MJBizMag January 2021 - 8

FromtheEditor | Kate Lavin
Here Comes the Sun
A historic election, new retail trends and cautious optimism herald a new start
can't remember a time when Americans were as eager to
start a new chapter as we are today.
From the coronavirus to a recession, mass unemployment
and a contentious election, 2020 brought challenges
both anticipated and completely unforeseen. But rather
than run full speed into 2021, let's take a moment to
reflect on the year we just finished and the lessons we can
implement going forward.
I
Curbside Pickup and Delivery
While some marijuana markets already offered preordering
and delivery services, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted
the importance of limited-contact retail options like never
before. Dispensaries and recreational marijuana retailers
joined grocery stores, restaurants and other businesses
last spring in quickly implementing systems that allowed
customers to feel safe while they shop.
Considering that most states' introduction to the legal
marijuana market involves serving medical cannabis
patients, the ability to offer limited-contact options to
immunocompromised individuals is all the more crucial for
cannabis businesses.
Several states approved temporary curbside pickup
and delivery services for marijuana companies during the
early days of the pandemic, but the past year has proved
that offering these options remains possible-and even
necessary-after herd immunity is achieved and shelter-inplace
orders expire.
Let's make sure lawmakers and regulators know that
cannabis companies met the challenge to serve customers
safely and should be able to offer these options going
forward.
March Toward Full Legalization
In addition to electing a ticket that included the first female
vice president of the United States on Election Day 2020,
voters approved every statewide marijuana legalization
initiative on their ballots. And in South Dakota, voters
approved both medical and recreational cannabis at the
same time, an industry first.
The election results proved that the public's opinion
of marijuana becomes more favorable each year. Even
anti-cannabis lawmakers are recognizing that the will of the
people must be respected: Vermont's anti-MJ governor, Phil
Scott, allowed legislation authorizing recreational marijuana
to become law without his signature in October.
Lawmakers are paid with our tax dollars. It's long past
time for them to put the will of their constituents ahead of
their personal opinions.
Empty Prisons of Nonviolent Drug Offenders
As the coronavirus surged in the United States, places
where people live in close proximity-such as university
dorms, nursing homes and prisons-were hit hardest. Even
as cannabis businesses were deemed essential during the
pandemic, thousands of Americans remained incarcerated
for marijuana possession and other nonviolent drug crimes.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and
Expungement (MORE) Act passed in December by the U.S.
House of Representatives seeks to right this injustice, but
with a deadly virus sweeping the nation's prisons, change is
not coming fast enough.
The Last Prisoner Project is one organization raising
awareness about the 40,000 men and women serving
time for cannabis offenses. The nonprofit group organizes
campaigns to release drug offenders from prison and
works with partners to offer recidivists the training and
employment needed to start their new lives.
As we begin a new year that will hopefully see an end
to the coronavirus pandemic, let's commit to taking some
of the hard-earned lessons from 2020 and applying them
going forward.
Sincerely,
Kate Lavin
Marijuana Business
Magazine Editor
8 Marijuana Business Magazine | January 2021

MJBizMag January 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBizMag January 2021

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