MA extends allowances for curbside cannabis pickup, telemedicine

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Massachusetts regulators renewed COVID-19 pandemic-era permissions for medical cannabis patients to use curbside pickup and video-chat appointments to renew their recommendations.

The state Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) relaxed certain in-person requirements in March 2020, in the opening weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, and then renewed them a year later.

Former Gov. Charlie Baker canceled curbside pickup at adult-use marijuana retailers last spring, when he lifted the state’s coronavirus-related public emergency order. But he kept curbside pickups at medical marijuana dispensaries in place.

Curbside pickups will remain a viable option for MMJ patients in Massachusetts at least through the end of 2023, at which time state regulators might make the temporary adjustment permanent.

Retailers in 13 cities in Massachusetts allow curbside pickup, MetroWest Daily News reported, citing the CCC.

Despite the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions and the wide availability of vaccines – and a general return to pre-pandemic practice – telemedicine remains popular among Massachusetts’ MMJ patients.

Since March 2020, telehealth appointments accounted for more than 80% of “visits” to primary-care physicians to obtain recommendations for MMJ products, MetroWest reported.

There are 96,000 registered patients in Massachusetts, according to the agency.