Whether it’s baby diapers or a bacon-of-the-month club, it’s common to shop online and have goods delivered to your door.
For patients and consumers, professional cannabis delivery services offer the same modern convenience with added bonuses – like avoiding running into your child’s teacher. Most of all, cannabis delivery preserves safe and easy access for those who rely on cannabis to treat chronic and painful conditions.
With proposed changes to California legislation that may make cannabis delivery more accessible, it’s important to consider how this can benefit your community.
Cannabis delivery provides a much-needed service to medical patients, especially those who can’t travel to dispensaries or have a caretaker deliver their medicine. For elderly patients, people with disabilities, and anyone who suffers mobility restrictions, delivery may be the only salvation.
“I think that’s the key aspect that really drives the conversation about why cannabis delivery is really essential,” says Juli Crockett, Ph.D., Director of Compliance for cannabusiness licensing consulting firm, MMLG.
Since only about 30% of California municipalities have cannabis ordinances in place, the nearest licensed dispensary may be very far away. Depending on where you live, you might need to drive over 200 miles to buy medical marijuana. That’s a long way to travel, even for someone without mobility issues.
Advocates are fighting to make cannabis delivery available everywhere in California, regardless of a city or county ban.
“I’m very concerned about preserving safe patient access at reasonable prices with reasonable taxation,” Crockett says. “Equitable access isn’t just about disability in the form of physical ailment,” she added, referring to the profound transportation costs many patients face.
In addition to the hardship of travel, cannabis delivery relieves a financial burden from medical patients. Mobile delivery services have less overhead costs than brick-and-mortar dispensaries, which means savings passed on to you, the patient.
“Delivery services make accessing cannabis more cost-effective and convenient,” agreed Laura Geftman, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and addiction recovery specialist who blogs about cannabis at Welcoming Weed. “Cannabis delivery allows patients to promote their health and receive medicine without overexerting themselves.”
Another advantage of MMJ delivery? Timely arrival. You can get your medicine immediately after you receive a medical marijuana recommendation. If you’re in New York or California and need certification, NuggMD can help!
Even if you’re not a medical marijuana patient, you probably appreciate the convenience of home delivery. Whether it’s getting a pizza in under 30 or a curated wine selection (or both?), you can order about anything. So it makes sense to expect the same convenience when buying cannabis.
Beyond ease, delivery services offer privacy that may be critical if you prefer to keep your personal habits to yourself.
“Some users are still in the cannabis closet,” says Geftman. “They don’t want anyone to know they use cannabis, no matter what their reason may be.”
Parents, in particular, may not want to be seen entering or leaving a dispensary. Studies show that more parents are smoking weed than ever before, but face restrictions that others don’t.
Aside from the potential fear of jail, parents can’t enter a dispensary with children under 18. If you have kids, you might need a babysitter to run a quick errand. With the abundance of tasks parents already have to manage, cannabis delivery gives a well-deserved break.
There are concerns about cannabis delivery vehicles being targets for theft, but the fact is legal delivery services are under strict watch.
“Every point is watched,” says Crockett, “there are really intense controls at every level of the supply chain.”
Licensed cannabis delivery services provide a much safer alternative to black market sales.
Sergeant David Woolsey of the San Jose Police Department told the Huffington Post that there’s only been one incident during the first year home delivery, and the driver wasn’t harmed.
Woolsey added that there are probably higher rates of violent crime among black market sales; those are harder to track.
The thriving cannabis black market poses risks not only to consumers, but to businesses that comply with current regulations.
“We have an incredibly hyper-regulated, licensed industry that is being gutted – I mean just eviscerated – by the unlicensed illicit market,” Crockett notes. “There’s no way they can compete without an enforcement effort that’s equal to the level of regulation.”
Since many black market buyers typically purchase cannabis at home, delivery offers the same convenience without breaking the law.
“Cannabis delivery businesses help discourage black market sales by generally making them unnecessary,” says Joe Goldstein, Director of SEO and Operations for Trailblazer SEO. “When legitimate businesses can offer fair pricing, better products selections, better transparency, and the convenience of mobile ordering, there’s significantly less incentive to buy from the black market.”
Fair pricing may be a challenge, though. As Crockett points out, dispensaries and delivery services alike face regulations and taxes that don’t apply to black market sales.
But those rules and regulations are in place to protect the consumer, the business, and the employees.
“In many ways, the cannabis sales process is way more regulated than pharmaceuticals,” Crockett says, citing the example that you could easily pick up Oxycontin at a CVS drive-thru. Yet once cannabis enters the conversation, it’s out of the question.
“That’s the thing that blows my mind every day about being in the cannabis industry…We’re engaged in this monumental process of untangling many years of prejudices, propaganda, prohibition and misinformation.”
Now that open, intelligent cannabis discussions are taking place, Crockett predicts concerns and issues are inevitable. After all, public safety is the primary focus.
So, will licensed cannabis delivery services eventually wipe out the illicit industry and offer safe, convenient access?
“This is a complex, highly political, very nuanced process that’s going to take time.”
The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) proposed a regulatory amendment that will allow cannabis delivery to all California jurisdictions, regardless of local laws. This would reopen access in the 73% of California’s municipalities who ban everything.
If you have time to comment in support of this amendment, please do so. There are patients who are being denied legal access, and they need our help. Here are the instructions to comment:
Please email the bureau at firstname.lastname@example.org and write in the subject line: “Retail Regulations.”
In the first line of your BCC letter, please refer to the code amendment in question, § 5416. Delivery to a Physical Address (d) A delivery employee may deliver to any jurisdiction within the State of California.
A simple statement of support is sufficient.
Together we can make communities stronger and widen cannabis access across the Golden State, improving lives and creating a greater sense of well-being.