Marijuana Delivery services: a growing trend for medicinal marijuana states.
A new service within the cannabis community is the start of mobile medical marijuana collectives. These collectives have started in areas of the U.S where there is full legalization and in some localities where medicinal marijuana is legal. The push for cannabis delivery services have come after many dispensaries have had trouble with large volume and controversy associated with running a dispensary.
However, many delivery services have been under fire from law enforcement officials. 3 months ago, Los Angeles city attorneys had shut down one of the largest marijuana delivery service in the country. The attorneys have said the delivery service violated certain restrictions associated with proposition D. Under that measure, dispensaries can be prosecuted if the shops are not properly registered or operate within a legal distance from certain structures such as schools and child-care centers.
As more localities adopt ordinances, it is important that caregivers and marijuana couriers alike adhere to new policies adopted and enforced in their area. Of the 26 states that allow for legal medicinal marijuana, there are variations as to whom may deliver marijuana (caregiver, dispensary, commercial delivery services) and what patients are eligible for home delivery.
Below are rules around delivery services in each state with a medicinal marijuana program, along with any other relevant state regulations. Some states do not specify the legality of delivery services whereas other explicitly prohibit or allow them:
Medicinal marijuana deliveries were illegal but the states recent passing of recreational marijuana will change this. Ballot measure 2 has expressly called for “delivering, distributing, or selling marijuana products to consumers.” This will be especially helpful as many Alaskan towns are remote which will get product to more rural patients in need. Expect these policies to come into effect by the end of 2016, when licenses for recreational shops will be issued.
MMJ caregiver application form here.
Medicinal marijuana delivery services must verify the buyer’s medical marijuana card and run it through the state’s electronic verification system for every sale.
Although not addressed at the state level, certain counties and cities in California have made the final decision whether to allow delivery. Proposition D has allowed for the issuance of Medicinal marijuana licenses to vehicles which would suggest a delivery service would be allowed. However, these licenses have not been given out since 2007 to licensed medicinal marijuana business at the time. There have also been investigations into marijuana delivery services in L.A County that would make investors steer clear of California for the time being.
Colorado does not allow recreational cannabis deliveries but medicinal marijuana deliveries by a patient’s primary caregiver is allowed as long as the caregiver is registered with the state. An individual may transfer up to an ounce of cannabis to someone else as long as it is free. Amendment 20 (medicinal marijuana law in Colorado).
Marijuana delivery illegal unless delivering to licensed dispensaries Sec. 21a-408k.
Medical Marijuana program patient registration process.
Delaware’s medicinal marijuana bill does not mention any illegality of marijuana delivery services, however caregivers are limited to assisting 5 patients as stated in 4902A definitions section 5 subsection d. Dispensaries, also known as compassion centers in Delaware may not be subject to prosecution in transporting or delivering marijuana to registered qualified patients as stated in 4903A section i subsection 1.
District of Columbia
The District of Columbia does not have any specific mention of marijuana delivery services in their policy document but mention that a caregiver may deliver marijuana to a patient if that patient is incapacitated or bedridden.
D.C Policy document. Section 7 states that only four people may be considered caregivers for a patient:
Section 6 first paragraph mentions that the D.C medicinal marijuana program will regulate delivery services in the near future.
Does not allow for delivery of medical marijuana to patients stating a “dispensary shall be prohibited from off-premises delivery of marijuana or manufactured marijuana products to qualifying patients or to primary caregivers of qualifying patients.”
Dispensaries prohibited from off-premises delivery stated in section 6-subsection.
Illinois allows delivery by a primary caregiver but prohibits outside businesses from delivering cannabis.
Section 5. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.
No mention of illegality of marijuana delivery services. Caregivers are restricted to supplying no more than 5 qualifying patients stated in section 5 sub-sections 8. Marijuana collectives are prohibited as stated in section 5 sub-sections 9. A patient may also select one dispensary to supply marijuana and the dispensary may deliver marijuana to the patient’s place of residence.
Marijuana system not yet operational. Following site has updates associated with the cannabis commission currently conducted by the state.
Marijuana delivery services are still unregulated within a gray area at the moment highlighted by this article https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/05/02/marijuana-delivery-services-flourish-with-scant-oversight/ElDHsWX1l0otTAzPkv8nwI/story.html
Checklist for MMJ caregiver’s registration in Massachusetts
Each city and/or county is making up it’s own rules around marijuana delivery services so check with your local municipalities. Patients can also “donate” or give away marijuana to other patients, which is basically a delivery service so long as no money is exchanged.
A caregiver partnered to that specific patient must make marijuana deliveries. No commercial delivery services operational at this time.
At this time the law does not allow for the operation of dispensaries or marijuana delivery services relying on a caregiver network
Following state website has the Montana Marijuana Act along with a Frequently Asked Questions page.
Nevada has permitted marijuana delivery services by a medical marijuana establishment to “a person who holds a valid registry identification card or his or her designated primary caregiver. “
Under the definition of Alternative Treatment Centers (ATC) (dispensaries) it does permit ATCs to delivers, transfer, and transport cannabis to qualifying patients. Although there are no caregivers in the state according to NORML, it would indicate that marijuana delivery services if affiliated with an Alternative Treatment Center would be legal.
Currently beginning implementation of medicinal marijuana. No marijuana delivery services and health conditions allowed under medicinal marijuana program which is still very limited. 2015 annual report on progress found here.
New Mexico allows for marijuana couriers as long as the courier is employed by one of the 23 nonprofit producers of marijuana in the state and has a state-issued cannabis program card. However, there is a larger risk of federal interventions into delivery services considering Mew Mexico’s close proximity to the border with Mexico.
Marijuana Delivery Services are not yet regulated. Many problems with black market dealers especially in NYC, may not allow delivery services for this reason.
Overview of medical marijuana legislation here.
Ohio is the most recent state to legalize medicinal marijuana and has not formulated growing rules or who can dispense marijuana to registered patients. There is also no mention of regulation of delivery services.
Full text bill available here.
Prohibits marijuana delivery services but with legalization allows “deliveries by the marijuana retailer to consumers pursuant to bona fide orders received on the licensed premises prior to delivery.” In other words, if the consumer places an order in a retail store, the dispensary can deliver the cannabis to the consumer at another location.
Oregon Chapter 475B on Cannabis Regulation: (Deliveries in section 475B.160)
Currently Pennsylvania has until November 17th to start publishing regulations around medicinal marijuana. A summary of the medical marijuana act can be found here, though there is no mention of commercial delivery services.
Restrictions on home deliveries, each patient must have active, state issued medicinal marijuana card and must be homebound with a debilitating condition that restricts their ability to move around affirmed by a physician.
V.S.A. 4474 d (f) states the health department “shall adopt rules establishing protocols for safe delivery of marijuana to patients and caregivers.” This would indicate that deliveries are allowed in Vermont.
Cannabis deliveries are illegal in Washington for both recreational and medicinal use as of July 2014.
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Article written by Zach Johnson