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Medical and recreational marijuana businesses are determining how to deliver cannabis to customers after the state’s regulatory agency issued temporary rules to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency on Monday said it would temporarily allow curbside pickup at marijuana businesses statewide. It also encouraged patients and customers to place delivery orders, stating that it would attempt to process home delivery applications for licensees within 24 to 48 hours.
The move has made some businesses act more quickly in expanding the ways patients and customers can obtain cannabis products. Greg Maki, an owner of Agri-Med — which operates Park Place Provisionary in Muskegon and Exit 9 Provisionary in Nunica — said customers have been interested in alternative ways to obtain products without having to enter the businesses. Agri-Med was planning to do home delivery, which it was already licensed for, but had not yet rolled out the service. Maki said the business will expedite that process as well as curbside pickup.
“We’d like to not implement something until we’ve gone through it several times to find out what works and what doesn’t work,” Maki said. “But we’re probably going to jump both feet in to keep that separation.”
The Michigan Cannabis Industry Association applauded the MRA’s “swift response” to COVID-19.
“We are very grateful to the MRA for moving quickly to address public health and safety concerns,” Robin Schneider, executive director of the industry association, said in a statement. “We always hope our government is prepared to handle tough situations and, in this case, the MRA has demonstrated incredible leadership in protecting our industry workers and their customers.”
Kent County’s first recreational marijuana retail store, Meds Cafe in Lowell, opened on Friday. Kyle Miller, the company’s director of strategic relations, said the store has been receiving calls about curbside pickup from customers.
Meds Cafe is in the process of arranging that, and received its license for home delivery Monday. Miller said Meds Cafe is planning to roll out delivery by the end of the week.
According to Miller, the coronavirus pandemic has not negatively affected the amount of customers Meds Cafe has seen in its first week open.
“As far as whether or not they want the product, I don’t think it’s had any impact,” he said. Both Maki and Miller told MiBiz they are taking extra in-store precautions in light of the coronavirus, including extra cleaning and sanitizing, as well as keeping adequate separation distances between customers.
“We only let about three people in our waiting room,” Maki said. “Nobody has had a problem with it. I think they want all of that, too.”