Amid an outbreak of coronavirus in Massachusetts, the state’s cannabis regulators have said that Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers that offer delivery to patients can consider a geographic expansion of delivery service.
Treatment centers can promote that delivery service and remind patients that they can acquire up to a 60-day medical-grade marijuana supply, the Cannabis Control Commission said Friday.
The commission also reminded certifying health care providers that medical marijuana patient renewal certifications can be submitted after phone consultation as long a clinical visit has occurred within the past year.
On Friday, the commission issued a bulletin addressing coronavirus concerns as it relates to the state’s marijuana industry. Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday declared a state of emergency to address COVID-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus.
Marijuana agents handle marijuana and marijuana products during cultivation and manufacturing processes. They also may interact with patients who may be immunocompromised, in addition to adult-use customers. For that reason, the commission is asking licensees to consider things like line-management to reduce the risk of exposure.
“Relevant procedures include how establishments manage lines and queues, the utilization of mobile or order-ahead features that may reduce the risk of exposure, considering appointment-only operations, and the increased frequency of cleaning and sterilization efforts,” the bulletin reads. “Similarly, where applicable, Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers that offer patient delivery may consider the promotion and geographic expansion of their service and remind patients of the ability to acquire up to a 60-day supply.”
On Thursday afternoon, the state Department of Public Health announced there are now 108 cases of coronavirus in Massachusetts. Six of those cases are confirmed by the CDC and 102 are presumptive.
The commission’s headquarters in Worcester and satellite office in Boston will close until further notice starting Monday.
“The agency has invested in significant technology capabilities that enable staff to work remotely to sustain all commission operations, including patient support, licensing, and enforcement functions, during this time,” reads a statement from the CCC.
Patient support center phone lines will remain open to callers from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Investigators and compliance officers will continue to work in the field while wearing mandated personal protective equipment, the commission said.
In the commission’s bulletin, employers are advised to encourage good hygiene, urge employees to stay home when they feel sick and be flexible and considerate with sick leave benefits.
The CCC is continuing to evaluate protocols related to inspections and things like public meetings.
“The commission is committed to undertake every effort to ensure minimal disruption to productivity while ensuring the safety of staff and the public,” the statement said.
While working remotely, commission staff will be able to be reached through their usual contacts, the CCC said. Anyone with questions can call 774-415-0200, email Commission@CCCMass.Com, or follow the agency on Facebook and Twitter.