Utah lawmakers cleared the way for medical cannabis home delivery in 2021. They did so in order to improve access to medical cannabis in rural areas. More than a year later, home delivery is offered in most of the state’s metropolitan areas. Companies are still working out the logistics of serving rural Utah. Regardless, medical cannabis home delivery makes sense.
So much of what we buy online is delivered directly to our homes. Sometimes we order and go pick it up from a local retailer, but home delivery dominates the online world. Should cannabis be any different? Proponents say no. Yet there are some states with active cannabis programs that still do not allow home delivery.
Interestingly, Utah doesn’t allow alcohol home delivery. But given that medical cannabis is considered a medicine where alcohol is a recreational product, it is easy to justify the different rules.
Not Enough Dispensaries
There are a number of reasons medical cannabis home delivery makes sense, beginning with the lack of dispensaries. In Utah, there are fewer than twenty dispensaries servicing the entire state. All but one is located in major metropolitan areas. For example, Beehive Farmacy serves customers in Brigham City and Salt Lake City.
Medical cannabis card holders in rural parts of the state may have to drive an hour or longer to get to a dispensary. That is not always possible, especially when you consider some of the qualifying conditions states have on the books. In Utah’s case, making folks drive that far doesn’t make a lot of sense. Home delivery does.
It Keeps Patients Off the Roads
Medical cannabis home delivery is also beneficial in the sense that it keeps patients off the roads. This is not to say that they should not drive. Rather, it is to say that driving is one less thing they have to worry about when home delivery is available. If you are suffering from chronic pain, do you really want to have to sit behind the wheel for two hours, every couple of weeks, just to get your medicine?
It Cuts Down on Cross-Border Sales
Rural patients in Utah are not likely to stop using medical cannabis because the nearest dispensary is an hour away. Many of them live near the borders of neighboring states with more friendly cannabis laws. Given the choice to drive to Salt Lake City or just over the border to Colorado, where do you think the typical patient will go?
Utah law is clear in stating that medical cannabis products used in the state must be purchased in the state. Home delivery helps see to that by reducing the need to go across the border. If you can get your medications delivered to your home, there is no reason to get in the car and drive to a neighboring state.
It’s Good for a Dispensary’s Business
Dispensary owners want to increase market share just like those in any other industry. Offering home delivery represents an opportunity to do so. That is good for a dispensary’s business. Every opportunity to increase market share is an opportunity to grow and better compete.
In fairness, it must be acknowledged that not everything about medical cannabis home delivery is positive. The model has some inherent weaknesses and risks. But for those companies willing to do it, delivery can be a lucrative enterprise.
As long as we are going to allow medical cannabis in this country, we might just as well do what we can to improve access. That is the point of home delivery. It is a model that makes sense in a world that now buys so much online.