The businesses don’t qualify for aid because the federal government still considers their products illegal.
Wanda James sold more cannabis two weeks ago than she usually does on April 20 — the day many marijuana users have come to consider their holiday — after Denver’s mayor announced that recreational cannabis shops like hers would have to shut down to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“There was a huge rush. It felt like people were starting to hoard,” said James, who opened her shop, Simply Pure, in 2016. “Everyone was buying cannabis and toilet paper.”
But since Mayor Michael Hancock quickly reversed himself and exempted the stores because they were getting swarmed by anxious customers, causing long lines that violated social distancing guidelines, her sales have fallen off a cliff.
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