California Hashish Staff Eligible For Speedy COVID-19 Vaccinations


February 5, 2021

The California Department of Health released an updated COVID-19 vaccination policy on Thursday clarifying that cannabis industry workers are classified as healthcare workers and are therefore immediately eligible to receive the vaccine.

According to the bulletin, “Cannabis industry workers are included in Phase 1a for medical cannabis and Phase 1b for food and agriculture for cultivation, production, storage, transportation and distribution.

“Medical cannabis workers should be placed in Phase 1b, Level 1, based on their designation in eligible essential workforce classifications as needed.”

It is noted on the CDPH website that Phase 1a means these workers qualify for immediate vaccinations, while Phase 1b means these workers are entitled to injections based on the availability of the vaccine.

Several industry groups had urged California regulators to take such a political move based on:

  • Governor Gavin Newsom rated the marijuana industry “essential” at the start of the coronavirus pandemic last March.
  • The trust of many Californians in medicinal cannabis.

California’s move follows one from Maryland, which gave its employees in the marijuana industry priority as vaccine recipients in January.

Such COVID-19 guidelines, while welcome, present a new management challenge for marijuana companies.

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