Long lines at all three Tulare County pot dispensaries snaked outside their buildings as wait times of up to 60 minutes were reported. Token Farms in Farmersville offered a curbside service and customers waited 30 cars deep, and for up to 90 minutes, to pick up their orders.
Security guards and orange cones were lined up to direct traffic and keep cars from blocking entrances and exits.
Customers and security said everything was proceeding in an orderly fashion and that the atmosphere was calm.
Because of the increased customer traffic all three stores closed at 6:00pm today even though normal operating hours in Farmersville are until 9pm and 7pm in Woodlake. Those already waiting in line after 6pm were served.
Customers had to first place their orders online. No walk-ins were served. Orders were picked up in the lobby as only employees are currently allowed in the showrooms. Those who were not aware of the online rule were directed by staff to place their order while waiting in line.
It was a different story two days ago when Valley Pure in Woodlake saw normal traffic. The only visible differences were the black latex gloves and bottles of Purell on the counters. Valley Pure’s location in Farmersville was a bit more crowded than their flagship store on Tuesday with customers packed in the lobby 20 deep because only 10 people at one time are allowed in the showroom due to industry regulations.
To promote social distancing after Governor Newsom’s Shelter in Place decree, all the stores worked together to voluntarily change their system so customers could be served with no social contact. Security guards directed traffic for the drive through lane for Token, and employees managed the line of people waiting outside through walkie talkies.
Two clients of Token Farms waiting in the drive through lane felt the increase in business was due to the Corona Virus. They were from Hanford and one was a temporarily laid off teacher from Washington School. This was their first time visiting a pot dispensary and said they needed something to help them cope with the current crisis.
A male Token Farms customer waiting in line said he felt the increase in business was because people felt the state might close down the dispensaries. He was a regular customer and was using pot to wean himself from Zoloft.
While it is not clear if the state of California considers pot dispensaries an essential business, the City of San Francisco and New York added them to their list when they ordered their residents to “Shelter in Place.”
According to NPR, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said, “In terms of the cannabis dispensaries, the Department of Public Health today clarified that since cannabis has medical uses, dispensaries will be allowed to operate as essential businesses, just as pharmacies are allowed to do.”
Because of the service provided by the pot dispensaries to Tulare County residents it is doubtful the city of Visalia or Woodlake would order them closed. The dispensaries are not under the jurisdiction of the county.
Hours of operation for all dispensaries in Tulare County are 10am – 7pm and all orders must be made on-line.