Cannabis retail stores carving out digital strategies to adapt to new restrictions

BOSTON — Cannabis retail stores across the Commonwealth are reopening Monday for curbside pickup service after the governor began rolling out a plan to reopen much of the Massachusetts economy.

Stores have been shut down since March 24, and even though medical marijuana shops were considered essential businesses and allowed to operate, recreational shops were deemed non-essential.

Last week, the Cannabis Control Commission moved to allow recreational stores to offer curbside pickup, which has been allowed for medical marijuana treatment centers since March.

Pure Oasis, Boston’s first retail cannabis store, was forced to close down because of the pandemic just two weeks to the day after its grand opening.

The store’s owner Kobe Evans was forced to lay off 30 people.

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But Evans told Boston 25 News he brought his laid-off staff back in for training on personal protective equipment and safety protocols once he was given the green light to reopen.

“We have staff in training as we speak going over the governor's guidelines for proper hand hygiene, proper social distancing,” Evans said. “Reduce contact, minimize exposure keep people safe that's our goal.”

Here is a list of what can start reopening in Massachusetts beginning today (with restrictions). Check out more information here:

Posted by Boston 25 News on Monday, May 25, 2020

Evans says curbside pickup will be a lot like ordering food from a restaurant, but with designated appointments to prevent too many people showing up at once.

The Cannabis Control Commission’s executive director says he’s confident customers will adapt along with the shops.

Still, some cannabis customers who we spoke with tell us they are hesitant to return to stores, and they’re in no rush to do anything that’s not essential.

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