There are some states with very mature medical and recreational marijuana markets capable of sustaining home delivery service. There are other states in which home delivery is just getting off the ground. Take Utah, for example. Home delivery in the Beehive State has not even been legal for a year. But it is a much-needed service that medical cannabis card holders hope becomes more fully developed in 2022.
Of course, Utah’s medical cannabis laws are different from the laws in other states. Their home delivery program has to be tailored to adhere to those laws. But putting in the work necessary to get home delivery working across the state is worth it, at least to many patients who find obtaining their cannabis products more difficult than it needs to be.
- Traveling Across State Lines
As things currently stand, there are only fourteen medical cannabis pharmacies operating in Utah. Beehive Farmacy is a company that owns and operates two of them – one in Salt Lake City and the other in Brigham City. Beehive’s owners acknowledge that driving into one of the two metropolitan areas is difficult for people who live in rural portions of the state. That is why they are expanding their home delivery service for medical marijuana.
Prior to 2021, a loophole in Utah regulations allowed patients to cross state lines in order to buy their medicines. They could bring them back into the state without issue. That loophole has since been closed. As of January 1, 2021, Utah residents are not allowed to import medical cannabis products from out-of-state.
A patient deciding to abide by the law now faces a real problem. Where crossing the border may have given that patient access to medical cannabis within 25 or 30 miles of home, having to drive into Salt Lake City, Brigham City, Provo, etc. Could effectively mean a much longer drive.
- How Delivery Works
Home delivery in the cannabis space is no different than home delivery of any other product. Patients order their medicines online, choose a payment option, and wait for delivery to arrive. However, there are some hiccups along the way. The hiccups are things that state lawmakers and industry leaders are working on.
For starters, not all medical cannabis pharmacies offering home delivery are capable of accepting online payment. Many cannot accept any form of digital payment at all. That means having to pay delivery drivers in cash. This is obviously a bad situation for patients, drivers, and even dispensaries.
The second major problem, at least in Utah, is availability. You can call your local pizza shop and have a pie delivered to your house in under an hour. You can order something from Amazon and have it delivered the next day, at least if you subscribe to Amazon Prime. Marijuana deliveries to the most remote portions of Utah can take several days. That means patients have to plan ahead.
- Better Than the Alternative
As far as state lawmakers are concerned, waiting a few days for legal home delivery is still a better alternative than crossing state lines. Perhaps this is due to marijuana’s ongoing status as a controlled substance. As long as it remains on the DEA’s Schedule I list, transporting marijuana across state lines is a felony. Utah lawmakers do not want their citizens participating in interstate marijuana transport.
Nonetheless, it would be foolish to assume that all rural Utah cannabis patients buy their products in state. Until home delivery reaches their doors, it is a safe bet that some are still crossing into neighboring states in order to get their medicines. Discovering otherwise would be surprising, to say the least.
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