Most of the United States is under some degree of lockdown as per state and local governments. At the very least, people have been asked to practice social distancing. In many states, such as California, Colorado, Illinois, and Oregon, the state government has placed a Stay-at-Home order and closed all but essential service businesses for the time being.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) identifies “essential services” as any business that is needed to keep the public safe and healthy. CISA has created a list of guidelines that is “intended to help State, local, tribal and territorial officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.”

What Does This Mean for Dispensaries?

Given that the majority of U.S. states have legalized marijuana on some level, medically if not recreationally, it is becoming increasingly accepted that marijuana is used for many health issues, such as anxiety, depression, reducing inflammation, as well as helping with the side effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients, and many other ailments.

As such, many states have deemed dispensaries to be an “essential business” during this time. Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Illinois, and Michigan have all listed marijuana dispensaries among their essential businesses for both recreational and medicinal purposes. An additional 17 states and the District of Columbia have listed medical marijuana dispensaries as essential businesses.

What Can Dispensaries Do to Serve the Public?

The first thing dispensaries can do is keep at what they are already doing. These are anxious times, and helping to provide medical and mental help to those in need is a very worthy cause.

Additionally, dispensaries can consider what other essential services they can provide for their customers. One of the easiest and most important ways that dispensaries can be of help is to provide customers with easy access to cash. While banks are also among the list of essential service businesses around the country, not many people are excited about the thought of going into a bank to get cash from a teller. 

By installing an ATM in their store, dispensaries are providing a double service for customers – marijuana sales and easily accessible cash. This ends up being a win-win for dispensaries because it will increase foot traffic into the dispensary, which in turn means increased sales.

Service is the Key

If dispensaries are not interested in taking on the added responsibility of repairing, maintaining, and keeping the dispensary supplied with cash, they can partner with a company such as Greenstar ATM who will provide these necessary services for the dispensary. 

CISA has also determined that ATM service workers and suppliers are essential to the continued running of our country, so dispensary ATM owners working with Greenstar ATM can rest assured that their ATMs will continue to be in working order. CISA writes in their Guidelines, “Workers who are needed to provide business, commercial, and consumer access to bank and non-bank financial services and lending services, including ATMs, lending and money transmission, and to move currency, checks, securities, and payments (e.g., armored cash carriers).”

During this uncertain time, dispensaries are well placed to be at the forefront of supplying customers and community members with the basics of cash and medicinal products.