San Francisco’s Cannabis Dispensaries Will Remain Open During Lockdown


Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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Despite shelter-in-place orders for San Francisco residents, which includes the closing of non-essential businesses, cannabis dispensaries will continue to stay open, the San Francisco Department of Public Health announced Tuesday.

“Cannabis is an essential medicine for many San Francisco residents. Dispensaries can continue to operate as essential businesses during this time, while practicing social distancing and other public health recommendations,” the account tweeted.

San Francisco residents were ordered to shelter in place on Monday until April 7 in an effort to contain the coronavirus spread. The order also required most businesses that are non-essential to temporarily close, which created confusion and frustration for many residents who flocked to their neighborhood dispensaries Monday evening, Mission Local reported, in a desperate attempt to stock up before a potential shut down. 

But San Francisco officials will allow cannabis businesses to remain open after originally telling them they had to shut down. People with medical issues, especially those in pain or undergoing chemotherapy, rely on cannabis in a medical capacity and view dispensaries as an essential service. (RELATED: Trump Admin Requests $1 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Package From Congress)

Almost 7 million people are affected by the lockdown in the Bay Area, and the shelter in place order is the first of its kind in the U.S. as states and cities across the country enact measures ranging from school closures to non-essential business closures to slow the virus’ spread.

California had more than 500 infections as of Tuesday afternoon, including at least 12 deaths, according to CNN.