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Halt of Mass. recreational marijuana sales is followed by layoffs, concerns about future of emerging industry

Earlier this month, a letter was reportedly distributed to employees of Cultivate Holdings, a medical and recreational marijuana dispensary in Leicester.

The letter dated, which was March 18 and was obtained by MassLive, noted that the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, was rapidly evolving. The letter offered some options to employees: continue working, stay home and get well, or stay home and collect.

For that final option, the letter noted that jobs would be protected and employees would not be penalized for their absence.

But then, after Gov. Charlie Baker declared that non-essential businesses, including recreational marijuana dispensaries, had to close, the majority of Cultivate’s staff was laid off.

“During this very difficult time for the world, we are trying our best to make the right decisions for our patients, employees and customers. Every day the situation changes because our industry is new to both the national and state economy,” said Cultivate spokesperson Francy Wade. “We look forward to continuing to provide our patients with the medicine they need and hopefully, in the near future, being able to return to adult use sales for those who use cannabis as medicine without a prescription.” [Read more at MassLive]

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