The+Source announced March 19 that the company’s two Las Vegas dispensary locations will voluntarily transition to medical-only cannabis sales as an additional safety measure for its patients amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
All adult-use sales will be halted until further notice, and the dispensary is also reducing its business hours.
“We made that decision for consideration of the safety of our team,” Brandon Wiegand, The+Source’s regional general manager, told Cannabis Dispensary. “We felt it was a judicious action to take, given the circumstances.”
The day before the company made the decision to temporarily stop adult-use sales, it saw more traffic than usual, which Wiegand attributes partly to the ambiguity businesses experienced while waiting to see if Nevada would allow its cannabis dispensaries to remain open amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The state has ordered all non-essential businesses to close, but the governor’s office provided clarification March 18 that allowed the state’s licensed cannabis dispensaries to remain open as long as they enforced the strict social distancing protocols that have been encouraged by the CDC.
Even after the state’s announcement, however, The+Source’s team felt that in order to maintain social distancing and protect the safety of its customers and the community, it was imperative to minimize the amount of customers in its stores, Wiegand said.
“For us, it was one of those safety measures we felt was necessary to do to take a pause and reevaluate,” he said. “We’ll get back to looking at how we address [the] recreational [market], but we felt like this was the right decision to make for the safety and the better good of the community. … We’ve had pretty overwhelming demand over the past couple of days, and we decided we need to take the epidemic seriously in our community and reduce the amount of customers coming in our doors.”
Wiegand admitted that he does not know how this decision will impact The+Source in the longer term, but stressed that the company’s priority is public health.
“These are human decisions we’re making, not economic ones,” he said. “We hope to be able to make it through and be able to serve the community again, but our priority right now is the safety of our customers and the safety of our community. … We’re expecting to take a hit in the business, and we’re willing to do that, but we also know that our medical customers are the ones who truly rely on cannabis as medicine and have a strong need for it, and we wanted to be there to help them.”
The+Source is taking additional steps to ensure the safety of its employees and customers, Wiegand said, including an increase in its already stringent cleaning standards. The company is disinfecting each of its retail locations between all customer transactions by cleaning highly touched surfaces like the check-in and check-out stations, display cases, and restrooms.
The company has also removed its smell jars at both of its locations and has enacted social distancing protocols in its stores.
“We marked out approximately 6x6 squares to provide a grid for customers and our team to understand how far apart they should stay,” Wiegand said. “We’re really working on making sure no lines are at the dispensary. We’re asking customers to use our check-in/reservation system that will allow them to wait in the car, away from the front of the building. We’re using a text program to let them know when they’re allowed to enter. We’re practicing one in, one out.”
The+Source is also encouraging its customers to use delivery, when available, although Wiegand said the delivery service that serves Nevada has been completely overloaded since the outbreak began. The state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division has been working on rolling out new guidelines to address the issue, he said, and in the meantime, The+Source is asking its customers to order online for in-store pickup.
The company’s safety protocols extend to its cultivation facilities, as well.
“From the cultivation to consumer, we’ve implemented measures and taken great care,” Wiegand said. “We already have very strict hygiene protocols. We already use PPE throughout the production and cultivation facilities. Our team over there is used to sanitation procedures.”
The+Source is also requesting that all employees who are sick or who may have been exposed to the virus stay home.
“We’re very liberal with our leave policy right now,” Wiegand said. “We’re leaning into the best practices we already have. We encourage staff to ensure social distancing protocols. We have a much lower staff count at our cultivation and production facilities, so it’s easier to accommodate than at our dispensary, but we’re making efforts wherever possible. … Our intention is to get our feet under us and when we feel comfortable and we know that the public is adhering to guidelines and is going to listen to our guidelines and follow those, we’ll look at how we show back up for recreational customers when the time is right."