[Canniseur: While home delivery of cannabis for medical patients might sound like a good idea, there are a few big caveats. First, the regulations are a bit draconian. Second, have the regulators thought this all the way through? The rules around home delivery seem to be designed to keep the cannabis out of the illegal market and make sure it only gets delivered to medical patients in real need. GPS? Can a cell phone with location tracking work? The rules don’t specify what constitutes GPS tracking. The second caveat appears to be concern about movement of legal cannabis into the black market. Guess what? The cannabis that’s in the black market in Michigan is better and (probably) cheaper than what is getting delivered in the legal market. Perhaps robbery might be the problem in the regulators were thinking about. However, I don’t think robbery would be an issue. It’s cannabis and there’s lots to go around…and it’s pretty cheap.]
Medical marijuana patients in Michigan are about to see improved access. Thanks to new rules approved and put into place by the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency, medical marijuana providers can now legally deliver to patients. The change is the latest development in several key changes to Michigan’s medical marijuana program.
Home Delivery in Michigan
Last week, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued the state’s first three home delivery licenses.
One license went to a dispensary called Lake Effect, which serves patients in Kalamazoo County. And the other two home delivery licenses went to BotaniQ and Utopia Gardens. Both are located in Detroit.
Under the new rules, these and any other dispensaries to receive licenses in the future will now be able to deliver orders directly to patients’ homes.
Not surprisingly, the new home delivery program will be heavily regulated by the state. Here’s home delivery will work:
- To complete home deliveries legally, dispensaries with a license must hire their own delivery drivers.
- Dispensaries licensed for home delivery must document and track all delivery inventory.
- All delivery vehicles must be tracked with a GPS system.
- Dispensaries will have to get a copy of the patient’s identification card and medical marijuana card before doing deliveries.
- The delivery address must match the patient’s address as listed on both their identification card and their medical marijuana card.
- Patients can order up to the daily maximum, which is 2.5 ounces of flower.
Above and beyond those rules, many dispensaries plan to implement their own additional guidelines. For example, local news source MLive reported that some shops plan to install dashcams in delivery vehicles.
Similarly, some dispensaries will take additional security measures. This could include giving delivery people body cameras.
“It’s the first time it’s ever been done in the state of Michigan legally,” Jevin Weyenberg, general manager of Lake Effect, told MLive. “We want to make sure everything is secure. We want to make sure we’re a hard target for any criminal that might try anything.”
The new rule is being hailed as an effective way to improve patient access. In one key provision, home deliveries will be available even in places that have not yet allowed any dispensaries to open.
As a result, patients who live in a city or town that has banned dispensaries, or that has not yet joined the state’s medical marijuana program, can get deliveries from elsewhere.
Of course, each dispensary will have different rules for how far they will deliver. At this point, Lake Effect plans to take phone orders. Additionally, the dispensary will deliver to patients throughout Kalamazoo County.
Meanwhile, Utopia Gardens will deliver to patients within a 20-mile radius of the shop. For now, this shop will take online or phone orders.
At this point, many in the state hope that home delivery will make it easier for a broader range of patients to access the medicine they need.
“We know a lot of the patients we’re going to be delivering to,” Weyenberg told MLive. “A lot of them are in wheelchairs. Convenient access to medicine—you can never put a price on that. It’s life-saving for some people.”