Michigan marijuana dispensaries adapt to provide relief for patients and customers amid coronavirus pandemic – Detroit Metro Times

You’ve stocked up on the essentials to survive a pandemic: Toilet paper, canned food, hand sanitizer, and masks.

But for many of us, you can’t forget marijuana.

Cannabis can combat anxiety, pain, illnesses, and yes, boredom.

Luckily, in Michigan, dispensaries are still permitted to sell recreational and medical cannabis because the industry has been deemed “essential.”

To protect patients, customers, and employees, Michigan has prohibited in-store purchases and given dispensaries two options: curbside pickup and delivery.

The young recreational industry has wasted no time adapting. To limit person-to-person interactions, dispensaries have updated their websites for online orders. Employees typically don gloves and masks, and wipe off packages with disinfectant.

At Herbology in River Rouge, delivery has taken off. The dispensary employs a team of four drivers to deliver cannabis products to customers within a 25-mile radius to deliver a wide array of flower, edibles, concentrates, and vape cartridges to medical patients and recreational customers.

The dispensary began its delivery service in mid-February, a few weeks before Gov. Gretchen Whitmer instituted a stay-at-home order to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Since then, calls for delivery have increased about four-fold, from about 25 a day on the weekends to more than 100, says Herbology owner Tarek Jawad.

“Our drivers are constantly on the road,” Jawad tells Metro Times. “We barely see them.”

At Jawad’s other dispensary in River Rouge, Herbal Healing Provisioning, delivery service began about two weeks ago. The dispensary also has a unique feature to limit person-to-person interactions — a drive-through service.

The building that houses the medical dispensary was previously a bank with a full-service drive-through.

“It’s so easy and convenient,” Jawad says. “We’re doing everything possible to make it convenient and positive for our patients.”

The streamlined process has its perks. Fast transactions, no fuss.

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