CA: Marijuana Delivery Services Sidestep Dispensary Bans


Photo: Green House Collective
Services such as Green House Collective deliver marijuana to California patients

‚ÄčHundreds of medical marijuana delivery services are circumventing bans on storefront pot dispensaries in California, bringing cannabis directly to people’s homes and offices across the state.

The delivery of marijuana through these services shows how quickly California’s pot industry is moving out of the shadows and into uncharted legal territory, report Gary Cohn and Michael Montgomery at California Watch.
The “mobile dispensaries” advertise a wide range of strains, edibles and related products in newspapers and on the Internet. One service even delivers organic vegetables along with medical marijuana, as part of a “farm-direct” service.

Some of the delivery services operate in multiple counties, including jurisdictions where storefront dispensaries are banned. Many make local deliveries to drop-off points, such as Starbucks parking lots and gas stations.
At least three of the services ship to clients around the state, using private cannabis couriers.
Delivery of medical marijuana is not a new phenomenon, but advocates say the growth of these services could be a game-changer in California’s culture war over cannabis.
Law enforcement, some elected officials, and anti-pot “community groups” are often pitted against dispensary owners and patients.
Some local and federal officials claim the delivery services violate California’s 1996 Compassionate Use Act which legalized medical marijuana for qualified patients in the state, as well as other laws. They claim the services are a way to circumvent local regulations banning dispensaries.
Advocates say that in areas where dispensaries have been banned, delivery services are often the only safe access available for many seriously ill patients.