A lot is happening in the news as of late surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Keeping apprised of how to best lookout for your health and that of your employees and your patrons may seem like a daunting task. Within the last 24 hours, the OLCC has issued two temporary rules and Governor Brown has issued Executive Order No. 20-12 or the Stay Home, Save Lives Order. With so much new information for cannabis businesses to digest, we thought we’d compile a list of best practices based on Governor Brown’s Executive Orders, OLCC Rules, the Oregon Department of Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
Guidance for all Cannabis Businesses
- Where possible allow employees to telework and work-from-home pursuant to Executive Order 20-12
Governor Brown’s Stay Home, Save Lives Executive Order requires that all Oregon businesses shall prohibit work from offices, businesses, or the like whenever telework or work-at-home options are available. Oregon businesses shall facilitate telework and work-at-home by employees to the maximum extent possible.
- Appoint a social distancing officer pursuant to Executive Order 20-12
When work-from-home options are not available for all employees, Governor Brown’s Stay Home, Save Lives Executive Order requires that all Oregon businesses who continue to have employees come into work appoint a social distancing officer or employee to “establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies, consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority.” Any failure to comply with said order will result in the forced closure of the business until such compliance can be demonstrated.
- Always maintain six feet between yourself and those around you
- Familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if staff become symptomatic at a worksite
- Cap combined customers and personnel in a given location to 25 or fewer people pursuant to Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-07
- Decrease or limit in-person meetings whenever possible
- Where employees cannot work-from-home or telework, stagger shifts to avoid unnecessary employee overlap
- Clearly identify essential versus non-essential staff
- Inform all employees that they are required to stay home if they are sick or showing symptoms or if a member of their household is sick or showing symptoms
- Ensure hand hygiene supplies are readily available at the workplace
- Encourage personal protective measure among staff (e.g., stay home when sick, handwashing, respiratory etiquette, avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth)
- Clean and disinfect surfaces, workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs often and at least daily
- When possible, designate particular areas for each employee and ask that they stick to their designated areas to avoid unnecessary employee overlap
- Ensure that health insurance coverage, sick leave, and vacation leave accrual are not impacted by hours employees are unable to work due to COVID-19
- Consider 7-14 day paid leave policies equivalent to the work hours missed for hourly employees who have work hours decrease or canceled due to COVID-19
- Consider 7-14 day paid leave policies for people with COVID-19 symptoms
Guidance for Recreational and Medical Cannabis Retailers:
Because of the customer-facing nature of retail shops, retailers should take extra steps to ensure that they are operating as safely as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are additional steps retailers should consider taking.
- Take advantage of the OLCC’s temporary On-Site Delivery Rule
While the OLCC’s temporary On-Site Delivery Rule is not a requirement for retail shops, it is advisable that shops take advantage of the temporarily loosened restrictions and limit sales to On-Site Delivery sales as much as possible. Doing so will:
- Reduce unnecessary traffic in and out of the dispensary
- Reduce unnecessary customer contact with retail shop surfaces
- Allow employees to limit the amount of contact with customers
- Allow employees to stick to a designated task, limiting contact between employees
- Potentially reduce the number of in-shop employees
- Silver lining: temporarily halt customer thefts and similar inconveniences
- Cap combined customers and personnel in a given location to 25 or fewer people pursuant to Executive Order 20-07
If you choose to continue to allow in-store sales, implement a cap on the number of patrons allowed in the shop at a time to a number that allows customers to keep a safe distance from one another while in the shop. Designate an employee to monitor the number of patrons in the shop at a given time from outside the shop’s door and, if necessary, instruct customers to form a well-spaced line outside the shop to wait until the requisite number of customers has been reached to allow for each customer’s safe entry.
Stay healthy and call us with any questions, concerns, or