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Science-based coverage sent each weeknight to your inbox — all facts, no panic. In Bellmawr, N.J., on Tuesday, municipal police said more than 100 card-carrying patients were already in line at 6 a.m. The queue later grew to 200 people and snaked around the building, said Chief William Walsh. Some of those customers -- including cancer patients -- waited three hours to pick up their medications.

“People were parking wherever they could and not always legally.” Marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania were deemed “essential businesses,” akin to a pharmacy, under a edict issued earlier this week. “With the current situation with the virus, this allows patients to pick up their medicines in the parking lot without having to interact with many other people,” said patient advocate Luke Schultz. “It’s important especially because so many have compromised immune systems or are not in the best of health.” Physicians in Pennsylvania can recommend medical marijuana to their patients to treat nearly two dozen serious ailments, including cancer, chronic pain, and anxiety. The governor also relaxed regulations limiting the number of a patients that a caregiver can serve. There was no maximum number of patients listed in the state’s notice. Relaxing that provision essentially makes home delivery possible for all Pennsylvania patients. “These changes will save lives, and we can all be proud of that," said State Sen.

Daylin Leach, (D-Montgomery), who has been agitating for the health department to allow home delivery since early this month. In addition, caregivers will no longer require background checks to renew their state-issued cards and renewing patients no longer have to visit their recommending doctors in person to renew their certifications. Physicians will be allowed to recommend up to a 90-day supply. Since the beginning of the medical marijuana program in Pennsylvania, the state has required that each patient enter a dispensary to buy and retrieve cannabis medicines. “This allows us to have a low- to no-contact service that will increase social distancing and lower the chance of COVID-19 spreading," said Mike Badey, CEO of Keystone Shops, a dispensary chain with outlets in South Philadelphia, King of Prussia, and Devon. Badey said Keystone Shop dispensaries will put some equipment in place to provide parking lot delivery by late Sunday. Badey said he had asked the health department on March 9 for pickup service and home delivery. “We asked for the moon, and though we didn’t get the moon, we’re happy with the result,” Badey said. Patients can use online ordering to speed up the dispensing process at most dispensaries. Under the relaxed regulations, the Department of Health will allow dispensary employees to go out to a patient or caregiver vehicle, retrieve the necessary identification cards, go back inside to dispense the product, and deliver to the vehicle. In all cases, the vehicle must be located within the property line boundaries of the dispensary. “We’re really grateful to the governor and Department of Health,” said Chris Visco, CEO of TerraVida Holistic Centers in suburban Philadelphia. “This allows us to treat our most vulnerable patients.” How To Store Seeds for the Long Term. Whether or not you currently have a food garden, practical wisdom says you should stash away some heirloom seeds for the long term. If the time ever came when food was in short supply or overly expensive, your stored seeds could become a lifeline. Stored seeds could be used in your own garden, in a community garden, or even as tender in a barter situation. This raises the question: what is the best way to store seeds for the long term? This question is especially timely for me since I have a number of new, unused seed packets that need to be packed away somewhere besides my desk drawer. In addition, I am giving you the option to create your own heirloom seed bank using seeds from the . During my own research, I learned that storing seeds is not unlike storing food. The enemies of seeds are similar: heat, light, and humidity. Some sources also indicate that oxygen is a problem with seed storage. Keep seeds at a cool to cold temperature of 40 degrees or less. Avoid fluctuations in temperature such as a garage or storeroom that is cold in winter but blazing hot in summer. Avoid light and never store seeds in direct sunlight or a well-lit room. A Mylar bag or mason jar is perfect as is a food saver bag.

Even a standard Ziploc bag will work if you take care to squeeze out all of the air first. If you are unsure of the moisture level, check your bag after a day of storage and see how your seeds look.

Better to be safe than ruining all your leftover seeds for planting next year. Storing your seeds with a desiccant (silica gel) or oxygen absorber may prolong their life. As with your food stores, rotate seeds every few years.

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