Billings Dispensaries Following COVID-19 Guidelines
A buddy of mine made a comment last week about, "holy cow, they're taking the COVID-19 stuff pretty seriously at the dispensary." Adding that they were only allowing one customer in at a time, wiping down surfaces, etc. As of today (3/26) medical marijuana dispensaries are still allowed to be open in Montana. I heard there are some shops voluntarily closed in Billings, but the two I called were both open for business.
At Montana Advanced Caregivers they are requiring customers to wait in their vehicles and place orders from the car. An employee then brings the product to the customer's vehicle. Like a carhop. A rep at Elevated in Lockwood said they are following the governor's rules on social distancing and limiting the number of patients in the retail areas, as well as special attention to cleaning all touch surfaces. Elevated offers delivery if you'd feel more comfortable not leaving the house at all.
From the state of Montana DPHHS and MMP website, here are the official rules as posted 3/23 for medical marijuana dispensaries during COVID-19
• Eliminate communally handled products, including ‘sniff jars’ or other items that multiple patients or employees may touch.
• Maintain social distancing. Licensees should find ways to limit the number of patients in their dispensaries and develop practices that limit employees’ interactions with cardholders and the public in general.
• Enact stringent, frequent cleaning procedures to disinfect all surfaces regularly touched by employees, patients, or other visitors.
• Utilize home delivery for patients if allowable in your locality. Please note some local jurisdictions do not allow this, so check your local regulations.
The staff I talked to said they haven't noticed a large uptick in new patients. One mentioned that it may be getting more difficult to get a doctor's appointment, as many of them are not seeing patients during the coronavirus outbreak. Ask a dispensary about possibly getting a virtual appointment with a doctor.
You probably heard about the pandemonium that ensued when the mayor of Denver declared liquor stores and marijuana shops closed? He reversed his decision just hours later when crowds flooded shops buying everything in sight. I feel pretty confident that we won't have to worry about that in Montana. With the liquor or the weed.