The Coronavirus pandemic is now in full swing, with non-essential retail businesses being ordered to close in a number of countries around the world. Included are legal cannabis dispensaries in countries like the US, Canada, and the Netherlands, where customers are queueing in order to stock up.
Coffee Shops in The Netherlands
The famed coffee shops of the Netherlands have been forced to close along with many other non-essential retail outlets, bars, and restaurants. The Dutch Health and Education Ministers announced in a televised press conference on Sunday (March 15th) that all such public spaces were to close by 6 pm on the same day.
Just minutes after the announcement, queues of cannabis users could be seen gathering outside many of the country’s coffee shops. Customers were hoping to stock up on their favourite strains before closures took hold. However, all cannabis dispensaries have since been closed in the Netherlands due to Coronavirus prevention measures – perhaps for weeks.
State-Legal Dispensaries in the USA
In the US, the picture was somewhat similar. Many legal cannabis dispensaries in US states have seen a spike in sales as fears of closures loom. Some dispensaries, like New England Treatment Access in Brookline, Massachusetts, have ceased taking walk-in orders. Instead, the dispensary will only serve customers who place orders in advance. Staff in many dispensaries have begun wearing latex gloves and providing hand sanitizer at check-out points.
Many areas of the country have already been affected by the closure of public places. Bars and restaurants in Boston, Massachusetts have been ordered to close by 11 pm. Bars and restaurants in Ohio were also ordered to close on Sunday. It seems that many cannabis users are expecting the measures to be extended to dispensaries in the coming days.
Cannabis delivery services have also seen a significant spike in sales in California. It remains unclear how cannabis dispensary closures due to the spreading of Coronavirus could affect medical cannabis patients.