Marijuana Delivery Out West

Marijuana delivery rules vary greatly and can be very complicated. Businesses that want to offer delivery to consumers must comply with state laws and regulations. Some states, like Washington, have a blanket prohibition against businesses delivering marijuana to consumers. Conversely, Oregon recently announced rules to allow retail deliveries. This post examines how the Alaska, California, Hawaii, and Oregon regulate marijuana delivery.

Cannabis delivery. When it absolutely positively needs to get there fast.
Cannabis delivery: when it absolutely positively must get there fast.

Alaska. Alaska will allow cannabis delivery services, but the regulatory details of cannabis delivery in Alaska remain unclear. Alaska has not yet started issuing licenses for businesses to sell marijuana and its sale remains illegal. The Alaska Marijuana Patrol Board is currently considering rules to regulate the market. Those rules will likely impact how businesses deliver marijuana in Alaska. Until those rules are in place and the state starts issuing licenses for the sale and delivery of marijuana, businesses that deliver marijuana may face criminal prosecution.

For more on Alaska cannabis laws, go here.

California. California recently overhauled its medical marijuana laws by passing of three new bills. Assembly Bill 266  explicitly allows dispensaries to deliver medical marijuana to qualified patients or primary caregivers. However, local jurisdictions still have the ability to prohibit marijuana deliveries and to set the tax rate for delivery transactions.

Only licensed dispensaries are allowed to deliver marijuana and all dispensary employees involved with a delivery must carry a copy of the dispensary’s license, along with a government-issued ID. Additionally, the dispensary must bring a physical copy of the delivery manifest.

For more on California cannabis laws, go here.

Oregon. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) recently issued temporary rules for recreational marijuana that allow Oregon marijuana retailers to deliver marijuana to a residence, but not to “commercial businesses” such as dorms and hotels. Before a retailer begins offering delivery services, it must obtain written permission from the OLCC.

Retailers may only deliver cannabis to an individual who has made a “bona fide order” for it. These orders must include the individual requestor’s name, date of birth, date of delivery, address, amount of marijuana purchased, and a statement that the marijuana is for personal use and not for resale. The delivery person must verify that the individual receiving the delivery is at least 21 years old and is the person who placed the bona fide order. A bona fide cannabis order may be done online.

Retailers are allowed to deliver only between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. The recipient of the cannabis must sign a document stating that he or she received the cannabis. The delivery person may not deliver marijuana if the recipient is visibly intoxicated at the time of delivery. Only one order per day may be delivered to a single physical address. Marijuana for delivery must be in a container with a label that says: “Contains marijuana: Signature of person 21 years of age or older required for delivery.”

Retailers are not allowed to carry or transport more than “a total of $100 in retail value worth of marijuana items designated for retail delivery.” The retailer may not make unnecessary stops during the cannabis delivery nor deviate substantially from the route created in the retailer’s manifest for that delivery. Retailers must keep a record of every marijuana delivery for at least a year. Deliveries may only be made in the city or unincorporated county where the retailer is licensed. Marijuana cannot be delivered to a residence located on privately owned land.

For more on Oregon cannabis laws, go here.

Hawaii. Hawaii recently overhauled its medical marijuana program but those changes do not allow for delivery of medical marijuana to patients. House Bill 321 states that a “dispensary shall be prohibited from off-premises delivery of marijuana or manufactured marijuana products to qualifying patients or to primary caregivers of qualifying patients.”

For more on Hawaii cannabis laws, go here.

The Bottom Line. Marijuana delivery rules vary greatly by state and by localities within the states. In those states that allow for commercial deliveries of cannabis (Alaska, California, and Oregon) the rules are new, complicated, and uncertain. Be careful out there.


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