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Protecting medical cannabis patients in Alaska as COVID-19 emerges

Mar 25, 2020

access, AK, Alaska, Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, cannabis businesses, coronavirus, COVID-19, essential business, Gov. Mike Dunleavy, governor, health, home delivery, medical cannabis, Medical Marijuana, patient access, patients, protections, social distancing, stay-at-home-order


Encourage Gov. Dunleavy to maintain and extend good cannabis policies.

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.

Some resources:

  • 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.