As governments today respond to COVID-19, it’s critical that medical patients maintain access to cannabis for medical use. This is particularly true in Alaska, and we are asking for your help.
Please join with us in asking Gov. Mike Dunleavy to ensure that cannabis businesses, which serve patients along with adult consumers, are included as essential businesses. Click here to send a message to the governor to thank him for keeping businesses open so far and to ask for his support on behalf of patients all around the state.
As of today, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, California, Illinois, Michigan, Maine, Maryland, and Nevada, along with a long list of medical-only states, have declared that retail cannabis establishments are “essential services.” That designation helps ensure access even if there is a stay-at-home order. Alaska’s governor has not yet extended that protection to cannabis businesses, leaving patients and consumers vulnerable. Without a home delivery option, patients and consumers would simply be cut off if retail shops closed. That should not be acceptable, and the governor should hear that message. Help us get word to his office.
The flip side is for all of us in the cannabis movement to remember that in many ways, we are also stewards of health. Businesses should consider measures to help ensure the well-being of their patients and customers through social distancing and good business practices.
- Our own letter to the governor is available here.
- The Alaska Marijuana Industry Association’s great letter and recommendations for businesses is here.
- A chart we put together that compares different state approaches in response to COVID-19 is here.
- The link to get word to the Alaska governor’s office on this issue is here.
Please stay safe, and mind your health and the health of this community.
In the past week or two, our lives have changed dramatically.
As we strive to “flatten the curve,” schools have shuttered their doors. Those workplaces that can switch to remote work, including MPP, have done so. Hundreds of thousands of workers are newly unemployed. Tens of thousands of Americans have been diagnosed with the virus, and healthcare professionals are making heroic sacrifices.
Our hearts go out to each of you for all you are going through as we come together to reduce the death toll.
As some states roll out “Safer at Home” policies, they are recognizing people still need access to essentials, including medicine. MPP and allied organizations are working to make sure they do not lose sight of the fact that millions of Americans depend on cannabis as part of their treatment regimens.
We are urging governors and legislative leaders in states with medical cannabis and legalization laws to ensure access in a way that keeps everyone as safe as possible.
You can sign our petition here to add your voice to the plea for safe access.
Among the recommendations — which are similar to ones put out by our friends at Americans for Safe Access — are declaring cannabis businesses an essential service (keeping them open in case of a stay-at-home order), allowing delivery, allowing telemedicine, and relaxing bureaucratic requirements that could interfere with access.
We’ve also compiled a list of what measures states currently have in place for safe access in these uncertain times.
We wish you and your loved ones well. We’re all in this together.