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Cannabis Deemed 'Essential' Commodity During Michigan's Shelter-In-Place Order

March 24, 2020 9:51 am
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Cannabis Deemed 'Essential' Commodity During Michigan's Shelter-In-Place Order

Michigan’s shelter-at-home order has vacated factories and idled shops across the state. But the public health measure, taken in an effort to staunch the spread of COVID-19, is leaving pot operations relatively untouched.

What Happened

The Whitmer Administration deemed marijuana businesses “essential” in the fight against the coronavirus. Cannabis growers, processors and testing facilities can continue operations with minimal staff.

"[They] must designate only as many employees as necessary to show up to work to cover supplies and provide services and to maintain the value of inventory in general," according to the Marijuana Regulatory Agency.

Medical and recreational retailers can also remain open but must convert all sales to curbside or delivery.

Why It’s Important

The exemption of marijuana businesses from the statewide shutdown lends critical validation to a nascent industry still struggling to gain federal approval.

It also preserves a small segment of the economy from serious hardship. While cafes and other businesses fear irreparable damage to their books, the state’s 237 medical dispensaries and 75 recreational shops enjoy a critical lifeline.

The State plans to lift Michigan’s shelter-in-place order on April 13, at which time the cannabis industry can resume in-person sales and return to business as usual.

Related Links:

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Michigan Cannabis Biz Seeks 'Essential' Classification, Requests Telemed Authorization