Cannabis Isn’t Like A Normal Business. The Challenges Of Coronavirus Really Drive That Home

By Ann Marie Awad

In about two hours, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock taught public officials a valuable lesson about the meaning of the word “essential.” 

When he announced the city’s stay-at-home order on March 23, Hancock said recreational marijuana dispensaries, as well as liquor stores, would not rise to the level of “essential.” The Denver residents who quickly formed long lines at liquor stores and pot shops disagreed.

That’s where the trouble began for Tim Cullen, CEO of Colorado Harvest Company. 

The announcement “created chaos on that afternoon,” he said. Throngs of people rushed stores, contradicting Hancock’s earlier advice not to “panic buy.” The mayor’s office issued new guidance just a few hours later and told Denverites to get out of line and go home.

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