A picture containing text, businesscard, vector graphics, clipart

Description automatically generated

Did you know that many states with legal cannabis programs now allow pharmacies and dispensaries to offer home delivery? The only thing is that many of them also put restrictions on delivery. Restrictions are understandable in light of what lawmakers want to accomplish. If you do not agree with their goals, you may find the restrictions onerous.

For example, states may dictate that:

  • deliveries can only be made to residential addresses
  • delivery addresses must match state records
  • customers must be home to accept deliveries
  • deliveries can only be accepted by the original purchaser
  • customers must prove their identities with photo ID.

If you were to purchase medical cannabis in Utah from Beehive Farmacy, home delivery would be subject to all the above restrictions. States restrict home delivery to different areas, so not all delivery programs are subject to all restrictions.

1. Preventing Illicit Transactions

One possible reason for restricting home delivery is preventing illicit transactions. Lawmakers want to avoid any possibility of utilizing home delivery as a drug trafficking tool. They do not want legitimate dispensaries, pharmacies, and courier companies becoming cannabis mules. While restricting home delivery does not prevent such activities entirely, it makes engaging in them worthwhile.

2. Preventing Straw Sales

Straw sales, or straw purchases if you prefer, occur when one person agrees to purchase property on behalf of someone else. Such sales are not illegal in and of themselves. However, they are banned for certain types of products. Guns are a good example. Straw gun purchases constitute a federal crime. Such crimes are severely punished when successfully prosecuted.

Lawmakers might restrict cannabis home delivery to prevent similar straw purchases. They do not want a legitimate medical cannabis patient purchasing product on behalf of a neighbor who wants to use the drug recreationally. By forcing customers to accept purchases in-person and limiting how much can be purchased and possessed at any one time, straw purchases by way of home delivery are reduced.

3. Protecting Delivery Drivers

Mandating that deliveries only be made to residential addresses on file with the state reduces the likelihood of a criminal placing an online order for the purposes of robbing the driver. This obviously improves safety for drivers and courier companies alike.

4. Protecting Employers from Liability

Not allowing delivery to commercial addresses could be a way of protecting businesses against liability. For example, a cannabis package left in the company receiving department may never make it to the buyer for obvious reasons. If it fell into the wrong hands and was used improperly, the company could be sued. Not allowing commercial delivery solves that problem.

Restricting delivery to commercial addresses also reduces the chances of consumers using cannabis at work. Again, this could be a liability issue. Companies with drug policies in place might not want to allow cannabis even if it has been legalized by state lawmakers.

5. Tracking Product Flow

Finally, while it is unknown how many states require dispensaries, pharmacies, and courier companies to report their deliveries, it is possible that some states track product through both in-person sales and home deliveries. Tracking allows regulators to more easily spot illicit activity.

Note that the five reasons for restricting cannabis delivery mentioned in this post are mere suggestions. Without lawmakers clearly explaining the rationale behind their decisions, there is no way to know for sure why they put such rules in place.

The most important thing to know here is that cannabis home delivery is restricted in many of the states that allow it. And of course, it is not allowed in every state with legalized cannabis.