Approve Marijuana Delivery

New York Latest State to Approve Marijuana Delivery

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It is clear that the states are becoming more marijuana friendly with each passing legislative session. New laws are being passed to allow medical and recreational consumption. Rules are being relaxed to increase access in states where marijuana is already legal. One of the hottest topics right now is marijuana delivery. New York recently became the latest state to approve it.

New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) issued new delivery guidance in early December, 2022. Interestingly, the document’s introduction implies that the point of allowing delivery is jumpstarting recreational marijuana sales.

Jump starting sales suggests that New York regulators are not just content to allow recreational marijuana, they are actually trying to encourage it. And why not? Marijuana sales pad tax coffers. The more pot people buy, the more money Albany rakes in.

It Is Good for Business

Regardless of the motives in New York, it is hard to deny that marijuana delivery is good for business. Just as with any other product, the ability to have marijuana delivered to one’s home makes buying it more convenient. We live in a convenience-oriented society, and that only makes the need to deliver marijuana more important.

As for New York dispensaries, delivery will be subject to some rules. Dispensary owners will be allowed to establish warehouses from which they can make deliveries more efficiently. However, direct sales from those warehouses are prohibited.

Orders placed in-person also will not be allowed. All orders for delivery must be made via telephone or online means. Customers must also make payment prior to delivery. Delivery drivers will not be able to accept payments of any kind. And of course, only adults 21+ years old will be allowed to purchase and schedule delivery.

Delivery in Medical-Only States

Common sense suggests that marijuana delivery should be a pretty profitable business in states with legal recreational consumption. In a state like New York, the audience is probably large enough to sustain multiple delivery providers. But what about medical-only states?

Utah is one such state, according to the people behind the Utahmarijuana.org website. UtahMarijuana.org is an organization that helps patients obtain and renew medical cannabis cards. They say that, although home delivery is legal in Utah, making it profitable is more challenging.

The fact that Utah’s program is medical-only automatically makes the market there substantially smaller. There are fewer customers to sell to. Likewise, the state has only licensed 15 pharmacies to date; all but one is urban.

The other thing working against Utah is its largely rural nature. Delivery services can probably do okay in urban areas like Salt Lake City and Provo. But is it worth their while to deliver to rural areas that could be an hour or more away?

Delivery Is the Future of Legal Marijuana

The differences between New York and Utah aside, home delivery is the future of legal marijuana. There is no stopping it. Consumers in the on-demand era expect to be able to order virtually anything and have it delivered directly to their homes. They expect the same for marijuana.

Marijuana users may be content to live with the challenges facing marijuana delivery for now, but that contentment will not last forever. There will eventually come a point at which the market will demand home delivery with no questions asked. The only question is how long it takes to get there.

In New York, the time for home delivery has arrived. Now we’ll see how many dispensaries take advantage of the opportunity. What happens in the Empire State could lay the groundwork for legalized delivery in other states.

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