Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer’s instant embrace of home delivery is “a shock to the system” says Andy Seeger of Chicago-based Brightfield Group.

Desperate times are calling for measures that only a few weeks ago would have seemed unheard of in the cannabis industry.

Michigan, which began its relative slow roll to adult-use legalization in December and now has 15 recreational dispensaries alongside 66 medical locations, this week began encouraging medical patients to order supplies online for home delivery

“It’s a shock to the system to see Michigan add delivery,” said Andy Seeger, manager of cannabis research at the Chicago-based Brightfield Group. 

Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency, based on guidance from Governor Gretchen Whitmer, this week said it will process delivery license applications within a period of two days. Further, customers can order medical weed to locations and not be required to present identification with corresponding addresses.

If it can make it there… 

Jarrett Annenberg, director of acquisitions for Chicago-based NewLake Capital – a cannabis real estate investment trust funded in part by GTI co-founder Pete Kadens – said his firm is monitoring local and national compliance changes as a result of coronavirus. 

New York, which this week pondered shelter in place restrictions for residents, is making exceptions for medical patients, which include cannabis customers. 

“New York has stated that cannabis dispensaries will remain open in the event of a “non-essential retail closure” as it is akin to a pharmacy,” Annenberg said. 

Minnesota considers medical card reciprocity 

While it is extremely unlikely for the federal government to ease restrictions on the interstate transport of commercial cannabis anytime soon, industry practitioners are encouraging states to work together, particularly as it relates to the welfare and rights of medical customers.

“This is a time for liberalization,” says Seeger of the Brightfield Group, citing that Minnesota does not allow customers with medical cards from other states to purchase cannabis in its dispensaries. “This would be a good time for cannabis boards to say we will protect each other and encode patient rights across states.”

Blow Canada 

Adult-use cannabis sales and consumption is federally legal in Canada. Accordingly, customer analytics nationwide – not to mention inventory – is more accessible.

Let’s just say the product is in high demand.

Especially since, says Seeger, online sales in Ontario are up approximately 80 percent in recent days. Some dispensaries individually are increasing sales by 800 percent! 

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.