Medical Marijuana is Classified as an “Essential” Drug During COVID-19 Pandemic
On March 21, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey signed Executive Order 107, forcing all businesses deemed “non-essential” to close their doors to the public. This order followed a similar restriction put in place by the state of New York on March 20, 2020. These business restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic left the medical marijuana community with questions about whether patients would be left without treatment.
States quickly began putting protocols in place to help these facilities keep providing care while allowing for appropriate social distancing. New Jersey has since relaxed the restrictions on their nine alternative treatment centers (ATCs) and will now allow curbside pickup. The ATCs will need to submit a plan for their curbside procedures to the health department. Local municipalities such as police departments must also be informed.
New York has made similar strides, allowing medical marijuana sales to take place at the dispensary doors. Their home delivery services will also see relaxed regulation enforcement. Modifying the enforcement of existing cannabis laws during this emergency period is just one way that New Jersey and New York are reacting to the continued need for cannabis treatment right now.
New Jersey Department of Health’s Division of Medical Marijuana has also provided guidance to ATCs on how they can hire more employees. These new employees will be able to fulfill the needs required to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus to their patients.
The medical cannabis industry is regulated by the New Jersey Cannabis Control Commission. Regulations are constantly evolving and require constant monitoring to ensure regulatory compliance with both the states of New Jersey and New York, as well as on the federal level.
Please contact us for more information on current medical marijuana regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our experienced attorneys in this area can provide essential legal counsel during this stressful time.