Hilary Bricken
by

Unfortunately, it’s true. Delivering marijuana is clearly and unequivocally illegal in Washington. Initiative 502 provides for a tightly regulated recreational marijuana system and aside from retail locations licensed by the  Liquor Control Board (LCB), anyone else selling cannabis without a State license is operating illegally. This includes delivery services.

Anyone delivering cannabis (or selling cannabis without a license) is committing a crime, not only at the federal level (where marijuana remains an illegal Schedule I Controlled Substance), but also at the State level, where selling marijuana without a license constitutes a felony. Though law enforcement has not made marijuana a top priority to date, once more retail locations are up and running in Washington, word is that the police will begin informing delivery services to shut down or face arrest. In the wake of recent media attention, one large Seattle marijuana delivery service announced that it would be changing its business model to stop providing recreational marijuana and to limit deliveries to just medical marijuana to those with patient cards. This sort of move might buy delivery services some time, but any deliveries are risky since medical marijuana is now illegal in the State and its sellers too will probably soon be facing police-enforced closures.

Many (including us) would like to see the Washington State Legislature legalize home deliveries in the upcoming session. This ought to happen because consumers demand it and allowing it will go a long way towards eliminated an entrenched black/gray market.

Allowing marijuana deliveries would solve the logistical problem of getting cannabis to consumers without compromising the safety or integrity of the business or its employees. With all the regulation the LCB has put together to date, surely it (or the legislature) can come up with a safe and sound plan for delivery of adult use marijuana, just as it has done for alcohol. If the legislature doesn’t solve the delivery issue soon, the black and gray markets will continue to thrive to the detriment of both marijuana entrepreneurs acting completely legally and to consumers.

It’s a head scratcher as to why delivery wasn’t included in I-502. Hopefully the legislature will act fast to fix this (growing) problem.

One response to “Marijuana Delivery is Illegal in Washington”

  1. Thanks for the post on delivery services. It’s a good idea to take a look at the issue, though it may be a bit early to properly evaluate its effect on an RMJ system that is far from up to speed.

    Since you’ve raised the spectre of police enforced closures, I think would be prudent to note that closures would have very different timelines, depending on the local enforcement priority and political environment, varied as it is across the state. Maybe that was a given- just making sure.

    Thank you for all of your work in defense of the industry and its people.

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Please be mindful that possessing, using, distributing and selling marijuana are all federal crimes and that this blog is not intended to give you any legal advice, much less lead you to believe that marijuana is legal under federal law.