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Marijuana Industry Staying Open Despite COVID-19 Pandemic

marijuana buds next to prescription container

With Illinois residents practicing isolation inside their homes, the marijuana industry is making adjustments to meet consumer needs.

While Governor J.B. Pritzker prescribes isolation as a method of reducing the spread of COVID-19, the marijuana industry is staying open for business.

Illinois Cannabis Association’s Pam Althoff said the industry is meeting the governor’s restrictions head-on with initiatives like curbside delivery.

“We are doing everything to ensure their accessibility to medicine and more importantly their safety in getting the access to that medicine,” Althoff said.

Dispensaries are taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including sanitizing counters and door handles. Some are also separating customers based on recreational or medical consumption as well as distributing marijuana to customers on the curb or in parking lots to reduce human contact and prevent further spread of the virus.

“This is an ongoing, everyday, hour-by-hour evaluation, not only from inside the industry but also with the administration to make sure that we’re all responding appropriately,” Althoff said.

Governor Pritzker said he would look at dispensaries in the same light as pharmacies.

Mike Smith is a graduate Public Affairs Reporting intern for the spring 2020 legislative session.
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