BREAKING: Is Cannabis an “Essential” Service under California’s COVID-19 “Stay At Home” Order?

At 5:30 p.m. yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom took a giant step forward in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by enacting a “Stay At Home” order (the “Order”) across the state, mandating that California state residents remain in their homes, except to fulfill “essential” needs. The Order is in place seemingly indefinitely as Newsom would not give a deadline for its expiration. For thousands of licensed cannabis businesses, the question is now whether cannabis businesses are considered “essential businesses” under the Order.

Per the Order, essential services will remain open such as:

Gas stations Pharmacies Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants Banks Laundromats/laundry services

Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services. And what’s closed/cancelled during the Order? Dine-in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, entertainment venues, gyms and fitness studios, public events and gatherings, and convention centers.

The Order is completely silent regarding cannabis businesses and as of the drafting of this post neither the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the Department of Food and Agriculture, nor the Department of Public Health have made any official statements about whether

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