Pizza home delivery is available in every state in the union. So is grocery delivery. In fact, you can get just about anything you want delivered to your front door – anything except cannabis, that is. Cannabis home delivery is still a mixed bag across the states. The laws are not even uniform in all the states that have legalized cannabis.
To date, more than three dozen states have approved medical cannabis programs. There are eighteen states that recognize the legality of recreational cannabis use. We are only left with about a dozen holdout states, and they probably won’t hold out forever. So why such drastic differences in terms of home delivery?
Regulated at the State Level
Utah is one of the states that allows home delivery. State legislators approved the concept during the 2021 legislative session. Still, according to Brigham City’s Beehive Farmacy, operators have struggled to get delivery up and running throughout the state. They are serving the cities well but outside of the cities, home delivery is sketchy.
On the other side of the country is New Hampshire. There, cannabis home delivery isn’t allowed. If you want a product, you need to pay a visit to your local dispensary. To say that the environment isn’t convenient is to state the obvious.
The differences between Utah and New Hampshire bring us back to the question of why. It is all about states’ rights. Our constitution purposely limits the role and authority of the federal government. Any powers not specifically given to the federal government in the constitution are automatically left to the states. Regulating cannabis is one of them.
States all take their own approach to it. That’s why Utah is a medical-only state while most of the states it shares borders with are open to recreational use. What applies in Utah only applies there. Likewise for Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, etc.
Overcoming the Obstacles
One would think that in states where home delivery is legal, companies would be falling all over themselves competing for business. Perhaps the reason they are not is found in so many obstacles that need to be overcome. Let us go back to Utah. For starters, any company wanting to offer home delivery in the Beehive State would have to be licensed to do so.
Next, state law requires that all delivery vehicles be unmarked vehicles. The vehicles must also be equipped with a variety of security features to protect drivers, product, and the general public. After that come payments and logistics.
It is pretty easy to run a delivery business in Salt Lake City, Brigham City, or one of Utah’s other metropolitan areas. But extending delivery to rural portions of the state is another matter. Do companies want to drive for hours just for one or two deliveries? Obviously, no.
If They Will Come In
From the dispensary or pharmacy’s point of view, it is a matter of whether customers are still content to come into the store. And right now, they are. Indeed, they don’t have a choice in many states. So why would an operator rock the boat? Why incur the hassles and overhead of adding a delivery service when sales are not suffering for lack of it?
The future of marijuana home delivery may be in third-party contractors. Rather than dispensaries and pharmacies hiring their own delivery staff, they would contract with independent companies to pick up orders and deliver them to customers.
Cannabis home delivery is still a mixed bag across the states. Keep an eye on it, though. Home delivery will one day be the industry standard.