PEI Cannabis stores were allowed to open their doors on May 22 for the first time in two months, much to the relief of customers. The second phase of PEI’s Renew PEI Together plan rolled out Friday, signalling the opening of several businesses, including cannabis stores.
Starting Friday, PEI Cannabis stores will be open limited hours, from 11 am to 6 pm, and will be open from 10 am to 11 am to serve seniors and other at-risk customers.
“We are very excited to have the privilege of serving our customers in our stores again,” PEI Cannabis said in a news release, “The health, safety and well-being of our employees and customers is our top priority as we continue to follow the lead of Canadian public health authorities.”
In order to keep employees and customers safe, the stores have implemented similar measures to other stores in this situation: security at the door limiting the number of people in the store, markers on the floor indicating proper 2 metre distancing, plexi-glass barriers at POS terminals, and encouraging a quick, “touch-free” transaction, among other things.
In March, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province announced the closure of cannabis and alcohol retailers in an effort to quell the spread of the virus. The announcement prompted Islanders to visit shops in droves to stock up, violating social distancing recommendations in the process. On April 1, PEI Cannabis waived delivery fees and added new payment options to help provide access to more people during the closures.
As cases in the province declined, Premier Dennis King introduced the plan to carefully re-open businesses and services. Phase One started May 1, allowing some government services, child-care services, and non-urgent health care services to open, as well as permitting small outdoor gatherings and other outdoor activities. Phase Two began May 22, allowing PEI Cannabis stores to re-open, along with other businesses including retail outlets, personal services, and construction and house maintenance services. Phases Three and Four will begin June 1 and June 18, respectively, and allow for life in PEI to slowly and safely get back to normal.