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Mass. marijuana stores scramble for Memorial Day reopening after two-month coronavirus closure

Regulated cannabis shops will be among the first “nonessential” businesses permitted to resume operations under the state’s phased reopening plan. But restarting pot sales, which Governor Charlie Baker shut down in March, won’t be as simple as flipping a switch.

However, Frankel and other operators agreed their biggest challenge is drafting procedures to safely sell marijuana outside the confines of their stores. During the first phase of the state’s plan, customers will have to order ahead then pick up their products through a car window (or on foot, at some locations) from workers outside.

For marijuana stores, whose interiors are bristling with video cameras and other required security measures, suddenly transitioning to outdoor transactions presents a number of headaches.

Many shop owners said they spent this week setting up online menus and working out how to efficiently scan IDs and accept payments using handheld wireless systems, all while keeping marijuana products and cash secure and adhering to social distancing and sanitization guidelines. They’re also required to notify local officials of their plans and post signs explaining the new system.