Oregon Cannabis and Coronavirus: The New Rules

On March 23, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Executive Order No. 20-12 (the “Order”), which mandates that Oregonians stay home and observe social distancing and community mitigation measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The Order, in part, expressly prohibits the operation of certain non-essential businesses, such as amusement parks, barber shops and gyms. The Order, however, does not mention cannabis businesses, such as retailers, processors, producers, and wholesalers. This means that these cannabis businesses are authorized to remain open so long as they “designate an employee or officer to establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies, consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority [“OHA”].”


Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) Guidelines, the OHA released guidance to which Oregon employers must adhere to continue their business activities.

In addition to encouraging staff to telework when feasible and implementing social distancing measures, such as increasing physical space between workers at the worksite and staggering work schedules, cannabis employers must:

Be familiar with the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and know what to do if staff becomes symptomatic at the worksite. Develop workplace plans to account for liberal leave and telework policies, when feasible.

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