Pandemics can be stressful. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming. Since the advent of COVID-19, dispensary sales of medicinal cannabis are way up across the state of New Mexico. Patients in the Medical Cannabis Program are seeking ways to cope with the additional stress COVID has brought into their lives, and dispensary staff are waiting to greet and support them with a smile on their faces—even if you can’t see it through their masks. Since the state gave them the essential mark, it’s been up to dispensaries to follow through with making the distribution of cannabis products compliant with Department of Health guidelines.
Knowing that dispensaries were still open during COVID had a huge impact on patients’ lives, according to Derrick Field, manager of the PurLife dispensary in Las Cruces. “Since we were lucky enough to be able to keep our doors open, we are striving to make sure to maintain control and take as many precautions as possible.” he said.
Field said patients coming to the dispensary want to “chit chat.” It’s an outing for them after much isolation. “They are just kind of enjoying the fact that they are out for a little bit.” he said. “They missed us. You can’t really go many places in your free and leisure time now. You can’t go to the mall, or the movies, or something like that. But hey, you can go to the cannabis dispensary.” He said they make sure they follow all the laws and regulations to keep everything as safe as it can be, given the situation. “Clients can place orders online, or they just show up, and we send an attendant out to them wearing gloves and a mask to take their order.” Patients also have the option of coming inside while wearing a mask and