State officials in Nevada announced on Wednesday that cannabis dispensaries have been deemed essential businesses, allowing the shops to remain open during a closure ordered by Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak. The governor ordered the closure of nonessential businesses on Tuesday in an effort to control the growing pandemic of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
“I have spoken with Nevada’s top medical experts to get their assessment of our current situation and most responsible next steps,” Sisolak said at a press conference on Tuesday. “They have advised that the most effective course of action is to direct all Nevadans to stay home and for all nonessential businesses to close to the public for 30 days.”
Sisolak ordered that slot machines be shut off and casinos to end gambling operations at midnight Tuesday evening. He also ordered nonessential businesses including bars and restaurants to close at noon on Wednesday.
But Tuesday’s order did not indicate if cannabis retailers would be included, prompting many consumers to line up at dispensaries the following morning. The Nevada Health Response Center, which has been tasked with the state’s response to the outbreak, announced on Wednesday that dispensaries that took precautions to reduce the risk of transmitting the