Things are developing rapidly on the COVID-19 front. Shortly after Monday’s blog post, Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order (see the video here and the state’s COVID-19 general guidance here), which orders Washingtonians to stay at home except for essential activities, and for all non-essential businesses to close. A list of the businesses deemed essential is available here.
Cannabis Businesses Deemed Essential
Cannabis retail stores have been deemed essential and may continue to stay open until further notice, provided these businesses enact measures intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including sanitary and social distancing measures. On the list of essential businesses, cannabis retailers are found under two sections:
Healthcare / Public Health
- Workers in other medical facilities (including Ambulatory Health and Surgical, Blood Banks, Clinics, […] biotechnology therapies, consumer health products, cannabis retailers).
Food and Agriculture
- Workers supporting cannabis retail and dietary supplement retail
Though not explicitly stated, cannabis producers and processors are almost certainly included as well, since their workers support cannabis retail. If businesses have any questions regarding this order, whether cannabis-related or not, they should talk to an experienced advisor.
WSLCB Further Relaxes Rules – Curbside Delivery
Monday’s blog post covered the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board’s (“WSLCB”) relaxation of curbside service for medical marijuana patients. Today, the WSLCB announced to stakeholders that this temporary policy has been extended to all customers. Though their guidance isn’t explicit on the actual purchase, this temporary policy means that cash may be exchanged for product outside of the store. The following restrictions still apply:
- Drive-thru windows are not allowed
- IDs must be checked – no one in the car may be less than 21 years of age
- Curbside sales areas must be stationary and physically designated on the leasehold property, preferably as close to the building as possible.
Examples of physical designations for curbside service include:
- Tape or painted parking spots for vehicle parking
- Cones or signage for vehicle parking
- Where possible, video cameras monitoring and recording the designated sales area
- Outdoor sales from a tent or kiosk are not allowed
WSLCB Further Relaxes Rules – Minors Allowed On-Site for Producers/Processors
Due to the current crisis, the WSLCB will also temporarily allow minors under 16 to be present on the premises of licensed producers and processors to accommodate families that have been impacted by school closures. This does not include retailers or transportation vehicles. This rule relaxation is effective until April 30, 2020 (or further notice). The following conditions must still be met:
- The person under 16 years of age is a child or grandchild of the licensee;
- The person under 16 years of age is not engaging in any work or act of employment for the licensed business; and
- The person under 16 years of age does not possess any products associated with the production, processing, or sales of marijuana.
WSLCB updates related to COVID-19 can be seen here, though be aware that this webpage may change without notice. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.