On March 17, Governor Steve Sisolak of Nevada held a press conference and issued an order to address temporary business closures in the state. While many businesses deemed non-essential are closing down, dispensaries were going to remain open. But then on March 21, Governor Sisolak changed his course and ordered storefront cannabis stores to close doors, while deliveries can continue to operate.
“I have spoken with Nevada’s top medical experts to get their assessment of our current situation and most responsible next steps,” Gov. Sisolak said in a press release. “They have advised that the most effective course of action is to direct all Nevadans to stay home and for all nonessential businesses to close to the public for 30 days.”
The March 17 order from the state established a few rules for cannabis dispensary operations going forward. “Licensed cannabis stores and medical dispensaries should only remain open if employees and consumers strictly adhere to the social distancing protocol,” claimed the official order, according to the Las Vegas Sun. “Employees have been asked to prioritize their health and the health of the community and to remain home if they show or feel any signs of illness. Customers will no longer be able to take part in smelling flower before purchasing, as the flower displays are no longer available to prevent the spread of germs.”
The Nevada Dispensary Association claims that it is currently working with regulators in order to implement all social distancing rules and keep spaces safe and compliant. As of March 18, local dispensary called The+Source was the only cannabis business open (with two locations). While cannabis remains legal, the city’s main industry, gambling, has already been shut down.
In the past, Nevada officials have supported medical cannabis patients and recreational consumers I others ways as well. As of the beginning of this year, the state can no longer discriminate against consumers who are looking for jobs. The state’s cannabis program has already brought in $100 million in annual tax payments as well.