Study reveals that most Americans want dispensaries to stay open

Published Apr 24, 2020 09:00 a.m. ET
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Many states have deemed marijuana as a medicine that has been shown to help aid those living with symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Arthritis

These are some of the ailments and health conditions that cannabis can provide relief for.  So, why would cannabis dispensaries not be deemed essential services like the pharmacies throughout the different states? Is the ability to be able to live comfortably with certain health conditions not also essential?

Essential service

The question was simple and directed at legal age Americans. 53% of the study group were in full agreement that cannabis dispensaries should be deemed an essential service, and as such, should not be shutdown.  Does that mean that the recreational dispensary is not essential? This is a question that many American cannabis users wanted the answer to.

Most states answered by allowing recreational dispensaries to remain open. However, commerce would not be conducted in the same manner as before COVID-19 entered our lives, so consumers would only be able to obtain products through delivery service or curbside service. The decision to do business in this manner is to keep with the social distancing policies put in place by the President of the United States of America.


Americans have, in the last few weeks, taken to visiting the dispensaries more frequently than before the deadly COVID-19 reached our communities. Americans were rushing to stock up on toilet paper and cleaning supplies, and cannabis dispensaries were seeing stock fly off the shelves. Americans are vocal and present in their feelings on dispensaries remaining open during this COVID-19 pandemic.

San Francisco Bay area dispensaries saw marijuana sales soar by more than 150%. Edibles, including gummy candies, surged with the stay at home orders put in place. People were hesitant about being able to purchase their cannabis during the shutdown that the whole country was experiencing, but they kept coming back for more.

Do some states get it?

Marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania are recognized as an essential service and permitted to remain open to the public. It is interesting to note that liquor stores received the order to close for a short time. However, this order was reversed.


New York saw the essential need for dispensaries to remain open. A spokesperson for dispensaries throughout the states heard from consumers about the fear of a shutdown.

Many states that have the legal authority to sell cannabis are being sure that they follow the standards currently defined by the federal government. Following these standards will ensure the businesses remaining as essential services.

Nevada has permitted dispensaries to stay open if they maintain the rules of preventing crowds from forming. The dispensary is offering online and curbside business.

Although Illinois has halted recreational cannabis sales at dispensaries, medical cannabis patients can pick up orders either curbside or in the parking lot of the companies.

The numbers using the adjusted service methods provided by legal dispensaries are reflective in the amount of Americans who deem dispensaries to be essential services in some states.

Worries about supply and demand

The cannabis business operators have a genuine concern regarding the cannabis supply chain for essential service dispensaries. More than 50% of Americans want dispensaries to remain open.  The current COVID-19 virus has put needed masks and gloves used by the legal cannabis industry in short supply, but the frontline health providers need to come before the cannabis industry workers.  Safety and stopping the spread of the deadly virus is paramount.

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