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California Marijuana Workers Can’t Get COVID Vaccine Answers, As Maryland Prioritizes The Industry

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buy weed online without medical card.Publish

 2 days ago 

on January 28, 2021

ByKyle Jaeger

When it comes to COVID vaccine distribution,

California marijuana workers want to know:

where are they suppose to stand in line?

At the same time that register medical cannabis

workers in Maryland have become eligible for

priority access to coronavirus vaccines as part

of the state’s first phase rollout, there remains

an open question about the policy in California,

where about 40,000 people are employ in the

marijuana sector.buy weed online without medical card

While cannabis workers are define by the

state as essential healthcare employees, some

are struggling to find answers about whether

they’re eligible for vaccines in the initial rollout

like nurses and caretakers are. The California

Department of Public Health (CDPH) release

 guidance on who qualifies for each phase of

distribution, but there’s no explicit

mention of

where marijuana business employees stand.

Victor Pinho, manager of an Oakland-base

cannabis delivery service, told Marijuana

Moment that he’s face challenges as he’s attempt

to determine whether he or his workers could

receive a vaccination under the state’s guidance.

After reaching out to his county supervisor’s

office to inquire about the issue, he was told

that while cannabis workers are consider

 “essential” for business purposes, the state’s

vaccine eligibility criteria

is different.

“Being in the position that I’m in now—a

management position for a delivery service

in Oakland—my employees are like, ‘When

do we get this? We’re seeing people every day,’” he say.

Marijuana Moment reached out to CDPH and

a senior cannabis advisor with the Governor’s

Office of Business and Economic Development

for clarification, but representatives were not

able to deliver a definitive answer despite

multiple follow-up requests for clarification

on the state’s policy.

A spokesperson said CDPH would “do our best”

to resolve the uncertainty, but ultimately reply

with a link to the state’s vaccine page that was

not directly responsive to the question.

In contrast, the Maryland Health Department

(MHD) recently notified the state’s Medical

Cannabis Commission (MCC) of the decision to

prioritize vaccination for its marijuana workers,

which industry representatives say will help

protect thousands of employees and patients

who have relied on their services amid the pandemic.

Frontline workers employ in health care, law

enforcement, nursing homes and the judiciary also qualify for the phase 1A vaccinations. And now that will be extend to medical cannabis workers at dispensaries, cultivation facilities, labs and processing businesses.

These employees “constitute register health care providers in the State of Maryland and are include in Phase 1A,” MHD say in a directive that was first reported by The Baltimore Business Journal.

Maryland’s move is yet another

example of states recognizing the essential role of cannabis businesses during the health crisis. But this is the first time that a state has specifically prioritized marijuana industry workers for vaccines.

Earlier this month, a coalition of cannabis businesses asked California policymakers to include workers in their sector in the next phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

The group argue that there are unique risks in the industry because workers frequently interact with patients who might be more vulnerable to the virus because they are immune compromise or elderly.

But without clarification from the state, the question of whether cannabis industry workers can get vaccines now or will have to wait until later is largely up to individual counties and healthcare providers, which have discretion to adopt distribution policies that best fit their needs.

Guidance provide by the state in

early December recommended that “persons at risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 through their work in any role in direct health care or long-term care settings” should be prioritize for vaccinations.

“This population includes persons at direct risk of exposure in their non-clinical roles, such as, but not limit to, environmental services, patient transport, or interpretation,” it says, without specifying whether that includes marijuana workers.

San Diego County, in contrast, in its own local guidelines for phase 1A of the vaccine rollout released last week, specifies that the list “includes cannabis industry” workers.

Meanwhile, activists in Washington, D.C. recently announced plans to hand out free bags of organically grown cannabis outside of coronavirus vaccination centers in the nation’s capital. The goal is to “highlight the need for further local and national cannabis reform while also advocating for equitable distribution of the critical vaccine.”

Separately, while states have taken steps to protect the market and ensure that patients and consumers maintain access amid the pandemic, the same can’t be said of the federal government.

Because marijuana remains federally illegal, cannabis companies have been denied economic relief through agencies like the Small Business Administration. Even industries that work “indirectly” with state-legal marijuana businesses are ineligible for certain relief loans.

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