Thursday August 26, 2021
In a growing number of states, recreational and medical marijuana consumers can have cannabis flower and products delivered right to their doors with cannabis delivery services. Much like a delivery from a CVS drug store (or pizza), cannabis consumers can receive their customized packages right to their door, often in as little as an hour or less.
Products like prefilled vaporizer cartridges, edibles, topicals, flower and concentrates can all be ordered and delivered to the consumer’s home, office or hotel room to save time, improve customer satisfaction and reach a wider client base than ever before.
Is Marijuana Delivery Legal?
Yes! More and more states are passing legislation that allows for legal cannabis delivery. While many have operated in a grey area to get past legal restrictions by offering cannabis as “gifts” or requesting “donations”, these practices can often hurt legalization efforts by working with the black market to move unregulated cannabis. When push comes to legal shove, the law tends side with the state.
WUSA9 news in Washington, DC reports DC police said in a statement:
“We view any company that advertises that they provide marijuana for any type of payment as illegal. That would include ones that advertise other services in exchange for a marijuana ‘gift.’ The U.S. Attorney’s Office has successfully prosecuted these cases,” — Lt. Andrew Struhar
The changing scope of cannabis legalization is finally making it easier for cannabis delivery services to run legit operations which helps protect employees, consumers and the industry as a whole. Numerous states have incorporated delivery guidelines into their medical and recreational cannabis laws. California, for example, has allowed medical cannabis delivery for over a decade.
In many states, you can legally order weed delivery fully within the guidelines of state law.
Where is Weed Delivery Available?
To begin, let’s talk about where legalized medical or recreational marijuana delivery is available. Not all states with legal marijuana laws allow marijuana delivery services. For example, Washington state, despite being among the first states to legalize cannabis, does not allow for delivery of either recreational or medical marijuana.
States With Marijuana Delivery
Below, you’ll find a state-by-state list of cannabis delivery availability.
Washington D.C. is a notorious illicit delivery market. Cannabis is not allowed to be purchased in Washington, D.C. recreationally. Thus, cannabis delivery is currently not allowed in DC. We touch on this more below, but gray market delivery services are very prevalent and claim to use a loophole in the law that allows for “gifting” of cannabis. However, state authorities and law enforcement see these operations as strictly illegal. Alabama
Alabama’s medical program rules do not address the issue of delivery. Their system is still being established, so it may be something that’s added in the future, but it does not appear to be planned at this time.
Alaska does not allow for cannabis delivery of any kind.
Arizona allows cannabis delivery to those on the medical registry. Delivery for recreational cannabis is currently not allowed, however it will be implemented at a later date. In an interesting twist, the current guidelines say that delivery cannot be implemented before 2023, but must be implemented before 2025.
Arkansas’ medical marijuana system does not permit cannabis delivery, and the state has not legalized recreational cannabis.
Both medical and recreational cannabis delivery is permitted in California. The former has been available for almost a decade, if not longer, and made for an easy transition into the recreational market. As a result, the golden state might have the most deliveries available of a legalized state.
Despite being the first state to offer recreational cannabis sales, Colorado has been lagging behind in creating a delivery system. Thanks to recent legislation, both medical and recreational cannabis can be ordered for delivery, but there are currently only very limited options to do so.
Cannabis was legalized in Connecticut in 2021, and the new legislation makes mention of delivery as something covered by the state’s Department of Consumer Protection. However, further guidelines have not been established, and delivery is currently not available. The state does not have a medical marijuana registry system.
Delaware’s medical marijuana system does not allow delivery.
Florida is unique in allowing medical providers to offer state-wide delivery options. Recreational cannabis is not legal in Florida.
Though Hawaii has a medical cannabis system, it does not allow for delivery.
Cannabis delivery of any kind is not allowed in Illinois.
Medical patients cannot order cannabis for delivery in Louisiana, and recreational cannabis is not legal at this time.
Maine permits medical cannabis delivery, but does not allow recreational delivery.
Medical cannabis can be purchased for delivery in Maryland.
Though both medical and recreational marijuana are legalized in Massachusetts, only medical is available for delivery.
Currently, both medical and recreational cannabis can be ordered for delivery in Michigan.
In Minnesota, it is still illegal for dispensaries to deliver directly to patients. However, registered caregivers can purchase cannabis products on behalf of their patient then deliver it to them.
Mississippi has not yet established rules for medical marijuana. It is not available at this time.
Due to delays from COVID, full implementation of Missouri’s new medical marijuana system has not yet been established, and deliveries are currently not operational. Only dispensaries are open at this time.
Montana’s cannabis laws do not permit delivery.
Medical cannabis delivery is allowed in Nevada, and the state has temporarily allowed recreational dispensaries to offer delivery as well during the COVID 19 pandemic.
The state of New Hampshire does not allow cannabis delivery.
New Jersians may order medical cannabis for delivery, but rules have not been established for recreational delivery, and it currently remains illegal.
New Mexico’s medical cannabis patients may order delivery, and while recreational delivery is permitted, licenses have not yet been issued, and delivery cannot be ordered currently. Delivery services are expected to arrive some time in 2022.
New York will allow for delivery under its legalization guidelines, however these are not yet operational. For medical marijuana, the state that allows the delivery of certain types of cannabis products by either licensed delivery services or personal caregivers.
Medical marijuana is permitted by delivery in North Dakota.
Marijuana delivery is not available in Ohio.
Marijuana delivery is also not allowed in Oklahoma.
Both medical and recreational delivery are permitted in Oregon, though they are not equally available. Medical cannabis delivery is permitted state-wide, but for recreational cannabis, towns and cities must opt-in, and adoption is sporadic, thus it is only available in some places.
