As the devastation and uncertainty of COVID-19 continues to sweep the world, patients here in Maine will still be able to access their medicine. This blog post will explain how Wellness Connection of Maine [WCM] is able to serve you during this time and what you need to know regarding obtaining cannabis.
The state has deemed Medical Marijuana Dispensaries and Caretakers as essential businesses, along with grocery stores and gas stations, allowing their operations to stay open to serve customers. Essential businesses are those categorized as necessary from Homeland Security guidelines.
Gov. Janet Mills implemented the Stay Healthy at Home mandate that requires people living in Maine to stay home except for an essential job or essential personal reason. Essential personal reasons include obtaining food, medicine, health care or other necessary purposes.
The order also requires essential businesses like WCM to limit the number of customers in a building and implement curb-side pickup and delivery options as much as possible. It also requires essential businesses to enforce U.S. CDC-recommended physical distancing requirements for customers and employees in and around their physical properties.
Other states are following suit, yet still others are requiring their cannabis retail shops to close temporarily. Some states have explicitly included cannabis companies as essential businesses, while others have not given explicit guidance, according to Fox Rothschild, a national law firm. They compiled a list of each state’s standing as of April 6, here.
Of the states that have medical marijuana programs, mostly all claim patient access is essential and dispensaries should be treated as pharmacies.
Health and Safety, First
Here at WCM, the health of our patients, customers and staff comes first. The COVID-19 pandemic has required fast responses to challenging circumstances. We are committed to providing medical cannabis to our patients and finding every avenue to safely make this happen. We appreciate your patience as we find ways to best serve you and do our part in making sure this pandemic does not spread further into our community.
We are being extra rigorous with our precautions around safety. Therefore, we have changed our dispensary hours (found on our homepage) and streamlined our online pre-ordering process. Here’s what you need to know:
Please note all products are available via pre-order only. We’ve compiled some tips to help you navigate this process easily:
- We encourage patients to order online due to high call volume. Please pre-order online through our website at www.mainewellness.org or Leafly.com.
- If you need to call in an order, please have your order ready in advance.
- We recommend stocking up on your supply, as some cannabis products may be unavailable or out of stock temporarily.
- Please allow up to 60 minutes or longer between placing your order and expected pickup. Wait time may vary based on volume.
- Once you arrive, please call or ring the door bell to be placed into the queue. You will get a text message or phone call when it’s your turn to enter the store.
- Make sure you have your ID and medical certification ready at pickup.
- Have cash ready at pickup or use CanPay
We’ve always taken pride in our clean and well-run dispensaries and we know cleanliness is of utmost importance right now. We are doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by following the recommended guidelines of the Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and our state’s department of health. Here are the steps we have been taking:
- Clean and disinfect all frequently touched common area surfaces on an hourly basis.
- Circulate protocols to all of our employees to help ensure their personal hygiene habits inside and outside our dispensaries are in accordance with CDC guidelines.
- Instruct our employees to remain home should they show any symptoms of COVID-19 or if they have been in close proximity to anyone that has been diagnosed with the virus.
- Halt all business travel for our employees.
In addition, WCM held a fundraiser that raised $3,498 for the United Way Full Plates Emergency Fund to support public schools in Maine that have closed due to the pandemic. During the month of April, we were proud to donate $1.00 from every pre-order made through our website in our effort to help feed Maine kids. These emergency funds will help schools pay for meals, packaging meals, and transporting meals to eligible sites.
We appreciate your support and patience during this challenging time. Please consider thanking our member liaisons as they assist you with your order. Without them, WCM would not be able to provide the services you depend on. They are the everyday heroes who make it possible for you to receive your medicine during this time of uncertainty.