Medical marijuana patients in New Hampshire will have a bit longer to renew their cards, as the state extended its deadline in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Hampshire Public Radio reported that the state’s therapeutic cannabis program announced Friday that “patients who have cards that are expiring in April, May and June of this year” will now have until July 31 to extend the expiration of their cards. 

Michael Holt, an administrator of the program, told the radio station “that’s because patients are having difficulty accessing their doctors for renewal appointments for recertification.” 

“Patients are, for lack of a better word, stocking up on cannabis supplies during this time,” Holt said, “in part because they want to make fewer trips to the dispensaries to restrict or to limit their exposure to the community and also to just bank against an ATC perhaps not being able to provide services due to their own staff becoming sick.”

The coronavirus outbreak has brought the entire country to a standstill, but it has been a boom time for many marijuana businesses. It has also been an affirmation of cannabis’ legitimacy as an industry, with several states deeming such businesses essential, a designation that allows them to stay open during the pandemic.

Headset, a cannabis market research company, has reported on a spike in demand in states such as Colorado and California during the outbreak, with many bored customers confined to their homes. 

“Steve Allan, the president of the California-based cannabis business Caliva, said its delivery business has seen double-digit growth thus far in March, as well as an increase in its delivery services across all of its locations. The last two weeks, Allan said, have brought “record breaking sales.” 

“We know that many cannabis users rely on our products and services for their ongoing well-being, so having a delivery option that can continue to service them during these unprecedented times is something we’re proud to keep up and running, of course with the safety of our own employees and our community front of mind,” Allan said.

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