SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WHSM) — Gov. Charlie Baker announced his four-phase plan to reopen the Bay State.
In phase one, recreational marijuana shops can open for curbside pickup on Monday, May 25.
Cannabis businesses are excited to serve customers for non-medical purposes again after weeks of uncertainty.
“The difference for us is we don’t receive the federal grants or small business loans,” said Thomas Winstanley, marketing director for Theory Wellness in Chicopee. “That certainly adds some challenges to it.”
Winstanley spoke about the struggles of being closed for weeks due to COVID-19.
They got good news from the governor Monday that they can open for pickup next week. Right now, they’re getting ready to serve customers by putting precautions in place.
“Guards between our customers, our employees, and our patients,” he said. “We’re sanitizing regularly on the hour with multiple teams to ensure that we’re looking at any potential hotspots.”
RISE in Amherst they’re also gearing up to reopen by keeping their employees and customers safe.
“Making sure that our customers and employees are wearing face masks at all times,” said Ben Sussman, RISE outreach specialist. “Diligent cleaning schedules, wearing gloves. We also installed some plexiglass shields. So we’ve gone above and beyond to make sure that we’re prepared.”
In a statement from the Commonwealth Dispensary Association, they praised the phase 1 inclusion.
“In addition to beginning to restore access to safe, tested adult-use cannabis, this determination provides a first step in providing meaningful economic relief to the more than 2,000 Massachusetts cannabis employees who will be able to return to work, workers who otherwise do not qualify for federal relief,” they said in part.
Baker did not specify when cannabis shops can be fully open, and phase one is supposed to last for a minimum of three weeks.
If the number of COVID-19 cases trends in the wrong direction, it could last longer.