Californians who work in the medical marijuana industry are eligible to get the coronavirus vaccine along with other healthcare workers during the first phase of the state’s vaccine plan, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The state has included medical marijuana employees and other workers in the healthcare industry to Phase 1a of the California vaccine plan, though some in the industry were included in Phase 1b along with teachers, food and agriculture workers, and law enforcement.
“Cannabis industry employees are included in Phase 1a for medicinal cannabis and Phase 1b Food and Agriculture for growing, production, storage, transport and distribution,” reads part of the state’s coronavirus vaccine allocation guidelines. “Medical cannabis workers should be accommodated as necessary in Phase 1b, Tier 1, by nature of their designations in eligible essential workforce classifications.”
The Times notes that this means only people who actually work in-person to sell cannabis in medical dispensaries will be included in the first phase, while those who work behind the scenes will be included in the follow-up phase.
“After 26 years of calling it medical marijuana, how can you now disenfranchise what we’ve called medical and then tell us we’re not health workers or that we’re not providing medicine for people?” said Jerred Kiloh, the president of the United Cannabis Business Association. “It’s slightly disingenuous to put a label on something and then take it away whenever it’s convenient for you as a government.”
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