Fortunately for recreational consumers, these stores are now open, albeit with a curfew. Patients can get their supplies as long as their preferred dispensaries are open.
Despite the initial hesitation shown by the MA local government regarding the importance of the marijuana industry, Massachusetts showed a stellar performance last week. The state recorded gross sales of more than $1 billion since the medical marijuana sector launched in 2018. This year, the state’s dispensaries had $539 in gross sales so far, even with the two-month closure.
Tips for MA Residents Picking Up Cannabis Supplies
Whether you are a recreational consumer or a medical marijuana patient, you are still able to get cannabis products from dispensaries, even with this advisory. However, with the second wave of cases in the state, you need to look out for your own wellbeing when picking up supplies. Here are some tips for getting products safely and without issues:
Mind the Clock
When you plan to get products, especially for recreational uses, you must keep an eye on the time. You want to make sure that you are on your way to the dispensary way before the curfew. This way, you would not waste your time and effort driving down to the cannabis store.
It is always better to get going hours before 9:30 PM. This way, you have ample time for your travel time. You can also opt for more convenient services such as a store or curbside pickups. This way, you only need to drive down and get your orders instead of going inside the store and making your transactions.
As mentioned, picking up medical marijuana is exempted from the curfew. However, while you can pick up your items after 9:30 PM, you might want to do your cannabis shopping before the curfew to minimize risks or exposure.
Bring Your MMJ Card
If you are heading to the store to purchase medicinal products, you always need to make sure that you have your registration or license with you. Keep in mind that dispensaries are bound to comply with the advisory and may refuse to sell your products if you fail to present your MMJ card. By making sure that you have it before leaving, you can make your drive more worthwhile. Plus, you save yourself from making another trip to the dispensary, which can increase your risks of exposure.
Take Necessary Precautions
You want to make sure that you are always protected when going out. Before going to the dispensary, see to it that you have a mask and alcohol with you. Frequent hand cleansing and mask etiquette can go a long way when it comes to minimizing risks of exposure. You should also keep a distance from other shoppers.
If you do not know your favorite dispensary’s policies, it is only smart to call before driving down to ask what measures you need to observe when visiting their store. You can also take this opportunity to ask for alternative options such as deliveries and curbside pickups. For your peace of mind, consider asking about their sanitation practices such as frequent disinfection of surfaces, the temporary prohibition of sniff jars, and other similar policies.
Limit Your Purchase
Even without the advisory, you should always be careful when it comes to possessing cannabis products. According to MA law, you can carry up to one ounce of marijuana in your person, as long as it is for personal use. At home, you can only have up to ten ounces for personal use.
For hash and concentrates, you can have up to five grams. You can also sell, possess, and purchase paraphernalia without penalties as long as you are dealing with adults. Make sure that you monitor the amount you possess and comply with the law to avoid any issues.
The Bottom Line
Massachusetts’ decision to impose a business curfew may minimally affect the cannabis industry. However, with limited hours, recreational consumers will need to make necessary adjustments in order to get their supplies. Nevertheless, consumers and patients are encouraged to observe measures to minimize risks.