San Francisco marijuana shops open amid virus
Video by : AP Archive – 2020.03.24
(20 Mar 2020) Marijuana is essential in San Francisco.
That was the decision made by city leaders during its ongoing shelter in place order due to the coronavirus crisis.
Only businesses deemed « essential, » like gas stations and pharmacies, are allowed to stay open.
Originally marijuana dispensaries were not on that list.
But after complaints from pot shop owners and users, the city revised its position and deemed cannabis to be « essential medicine, » even though recreational, and not just medical purchases are permitted at most dispensaries in the city.
Dispensaries are only allowed to sell weed for take out or delivery and no on-site consumption is currently allowed.
Stores are also required to limit the number of customers inside at a time, maintaining six feet separation between customers and staff.
The Apothecarium in the city’s Castro district is regularly sanitizing counters and only allowing customers to make purchases online and then having them come to the store to pick them up.
For the past several days, The Green Cross in the city’s Glen Park neighborhood has had a steady line of customers patiently waiting outside, with gaps of several feet between each person and with many wearing masks.
Jackie Cornelius, a medical assistant at a local hospital, picked up two canisters of marijuana from The Green Cross.
She says cannabis helps with her anxiety working in the medical field during the COVID-19 crisis and the daily stress of having to stay at home when not working.
« Especially since we’re quarantined, what is there to do in the house? What better way to be in the house than medicate? » Cornelius said with a laugh.
Long lines have been reported at marijuana dispensaries around the country as uncertainty remains over possible closings in the near future.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.
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