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Jamaica Is Allowing Online Orders at Medical Pot Shops During the COVID-19 Crisis

To maintain social distancing and prevent the coronavirus’s spread, the Caribbean nation now allows medical marijuana patients to pre-order their cannabis online before picking it up at a dispensary.

Cannabis patients in Jamaica no longer have to wait in line or risk rubbing shoulders with strangers when buying their medicine, which should reduce their chances of catching or spreading COVID-19.

Last week, Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries announced new rules for keeping pot shops — or “herb houses” — open for business while minimizing the public’s exposure to the novel coronavirus.

Here’s how the new online ordering sitch for weed works. If you’re a patient, you can only make an online order at an herb house that you’re registered to and have already visited at least once in person.

Licensed business owners, on the other hand, were urged by the CLA to maintain and preserve all documentation, including government-issued photo IDs of employees and patients, as well as patients’ prescription or recommendation documents from medical practitioners. 

Additionally, herb houses must keep track of their inventory at all times. Inventory quantities and weights must be regularly reported to the CLA.

The CLA also crafted new but temporary rules regarding cannabis imports and exports in light of COVID-19, Marijuana Moment reported. Most of these exports will likely be for cannabis oils, according to the CLA document.

Online ordering for weed products, whether medicinal or recreational, was seen in some US legal markets during the pre-COVID-19 days, though the service was rare. However, after the coronavirus pandemic shut down most businesses, marijuana was deemed “essential” or “critical” in eight states. To ensure these “essential” pot shops wouldn’t invite new outbreaks, states such as Colorado and Florida implemented online ordering for weed. 

While Jamaica is world-famous for both its weed and cannabis culture, the island nation criminalized the plant back in 1913. In fact, it saw the biggest pot bust in its entire history earlier this month.

Jamaica didn’t begin rolling out its medical cannabis program until 2018. A regulated, recreational marijuana program still does not exist in Jamaica, but the country decriminalized possession of up to 30 grams of bud back in 2015. 

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