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.