With COVID-19 cases skyrocketing across California, Gov. Gavin Newsom in March wisely designated cannabis companies as “essential” businesses.
Not only did this set an important precedent for other states, but on a practical level, it means California’s retail licensees and the supply chain that supports them can remain open during the statewide stay-at-home order.
To help businesses during what is an incredibly traumatic time, we’ve created a checklist for California cannabis companies to promote safety and legal compliance during this crisis.As essential businesses, cannabis licensees have both rights and significant responsibilities to employees, customers and regulators – so the stakes of understanding the letter and intention of the law have never been higher.
1. Check your local order.
Although California has designated cannabis companies as essential, the state does allow local jurisdictions to set more restrictive policies – provided local direction is consistent with the statewide stay-at-home order.
This suggests local jurisdictions can place limits on cannabis businesses but cannot prevent all cannabis businesses from operating.
Check if your local jurisdiction has issued a shelter-in-place, stay-at-home or equivalent order and determine whether your local government has categorized your business as “essential” or “exempt” as a health-care provider.
If so, you may continue to operate, provided you follow local and state rules. If your business isn’t essential or exempt, we advise you to speak with your local officials.
Published: April 08, 2020
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News