Alberta classifies cannabis stores, producers ‘essential’ during COVID-19

Alberta’s licensed cannabis stores and producers can remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian province’s government said.

The regulated businesses were included on the province’s list of “essential services,” along with alcohol producers and stores.

Businesses on the essential list “can continue to provide services at locations accessible to the public and must have proper risk-mitigation measures in place, such as sanitation stations and appropriate distancing between customers,” according to the Alberta government’s website.

The province declared a public health emergency last week over the coronavirus pandemic. As of March 29, the province reported 661 confirmed COVID-19 cases and three deaths.

Alberta, Canada’s fourth-most-populated province, joins the three largest provinces – Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec – in designating cannabis businesses as “essential” during the pandemic.

Alberta has more licensed cannabis stores than any other province, with 436 retail cannabis licenses issued to date.

In addition, roughly 40 federal license holders are located in Alberta.

For more of Marijuana Business Daily’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the cannabis industry, click here.