Shutting Down Recreational Cannabis Dispensaries Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic Threatens Public Health and Invites Illicit Market Activity
Washington, D.C. — The American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH) today issued the following statement in response to efforts by states and municipalities aiming to treat medical and recreational dispensaries differently as state-level executive orders on “essential businesses” determine which businesses may remain open amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Said ATACH President Michael Bronstein:
“Treating adult-use cannabis dispensaries as anything other than ‘essential businesses’ is misguided policy and counter to the public health and safety measures required to beat back this pandemic. Major cities such as Denver and San Francisco found this out the hard way when they had to quickly reverse course after unnecessary shutdowns created the very problem this ill conceived policy was meant to address: a panicked public, concerns from patients who have been shopping at adult use dispensaries, and customers trying to access stores all at once in the rush. Furthermore, if forced closures happen, governments risk a comeback from the illicit market, which industry has worked so hard to fight against, causing a dangerous situation where consumers are accessing unregulated and untested products in settings where CDC and WHO coronavirus guidelines aren’t likely to be followed.
“Today, we are calling on the state of Massachusetts to reconsider and open all adult-use stores and for any jurisdiction considering a similar policy to heed the cautionary tale of Denver and San Francisco.”
The American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp is a 501(c)(6) trade organization promoting the expansion and protection of legal sales of cannabis and hemp for industrial, medical, and recreational use. In 2017, ATACH was named Trade Association of the Year by Campaigns & Elections. In 2016, ATACH was named “Corporate Grassroots Organization of the Year” by Campaigns & Elections magazine for its representation of the leading national industry players, its role in state level legalization campaigns, the first industry event held at a national presidential nominating convention, and its historic agreement with ASTM International to develop standards for the industry. ATACH promotes the protection and expansion of the cannabis industry by providing credible representation to the cannabis industry.