Durango’s marijuana dispensaries, adapting to the coronavirus outbreak, are now offering online and over-the-phone orders, as well as curbside pickup.
To limit human interaction and slow the spread of the virus, the state of Colorado suspended a state law that prohibits retail marijuana sales from online and telephone orders, and passed further provisions that now allow curbside pickup.
And, though a statewide stay-at-home order went into effect Thursday, marijuana dispensaries will stay open, with Gov. Jared Polis deeming the stores essential.
Kevin Hall, Durango’s assistant city manager, said code enforcement officers have been working with dispensaries to find the best operating procedures for each store given the new mandates.
Within city limits, Durango has 10 marijuana dispensaries.
“By and large, all are offering curbside pickup,” Hall said.
Outside city limits, there are two dispensaries in the county. Kathleen Moore, an attorney for La Plata County, said the provisions will help stores further promote social distancing, seen as the best tool to fight the coronavirus.
The Board of County Commissioners earlier this week voted unanimously to lift prohibitions on online and telephone sales, as well as curbside pickup.
At Colorado Grow Co., Assistant Manager Karl Roznai said Thursday the store has implemented the changes, but as people are increasingly told to stay home, business has slowed.
“A lot of stocking up did happen, but people are staying home now,” he said. “We’re going to stay open as long as we can … but we’re taking a hit right now.”
Sayrah Sims, marketing director for Prohibition Herb, said the store has implemented best practices for employees and customers to encourage limited interaction, like waiting in cars for deliveries.
Business, Sims said, is strong, and the store is actually hiring.
“We’re still hopping,” she said.
Sims said it was a significant moment for marijuana stores to have state regulators work with the industry to stay open and be deemed essential.
“We’re just stoked to be able to do this,” she said. “It’s history-making.”