California coronavirus lockdown: Cannabis dispensaries listed as 'essential' businesses

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Coronavirus may be spreading throughout California, but at least the cannabis industry there isn’t going up in smoke.

“safer at home” emergency order issued by the city Thursday night lists “cannabis dispensaries with a medicinal cannabis license” as being among the “essential” businesses that are permitted to keep their doors open during the outbreak.

“This Order is based upon scientific evidence and best practices, as currently known and available, to protect members of the public from avoidable risk of serious illness and death resulting from the spread of COVID-19, as well as to protect the healthcare system from a surge of cases into its emergency rooms and hospitals,” it reads.

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“The entities subject to this Order that are not required to close may otherwise remain open for business and perform essential functions and operations during the duration of this Order,” it adds.

The City of Los Angeles’ coronavirus FAQ webpage offers a slightly different wording, saying “Cannabis dispensaries, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services” are exempt from the closures.

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California has announced some of the most wide-reaching measures in the U.S. in hopes of containing the coronavirus outbreak.

They come as Gov. Gavin Newsom's office projected the virus will infect more than half of California’s 40 million residents within two months, according to a letter he sent to President Trump on Wednesday where he said the state has been disproportionality impacted.

A visitor to the shopping and entertainment complex The Grove walks down a deserted street Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Los Angeles. 

A visitor to the shopping and entertainment complex The Grove walks down a deserted street Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Los Angeles.  (AP)

"In some parts of our state, our case rate is doubling every four days," he wrote to Trump.

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As of Friday morning, California has 1,030 confirmed coronavirus cases and 18 deaths, according to statistics compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.