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Weed growers stay on the job

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While non-medical marijuana shops are closed as part of Gov. Charlie Baker's order to stop all non-essential work, a small handful of employees are still reporting to work to take care of their crops.

No marijuana may be sold to recreational consumers until at least April 7, but there may not be much marijuana to sell then unless cultivators are able to tend to their cannabis plants that are already growing.

The Cannabis Control Commission issued a cease and desist order this week, but allowed an exception for cultivators to "designate necessary staff to maintain their cultivation operations," including watering plants, performing pest management functions that had already been implemented and conducting preventative maintenance. No new planting is allowed.

The exception was made possible by the governor's inclusion of "farm workers and support service workers to include those who field crops" and other farm work as "essential" workers.

Marijuana companies are also allowed to "designate necessary staff to provide physical security to their operation" while the CCC's cease and desist order is in effect.

Since medical marijuana treatment centers are allowed under the governor's order to stay open, those businesses are able to conduct their usual cultivation, product manufacturing and sales operations, though with a limited number of staff members keeping a safe distance between themselves and patients.

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