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BREAKING: Cannabis Dispensaries Can Reopen Under Order From Mayor Breed

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San Francisco cannabis dispensaries were all ordered closed on Monday night under Mayor London Breed’s coronavirus shelter-in-place order that shut down many SF businesses and brought the city to a halt. Dispensaries were mobbed Monday, because it was the last day they’d be able to operate for at least three weeks. As of this morning, you could not buy legal weed anywhere in San Francisco.

UNTIL NOW! Mayor Breed just sent out a directive saying that dispensaries are allowed to reopen, and some of them tell they might do so tonight, after doing gangbusters pre-quarantine business yesterday.

“We had one of our biggest days ever yesterday” SPARC owner Erich Pearson told, “Delivery was up two times [normal business]. In-store pickup was up like 80%. Foot traffic in the stores in general was up.”

Up until late Monday afternoon, all dispensaries thought they could stay open throughout the shelter-in-place period, because the original SF DPH order had exceptions for pharmacies, convenience stores, and delivery services. “Everyone else must stay home except to fulfill essential functions such as getting food, caring for a relative or friend, getting necessary health care or going to work if their job is an essential service,” the order read. That seemed to cover medical marijuana delivery services.

But the Department of Public Health shot that down with a 6:31 p.m. Monday night email, sent after some dispensaries had already announced they would stay open. has obtained a copy of that email sent to dispensaries, which reads: “At this time, Cannabis Dispensaries and Cannabis Delivery Services are not considered an ‘Essential Business’.  All Cannabis Dispensaries and Cannabis Delivery Services permitted with the Department of Public Health under Article 33 are required to follow the Stay at Home Order. You will need to close your business starting March 17, 2020. You will be notified of any future updates or information immediately.”

Statewide cannabis operators were already lobbying Gavin Newsom for an exemption. “Like pharmacies that provide medicinal and therapeutic products to millions of Californians, licensed cannabis dispensaries should not be included in any future guidance or order to shut down,” dispensary owners said in a letter to Gavin Newsom, obtained by Marijuana Retail Report. “At a time that so many of our citizens need the products available through dispensaries to weather this pandemic, our continued availability to them is essential to their health and well-being.”

Supervisor Matt Haney took up the charge successfully, and helped get the order changed today at about 4:30 p.m. when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors met with various San Francisco department heads. 

“Just like with take-out restaurants or pet stores, aquariums or a broad range of things that we’re allowing to stay open, this could be done in a way that maintains adequate health protections, including social distancing, no on-site use, and continuing pickup and delivery,” Haney told SF Weekly just minutes before the meeting. “There’s absolutely no logical reason to shut down delivery. Delivery is still happening for everything else. Why would you shut down local cannabis delivery operations?”

We have not received word yet that any dispensaries have reopened, but we expect that word any minute now.

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Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.