Provinces are Making Cannabis an “Essential Service” During the Pandemic

Article by Peter Smith, Daily Hive

NEWS GROW NEWS & POLICY CORONAVIRUS Provinces are making cannabis an "essential service" during the pandemic Peter Smith

All across the country, a new type of policy is being enacted on multiple levels of government — a state of emergency. The minutia of the legislation may differ slightly between municipalities and provinces, but it’s seeing leaders of all stripes shutting down the “non-essential” industries and businesses to combat the spread of COVID-19.

While all agree that grocery stores and emergency services are required to keep the masses fed and cared for, a few unsuspecting sectors of the economy have been placed on lists of services vital to Canadians getting through the coronavirus pandemic, including cannabis.

Among others, Nova ScotiaOntario, and British Columbia have declared provincial states of emergency, while Quebec has chosen, at time of writing, to stop short of the title while still enacting emergency measures.

Alberta has declared a state of public health emergency.

On a more local level, municipalities are following suit. TorontoVancouver, and Calgary have all declared city-wide states of emergency.

Entire industries have ground to a halt — tourism, hospitality, and public events are all paused — yet, while so many businesses have been told to shutter, cannabis has appeared alongside other products deemed “essential.”

In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford announced the special measures his province would be entering into on Tuesday.

“This is a decision that was not made lightly,” said Ford. “We are facing an unprecedented time in our history.”

However, among a list of “essential” businesses, just after retail and wholesalers who provide bedding, food, and shelter to animals, and just before petrol stations, sits the provision classifying alcohol as well as “cannabis stores and cannabis producers.”

Read the full article here.

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