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How COVID-19 is Affecting The Cannabis Sector in California

by Roger Tower on March 30, 2020
How COVID-19 is Affecting The Cannabis Sector in California

California Stay-At-Home Order 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has had an effect on basically every industry in the last month. On Thursday, March 19th, Governor Newsom issued a stay-at-home order to protect the health and well-being of the people of California, ordering all individuals to stay at their place of residency except as needed to maintain operations of critical infrastructures. 

The federal government identified 16 sectors as being critical and considered vital. These sectors may continue to operate during the stay-at-home order. 

These are the 16 sectors considered essential by the government: 

  • Chemical Sector
  • Commercial Facilities Sector
  • Communications Sector
  • Critical Manufacturing Sector
  • Dams Sector
  • Defense Industrial Base Sector
  • Emergency Services Sector
  • Energy Sector
  • Financial Services Sector
  • Food and Agriculture Sector
  • Government Facilities Sector
  • Healthcare and Public Health Sector
  • Information Technology Sector
  • Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sector
  • Transportation Systems Sector
  • Water and Wastewater Systems Sector

Licensed Cannabis Businesses May Continue to Operate

Licensed cannabis businesses may continue to operate during this stay-at-home order because they have been considered essential due to the fact that many people rely on cannabis as a form of medicine. 

Cannabis licensees that remain open need to practice social distancing and follow CDC guidelines for businesses and employers who continue to run operations during the COVID-19 outbreak. Cannabis retailers in California are doing their part while remaining open by controlling crowds and keeping customers at a safe distance. 

Shifting Gears

During these stressful times, businesses have had to make changes to adjust to this new normal. The marijuana industry has taken initiative and decided to help their communities during this pandemic. 

Some cannabis businesses have decided to use some of their production space to manufacture hand sanitizer and help combat the spread of coronavirus, while some are giving out their own hand sanitizers for free to customers or donating them to local hospitals. 

Another way marijuana dispensaries are adapting in order to cope with the outbreak is by opening up drive-thru windows for customers to safely pickup cannabis products without having to leave their vehicles. 

Right before the stay-at-home order took effect, cannabis retailers saw a huge spike in sales as people prepared for the lockdown but then saw a quick decline as people adhered to the governor’s orders. 

Although the immediate future is unclear, marijuana businesses remain open in California through these tough times. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions on how to proceed or what new measures need to be taken. 


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