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SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. - The state of California placed medical marijuana workers in Phase 1A of the vaccination plan, which means they would have access to the vaccine before teachers.
Leave it to Nature has been open since the start of the pandemic, serving people who use marijuana as a form of medicine.
“Us being deemed essential from the start essentially is keeping us working,” Gary Vanderburg said, the manager of Leave it to Nature. “We do help a lot of patients here for medicinal reasons.”
According to the United Cannabis Business Association, the state placed cannabis workers in Phase 1a on February 4.
Vanderburg said all jobs and roles, no matter where it is on the vaccination plan, are important.
“I think we're all important and we all play a huge role in today's world,” Vanderburg said. “But like I said, we've been deemed essential since day one.”
Vanderburg said that people with various kinds of medical conditions come through the shop.
“A lot of cancer patients that we help out that are going through chemotherapy and having a lot of nausea to things like that,” Vanderburg said.
With medical marijuana workers placed in Phase 1A, that puts them ahead of other groups like teachers and grocery workers.
Some people consider people medical marijuana workers like health care workers because they treat people with all kinds of conditions.
“It is a form of medicine and they are health workers,” Jennifer Pickering from Sacramento said. “I can't say that it's bad.”
Others believe that medical marijuana workers should not go before teachers.
“I don't think it's fair that they should be placed, especially before teachers who are in education,” Clarissa Ikwuagwu said, who works as a substitute teacher in Shasta County. “I do believe that they should be on a priority list but not before teachers.”
Shasta County Public Health said it is working to get vaccination clinics going for K-12 teachers.