COVID-19 Company Statement
March 18, 2020
Dear Valued Clients and Colleagues:
On behalf of all of us here at JDW Counsel, our hearts go out to all those impacted by COVID-19 – this includes not only those diagnosed with the virus, but also their friends & family, those whose jobs and schools have been impacted and so many more. Our focus is, as always, on the health and safety of our team, clients and community.
We hope that everyone is healthy and adjusting to the quickly changing news and information concerning the Coronavirus. Here at JDW Counsel, we are keeping a close eye on things as they progress and want to provide our clients with an update on what you might expect as local marijuana business owners.
As many of you already know, we are facing closures of all bars & restaurants Statewide. It is important not to panic about the coronavirus; instead we must prepare. At this time, marijuana facilities are NOT being asked to close. However, we absolutely anticipate that the State of Alaska will be mandating adjustments to your current operations.
We do not have any concrete or verified information as to what the State will require of marijuana operations. We believe that at a minimum, retailers will be mandated to limit the number of customers in their retail sales floor to five (5) customers at a time. The more proactive we are as an industry, the more likely the State will continue to allow us to operate.
I have received a lot of great ideas for our valued clients and I want to share them in this correspondence:
Measure out 6 feet distances and lay down tape indicating the 6 feet of space in your checkout line to give customers a visual of how much space they should maintain between themselves and other patrons in line.
If your company’s website has a mechanism that customers can put their order in online (although no purchasing online, only ordering online) advertise that function so that your staff can prepare the order and then the customer can simply come in and pay and be on their way. This limits the amount of time the customer is in the store, protecting future customers, the current customer, and your own staff.
Maintain what we refer to as “Work-space Bubbles” – meaning encourage staff to keep 6 feet of space between all other persons.
Continue to use, as most cultivators and manufacturers already do, personal protective gear such as booties, Tyvek suits, and eye protective wear. This will aid in limiting general spread.
Limit blasting deals like “7$ gram Tuesdays” and “$100 eighth Fridays” – we want to be seen as a responsible industry and in a time like this it is beyond poor business practice and disrespectful to the community’s well being to engage in deals and blasts like this until we are out of this critical period.
Throughout your facility, regardless of what license you own, put hand sanitizer in easy to reach locations and locations that various employees or customers use frequently (POS, door knobs, etc.)
To the best of your ability, if you can reduce the number of employees per shift, do so.
The Alaskan Marijuana Industry is a unique situation- it's not going to be able to access (unless some change in Federal policy) the Federal economic stimulus for small businesses, so I cannot stress enough how vital it is that we are responsible licensees. If I see any of my clients blast a deal that is somehow making light of this situation or undermining the efforts to limit the spread, I will be devastatingly disappointed. We need to all be mindful of the reality that all the shops could be shut down with zero notice, please do not be one of the reasons the state points to for why that severe action would be necessary. It is difficult to predict what is in store as time passes but at the end of the day, we believe that the people making these decisions have the best interest of our community in mind.
This is an ever-changing situation we find our state and country in. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep you updated of any changes should they occur. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate these uncharted waters.
Truly and Sincerely Yours,
Jana D. Weltzin, Esq.