Lockdown of Legal Cannabis Retailers Puts Consumers at Risk

News Release – Washington, DC(April 9, 2020) – The National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB) is asking Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts to rescind lockdown rules forcing cannabis retailers to close during the COVID-19 emergency.  These actions will have the unintended effect of putting thousands of adult cannabis consumers at risk.

“Legal cannabis retailers supplying the needs of adult consumers should be on a level playing field with legal liquor stores under the coronavirus lockdown rules,” said Gina Kranwinkel, NACB President. “We’re urging state leaders to consider the likelihood that consumers who have been patronizing legal shops will find other, non-licensed sources of cannabis as long as these rules are in effect. Consuming non-licensed and untested product poses health hazards for the consumer and will also result in the loss of millions of dollars in state tax revenue.”

Sales by legal cannabis retailers in other states have reportedly surged in the wake of the coronavirus lock down as have sales at spirits, wine and beer stores.  “With restaurants and clubs shut down to enforce social distancing, consumers are trying to relax at home with family members or roommates and a quiet meal.  Adults who enjoy cannabis may now have no choice but to seek black market supplies for the next few months,” said Mark Gorman, NACB Executive Vice President and head of government relations (mark.gorman@nacb.com).    

“They will have no way to tell if these goods have been produced without contaminants, labeled accurately and stored in a safe manner.  We are asking Governor Baker, therefore, to amend his order and put legal cannabis retailers under the same rules as legal liquor stores which will significantly reduce this risk to consumers,” said Gorman.

The NACB leads the cannabis industry with the creation and adoption of National Standards designed to protect consumers and certify to the public that growers, processors and retailers operate under the highest levels of ethics and responsibility, especially when it comes to the safety and quality of their products.  To date, the NACB has adopted National Standards for

·     Packaging & Labeling

·     Advertising

·     LabTesting & Product Integrity,

·     Security

·     Infused Products Production and Storage


“Everyone needs to do their  part during this public health emergency,” said Kranwinkel. “We’re in a strong position to help state leaders develop standards of operation that are appropriate to the current circumstances. We’re hoping governors and mayors will take advantage of our National Standards experience and invite us to help protect their constituencies.”

About the NationalAssociation of Cannabis Businesses (NACB): The National Association of Cannabis Businesses(NACB) is the industry’s first and only self-regulatory organization, whose mission is to support the compliance, transparency and growth of legal cannabis businesses in the United States.  Compliance with the National Standards is required for ongoing membership in the NACB.


For media inquiries, please contact:

Adrienne Uthe

VP, Sales and Marketing, NACB