The coronavirus has created havoc across the globe. And New York has become the epicenter of this public health crisis. It is one of the hardest-hit areas with more than 100,000 patients already infected with this novel coronavirus. The state’s hospitals are overburdened, and morgues are overwhelming with bodies. Even the healthcare workers are facing the heat now. And people who are looking for a medical cannabis card in New York have no idea if they can get their medication in the times of lockdown.
It feels like, “Bang!!! You have been hit.” No doubt about that.
The coronavirus is “truly vicious,” says New York Gov. Andrew. The case of New York is similar to “strengths turning into weakness” as the spatial closeness makes this vulnerable. And it’s not a short-term situation. It could take even a year to get things back to where it started. However, all of this has impacted the ongoing cannabis legalization plans and a lot of other propositions. Although, the City seems to have turned its faith towards medical marijuana cards.
Think I am exaggerating? Well, keep reading, and you will learn about the struggles of New York and how the people are coping with it.
New Yorkers Turning to Cannabis Amid The COVID-19 Hit
The City often referred to as the “Big Apple,” the sales of cannabis have gone through the roof. Within a few weeks of March, the sales alone rose by 50 percent in many states. Although New York is still illegal in this City, the people are helping to fuel the trend. The consumption of this product also saw a massive change as people have more time and stress is eating them. And the fear of the unknown is making them turn to cannabis to prioritize what’s important in their life.
However, during this crisis, the well-known dispensaries are shutting off their storefronts for purchases. Instead, they are urging people to turn to pickups or deliveries. Isn’t that the best way to ensure no one contracts the virus because of negligence? However, some stores like Brooklyn Arboretum sent a note to their clients, stating that they will be suspending deliveries in the wake of coronavirus spread.
Everyone indeed needs to understand that this particular virus is contagious, and no matter what you do, it will spread. So, social distancing and lockdown is the only hope to slow down the infection. However, that does not mean one will miss out on something that is helping them going in life. So, what’s this all about? Let’s find out in the next few lines.
Medical Marijuana Deliveries Deemed “Essential Services”
Like a few other states, including California, NPR reports that Gov. Andrew and Mayor Bill de Blasio made an important decision for the medical cannabis users in the state. They stated that dispensaries would be marked as essential services, like others, to keep on working amid the public health crisis. So, patients with the medical cannabis card in New York won’t have to worry about accessing their medicines anymore. They can call their dispensaries, place an order, and guess what, your medications will be home in no time.
Following those orders, New York state health regulators issued guidance declaring that any medical cannabis business will be licensed to work just like any other “medical provider.” So, the dispensaries were allowed to open even when other nonessential companies were ordered to close down. They strengthened the safety and health protocols for registered organizations and suggested the following actions.
Medical Dispensary Guidelines
First and foremost, only registered organizations can dispense goods from the faculty provided where they can maintain compliance with the ongoing laws, rules, and regulations. Again, only registered users can expand their delivery services statewide without seeking any written approval. And this directive will remain in place until the mid of April 2020. Also, if you are in the list of distributors, make sure to follow the recommendations issued by the state. For example, wearing masks and gloves, sanitizing, or washing hands after every delivery.
Also, they must ask patients to use their pens for signatures. You can also confirm the delivery using a phone call, text, or email instead of getting a signature. They are even asking storefronts to ask the patients to set up appointments, in case they wish to come to visit a dispensary. That way, they can avoid overcrowding a place.
But wait, there’s more…
The state’s health department is also encouraging businesses to use the practices for increasing sanitation of their facilities along with a measure to work with ill staff members. After all, in the end, it’s about public health and safety. And it needs to be taken care of at all times.
Now that we saw what’s changed in the state concerning medical cannabis and the importance of having a medical cannabis card in New York let’s talk a bit about the struggles now.
Coronavirus Attack Puts a Halt to Ongoing Cannabis Legalization Plans
The gig economy and marijuana was something that the state officials wanted to work on. Also, with the ongoing issues of coronavirus infections among several state lawmakers, the session seems to be effectively over. The people of New York were hoping that something will change in the year 2020. However, amid the ongoing public health crisis, the chances of legalizing marijuana seem to be a dream one more time. It exactly fits the phrase here, “Man proposes, god, disposes.”
Imagine in the year 2019 when everything was in support of marijuana legalization. The issue got dropped because of severe disagreements over specifics such as tax revenue. This year was so optimistic about the prospects of marijuana legalization covering all the bases. But, the pandemic consumed the session’s attention. And one can not blame anyone this time. Having said that, the Gov. still thinks it is ultimately up to lawmakers to determine when to reconvene this year and tackle this issue of legalizing cannabis.
Having a medical marijuana card in New York is making the lives of thousands of patients stress-free since the government has allowed medical marijuana dispensaries to remain open amid the COVID-19 attacks. However, the City is facing one of the worst pandemics where nothing seems to be working in their favor. The coronavirus is killing one person roughly four minutes in New York state. The state officials and healthcare providers are working day and night to get the situation under control.
After much hard work, the good news is that finally, the City is seeing some slow down in the number of cases for the first time in two months. The hopes are high that the City will get past these testing times and will get back to its normal mode.
For now, remember to follow the safety guidelines strictly. Practice social distancing and lockdown measures. #StayHomeStaySafe