Patients in the state of Michigan with a registered caregiver have been taking advantage of home delivery since 2008. Those who do not have a registered caregiver in the program and use provisioning centers as their point of access will likely have similar options soon. This is great news because for many patients there simply aren’t any local dispensaries operating nearby. Also, there are many cases where a patient is severely ill or suffers from a condition that affects their ability to drive. The fact that caregivers can only supply up to five patients makes it hard for some people to find a grower who can supply them with a steady supply of high-quality medicine. Along with that, some people benefit/prefer using marijuana in different ways outside of its raw form. As a result, this sends many patients to dispensaries so that they can have a large selection of products to choose from.
If you live in Michigan or have looked at the local Weedmaps directory, it is obvious that delivery services have been operating for years. These businesses are hiding in a grey area at best. They can’t claim to be caregivers because they are servicing anybody with a valid medical marijuana license that contacts them. While I’m sure a few have run into some legal trouble, the overall delivery market hasn’t been affected or slowed down. These services are prevalent in metro Detroit and offer reasonable pricing despite their convenience. Patients most likely wouldn’t see any major changes if deliveries become allowed, it would simply provide protection for brick and mortar stores to expand operations outside their store. Unregulated delivery services will probably be cracked down on and be forced to apply for a commercial license or close. This is no guarantee, just what I think is likely to happen considering the closing of all the dispensaries in Detroit lately. By September 15th, all dispensaries who haven’t been awarded a commercial license must close their doors. Unless there is an extension to that date, I think this will be applied to existing delivery services soon. The state hasn’t been too friendly to the medical marijuana businesses that have been operating unregulated for years and I think that trend will continue.
The proposed rules would allow dispensaries to have only one staff member making deliveries at a time. This driver can only make three consecutive stops before returning. In addition, the GPS location of the driver must be tracked and logged by the dispensary. There is also a provision added to the proposal that mentions residents living in a city or township banning dispensaries would still be allowed to receive deliveries. These “dry” communities have accomplished nothing but make medicine less accessible for patients. At least residents will now have legal protection to acquire medicine without leaving their local area. It seems that the state is headed in the right direction establishing permanent rules and providing protections for those looking to deliver medicine to patients. However, I think it could go with a lot less regulation. Making it so existing delivery services have to have a physical storefront and limiting the number of staff that can be conducting deliveries is just unnecessary. Marijuana has been unregulated for years through prohibition and even up until last December when the state began accepting commercial licenses. Those who took all the risks and were the pioneers in the industry are being flushed out by newcomers with lots of capital. It would be nice to see some of the existing delivery services able to continue to build their business and reap some benefits for all the risks they have taken for their patients.