While Pennsylvania regulations do not allow medical marijuana delivery, caregivers may currently take on any number of patients and deliver to them thanks to COVID 19 regulations.
Rhode Island does not permit cannabis delivery of any kind.
South Dakota’s new medical marijuana law appears to allow for delivery, however further guidelines have not been established, and delivery is not currently available.
The state of Texas’ limited medical marijuana program does not allow delivery.
Medical marijuana delivery is available for Utah medical patients.
Vermont does not allow medical or recreational delivery of cannabis.
Virginia's delivery rules have not been established yet, and so delivery is not currently permitted.
Washington unfortunately does not allow delivery of any kind.
Is It Safe to Get Weed Delivered to Your House?
If you’re purchasing from legal, licensed delivery services, then yes! A typical delivery experience in a legal market will not be much different from ordering food from a restaurant online, with just a few additional steps and small changes.
Similar to other delivery purchases, you begin by navigating to the service’s online menu, and make your selections. You’ll fill a virtual shopping cart the way you might on any e-commerce website
One noticeable difference from other shopping experiences is that the system will typically keep track of the amount of cannabis you are adding to your cart, and restrict you from adding more if you go over the state purchase limit. If a delivery service is allowing you to order more than the state-allowed amount, that’s a good sign that the delivery might not be legal. If you are shopping as a medical patient, you may be required to enter your patient registry information before you are allowed to shop.
Once your shopping is complete, you’ll need to enter your delivery information. Again, if you are making a medical purchase, you’ll likely need to provide patient information, including whatever official number appears on your state documents for verification.
Once your selections are made and your registration is verified (if necessary), you’ll proceed to checkout. Some delivery services will be able to take payment electronically, but many will require cash upon delivery. If cash is required, it’s best to have it ready before placing your order. Just remember that your delivery driver will not be able to make a transaction without it and your order may be canceled.
When the delivery person arrives, they will likely first require proof of ID. Again, this may or may not include your medical paperwork, but be sure to have it accessible if needed.
If you’ve paid beforehand, simply show your ID and collect your purchase, if not, you’ll pay the delivery person first. The person may ask that you confirm the contents of your purchase before leaving, depending on the state and the practices of each business.
Why Marijuana Delivery Services are Important
Some may view marijuana delivery as a convenience, but the impact of having delivery services available is far larger than that. Simply allowing medical patients to use cannabis does not always fully address the challenges of gaining access to it.
For patients with limited mobility, these services can be vital. Though many states allow for caregivers to assist with acquiring medical cannabis, delivery allows patients flexibility and independence in acquiring their medicine. Furthermore, some ailments may not typically leave patients bedridden or immobilized, but can on occasion, such as those using cannabis to aid with the side effects of chemotherapy, or those that suffer from chronic pain, which would not allow the patient to qualify for a caregiver, but still keep from from accessing cannabis in an emergency.
Parents of young children may also have difficulty accessing medical (or recreational) cannabis if they cannot find a sitter as dispensaries do not allow children on the premises without a medical license.
There may also be concern regarding being seen going into a medical marijuana dispensary because, even though the nature of a medical condition is private, the fact that someone is treating it with cannabis is not (especially when walking into a place with a giant pot leaf as its company logo). But these are all issues that can be avoided when using a confidential cannabis delivery service.
Additionally, marijuana delivery services reduce the need for storefronts which solves the concerns of those wishing to avoid cannabis businesses in specific areas while still allowing residents access to it. And the money that could be saved by avoiding brick-and-mortar stores is substantial, especially when considering the additional taxes cannabis businesses must pay compared to businesses in other industries.
Finally, security is improved with the use of cannabis delivery services. This happens a few ways, the most obvious of which is the reduction of stoned drivers on the roads. However, because of the nature of these often “cash-only” businesses, storefronts with large sums of money on hand will always be vulnerable to attack, especially because cannabis companies do not have access to federal banking solutions.
Cannabis delivery services reduce the amount of money on hand (some even accept payment online to avoid the cash transaction in the first place), and the inconspicuous dress of the delivery drivers makes them less of a target, as well. Consumers can get their product and drivers can get their paychecks safely and easily using cannabis delivery services.
Dangers of Unlicensed or Gray Market Delivery Services
Numerous states that allow for legal cannabis possession also set out regulations for how much cannabis can be given to another person as a gift (without payment of any kind). Basically, this makes sure that it’s legal for someone to offer a guest cannabis in their own home, or to give some as a present. This amount typically matches the limit for possession.
In some states that allow for possession of cannabis, but not the delivery of it (or even the purchase of it) entrepreneurs have used these guidelines as a loophole to circumvent sales and licensing laws. Cannabis is not paid for directly, but is claimed to be given as a “free gift” with the purchase of something else, or in return for a “donation.” These services are referred to as “gray” market because, while not technically legal, they attempt to fall into an area which makes use of an interpretation of a legal guideline.
These services are most rampant in places like Washington, D.C., which has legalized possession but does not allow for any legal avenue to purchase cannabis. However, the same concept has been extended to circumvent delivery laws as well. The delivery driver just so happens to be gifting you the exact amount of cannabis products you desire, in return for some other tangential transaction.
A patchwork of differing delivery laws across legalized and medical states allows for illicit services to take advantage of consumer confusion. Many consumers who use these services might not even be fully aware that they are breaking the law, and being given untested products in the process. Overall, these businesses sell unlicensed, unregulated products, which makes not only their legality an issue, but their safety as well.
Have you tried cannabis delivery services? Tell us about your experience.