Medical marijuana dispensaries have implemented curbside pick-up, online ordering, and set designated shopping hours for the nearly 153,000 Pennsylvanians who receive cannabis through the state program.
Dispensaries were deemed “life-sustaining businesses” during the coronavirus outbreak by Gov. Tom Wolf this month, and are therefore allowed to continue operations. But local companies say they have made adjustments to ensure patients and employees stay safe and healthy
“This is the new normal for everyone, but we want to make sure we’re minimizing the risk,” said Jason Erkes, with Cresco Labs. “There are a lot of people that rely on cannabis for their day-to-day wellness and it’s important that we have access for them to get their medicine.”
Cresco Labs operates dispensaries in New Kensington, Butler and in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. Erkes said the company is encouraging patients to order online, where they can choose their items, set a time to visit the business, show their ID and get their product.
“The whole purpose is to eliminate crowd-gathering on-site, keep everything a safe distance away,” Erkes said.
The state Department of Health recently relaxed restrictions on the two-year-old medical marijuana program, removing certain product and patient caps for caregivers and waiving in-person consultations in many cases.
Delta 9 PA, part of Keystone Integrated Care has locations in Lawrenceville and Greensburg. It started online reservations shortly after the governor’s announcement. Marketing Manager Kaveise Cadogan said orders have been steadily increasing ever since and the dispensaries have adjusted their hours slightly.
“It doesn’t seem like anything has slowed down or that our deliveries are any smaller,” Cadogan said. “It’s been pretty nonstop.”
There are 23 qualifying conditions that meet the state’s approval for the use of medical marijuana, which is available through prescription.