Virus Outbreak Colorado

As one shopper enters, another shopper carries his goods out of a liquor store minutes after Denver Mayor Michael Hancock issued a "stay at home" order to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus Monday, March 23, 2020, in Denver.

(The Center Square) – The city and county of Denver amended a stay-at-home order to exclude liquor stores and recreational marijuana dispensaries after people rushed to stock up.

Mayor Michael Hancock announced the stay-at-home order during a news  conference Monday in which he said liquor stores and dispensaries are considered “non-essential” businesses.

Within hours of the order, people rushed to liquor stores and dispensaries to stock up, in some cases waiting in long lines. The booze and weed rush was observed within Denver, but also in other cities and counties where the stay-at-home order did not apply.

The city said just hours after issuing the initial order that it was updated to exclude liquor stores, marijuana stores, and construction sites.

“Liquor stores with extreme physical distancing in place will be exempt,” the city’s official Twitter account said. “All marijuana stores with extreme physical distancing in place will be exempt.”

“This is an evolving situation and guidance will continue to be refined to ensure that all physical distancing measures are having the desired impact,” the city added.

The order goes into effect starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday and continues at least until April 10. 

The mayor said people will still be allowed to exercise and walk their dogs in city parks as long as they're practicing social distancing.

Regional Editor

Derek Draplin is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as an opinion producer at Forbes, and as a reporter at Michigan Capitol Confidential and The Detroit News. He’s also an editor at The Daily Caller.