Colorado marijuana dispensaries will stay open through the Purple Stage Well being Restrictions
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Marijuana dispensaries and businesses remain open as Denver and fourteen other Colorado counties move to Red Level on the Department of Public Health and Environment’s scale to stop the spread of COVID-19 cases.
Under the Red Level Restrictions, effective November 20, restaurants will be closed to indoor dining, gym capacity will continue to be restricted, and indoor events will not be allowed. But according to officials from the state Marijuana Enforcement Division, the governor’s office, and the City of Denver, marijuana stores will continue to operate under the same public health guidelines that are currently in place.
Retail establishments, including pharmacies, are limited to 50 percent capacity during the Red level restrictions, with roadside pickup and takeaway options recommended to limit human contact, especially for the elderly and vulnerable.
The state has introduced a new status beyond Level Red: Level Purple, which only requires curb and to-go orders in retail stores – but even in counties that go to Level Purple, pharmacies should stay open for personal sale based on previous orders from Governor Jared Polis.
Nevertheless, several pharmacies in the metropolitan region closed for personal sales in the last week and now only allow orders to be taken away and picked up.
“Due to a recent surge in cases as well as new restrictions imposed by the city, The Herbal Cure is temporarily moving to online and phone orders only. To keep our employees and valued customers healthy, please call ahead or check out our online menu to safely fulfill your order, “said an announcement from The Herbal Cure, a Denver pharmacy.
Although Colorado state pharmacies and marijuana companies are considered critical operations and are allowed to stay open even at Level Purple, the MED in a memo mailed Nov. 17, reminded cannabis store owners that their jobs are not are exempt from certain requirements.
“Such a designation does not exempt licensees from the requirements set out in public health and enforcement ordinances,” noted the MED. “Rather, regulated marijuana companies must continue to comply with public health requirements and the executive order for critical companies. This includes complying with social distancing requirements; enforcing the requirement that employees, customers and patients wear protective face covering unless this cannot be medically tolerated; and implementation of disease prevention measures for the workplace, employees and customers. ”
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Thomas Mitchell has been a cannabis-related writer for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate, and general news for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman, and Fox Sports. He is currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.