Executive orders that relaxed cannabis regulations in Colorado during the COVID-19 pandemic expired last week after earlier efforts by state lawmakers to make them permanent failed. The executive order from Democratic Gov. Jared Polis expired on June 10, ending temporary authority for physicians to make medical marijuana recommendations for patients via telemedicine appointments and for cannabis dispensaries to take online payments for customer orders.
Polis issued the executive order on March 20, 2020 in the midst of a stay-at-home order and business closures put into place in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The order was extended several times through 2020 and as recently as May 12, 2021, but finally expired at 11:59 p.m. on June 10.
Under Colorado state law, marijuana businesses are forbidden to take debit or credit card payments for recreational cannabis orders placed online or over the phone, although medical marijuana patients are permitted to pay for orders online. And while state law allows physicians to conduct appointments with patients for a wide range of health issues via telemedicine, consultations for medical marijuana recommendations are prohibited.
The executive order allowing online payments was intended to support efforts to maintain social distancing protocols and no-contact transactions during the pandemic. The telemedicine