In order to meet the needs of cannabis users across the state, Maryland is allowing medical dispensaries to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic with some loosened restrictions to make sure everyone has access. Southern Maryland dispensaries in general are working to make sure accessibility is the number-one priority.
According to SoMdNews, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission issued an order that would change some rules for dispensaries. It’s no longer OK to keep a big jar of cannabis for customers to smell before purchasing, but on-site deliveries in parking lots, their version of curbside delivery, is now an option.
Patients also no longer have to sign for cannabis upon pickup, and orders can be processed online. This helps with social distancing and ease of access for those without as much access to transportation.
One store in Solomons, MD, Greenwave Medical Cannabis Dispensary, took advantage of the fact that their building used to be a bank and implemented a drive-thru window for customers. With a little work, they were able to make the business accessible to those who don’t want to leave their vehicles.
“The MMCC has shown great leadership,” Lauren Simpson, director of Greenwave, said. “We’re lucky to have a governor who acknowledged the importance of medical cannabis to state constituents.”
In Mechanicsville, MD, Southern Maryland Relief, owned by Charlie Mattingly, had to make some similar changes in order to keep up with the times and provide access to patients.
Online Ordering Now An Option
In addition to offering curbside pickup, the store is taking online orders. However, since many of their patients are older and not as computer-savvy, he is also keeping the store open so that folks can still get the help they need as long as they socially distance. Only six people are allowed in the waiting room at one time, and three in the showroom.
“We sanitize every 30 minutes … we’re doing more than what was asked. It’s better to be safe than sorry,” he said.
With all these measures in place, Maryland is making sure to keep access for patients as a top priority.