Medical cannabis wasn’t a thing in the U.S. through the mid-1990s. Back then, who would have thought that more than three-dozen states and the District of Columbia would legalize cannabis in some form? We have come so far over the last 20 years that cannabis users in some states can order online and have their purchases delivered directly to their homes.
Online ordering and home delivery are by no means universal. Each state with legalized cannabis regulates its medical program in its own way. Some states even give local municipalities the authority to enact their own rules. The result is a fractured market with a hodgepodge of regulations.
Bringing Convenience to the Market
Once medical cannabis entered the mainstream, it was only a matter of time before we started seeing the option to purchase online. We are all familiar with online shopping and its incredible convenience. Why would the cannabis industry not want the same convenience for its customers?
Convenience is a big thing for medical cannabis patients in states with significant rural populations. Utah is one such state. Even though most of this state’s population lives in or near one of Utah’s few metropolitan centers, there are still plenty of people who live in rural areas. Some of them live so far away from an urban center that it is easier to drive to a neighboring state to buy medical cannabis.
Can’t Cross State Borders
There is a problem with crossing state borders while in possession of cannabis: it is against the law. Even though some states turn a blind eye to the practice (Utah isn’t one of them) it is still considered drug trafficking under federal statutes. So a patient in rural Utah either has to take their chances with the law or find another way to obtain medical cannabis.
Online orders and home delivery are godsends in such circumstances. Utah marijuana dispensary Beehive Farmacy, with locations in Brigham City and Salt Lake City, say that Utah lawmakers approved home delivery in 2021. Pharmacies and private contractors are now working as hard as they can to make statewide delivery a reality.
Similar conditions exist in other states. Meanwhile, home delivery has been fairly consistent in California for a while. Medical and recreational users alike can arrange for home delivery in most portions of the state. That does not necessarily mean the process is any easier in the Golden State compared to Utah. It can be equally difficult.
Ordering for Pickup
Online orders and home delivery are not always linked, either. Using Utah as an example again, patients don’t have to choose home delivery just to order online. Beehive Farmacy is one of several Utah pharmacies that allow patients to place online orders and then stop by to pick up their products in-person.
It is a lot like ordering groceries and then picking them up at curbside. You just send a text letting the store know you have arrived and they send out an employee with your order. You show your ID, the order is loaded into your car, and off you go. It is probably not as convenient as home delivery, but it sure beats going into the store and shopping the old-school way.
Its Time Has Come
Online ordering and home delivery are commonplace throughout the retail industry. The time has come for it to be universal within the cannabis industry. If we are going to allow legal sales across the country, then we might just as well treat cannabis like any other consumer product. If that doesn’t sit well with us collectively, maybe it’s time to rethink cannabis legalization.