The United States’ views on marijuana are evolving rapidly.
Americans are softening their opinions abouts cannabis, and what was once considered an evil “gateway” drug is now being reconsidered.
CBD oils and tinctures are popping up in convenience stores, and more and more doctors are looking to cannabis for its possible medicinal uses.
As perceptions change, so have laws across the country.
Marijuana has been decriminalized in some states, with others pushing toward full legalization.
In some states, these changing laws have even resulted in the legalization of marijuana delivery services — where cannabis is meeting the convenience of on-demand delivery.
In this article, we’ll dive into the world of marijuana and home delivery.
We’ll give a brief rundown of the legalization movement, and talk about what it takes to work in marijuana delivery.
We’ll then look at the risks and do a state-by-state breakdown of laws regarding the delivery of marijuana.
- The Legalization Movement
- Working in Marijuana Delivery
- Understanding Risks
- A Guide to State Laws
- The Future of Marijuana Delivery
The Legalization Movement
Ideas about cannabis are changing and quickly.
What was once viewed as a drug that would lead to more serious substance abuse issues is being recast.
Especially in light of an opioid epidemic that has ripped its way across the United States, many people are looking at cannabis as a more natural way to deal with pain.
That being said, these things take time.
Cannabis is still illegal in a lot of states.
Others have passed laws decriminalizing it — basically saying that police won’t prosecute — without outright legalizing it.
Almost all states still have strict laws about the amount an individual can possess.
These laws are still being decided on the state level, meaning to understand cannabis legalization in this country you need to understand different laws in all 50 states.
Medical Marijuana vs. Recreational Marijuana
To understand the laws around cannabis, it’s vitally important to understand the distinction between medical cannabis and recreational cannabis.
Many more states have legalized the use of marijuana when prescribed by a doctor.
In most of these states, users need to obtain a medical marijuana card, which serves as proof to law enforcement (or anyone else wondering) that you have a valid, doctor-prescribed reason to possess medical cannabis.
In states where recreational marijuana is legal, anyone of a certain age — medically prescribed or not — can purchase cannabis.
But in some states, you’ll get a mix of both sets of laws, especially when it comes to delivery.
Massachusetts, for example, allows medical marijuana delivery from a licensed medical marijuana dispensary, but recreational marijuana products require the customer to pick up directly from a licensed store.
(There’s actually a loophole that some people are exploiting, but we’ll get to that shortly.)
Working in Marijuana Delivery
As the cannabis legalization movement gains steam, it’s not surprising that tech companies are trying to get involved, and provide on-demand delivery service for cannabis through calls, online ordering, and even apps.
(Read all about Eaze, a cannabis delivery app.)
As these companies launch and dispensaries work to provide excellent service, there will be a growing demand for couriers to work in cannabis delivery.
But just because it appears this is happening, doesn’t make any of this legal.
Working for a cannabis delivery service means different things in different states.
In some states, such as Nevada, you will need to be a registered employee for a licensed marijuana dispensary company to work as a delivery driver.
In others, such as California, anyone can deliver cannabis as long as they are over 21 years of age.
Before you go into marijuana delivery, understand your local laws.
The cannabis industry is rapidly evolving, and because of that, there is a lot of confusion and misinformation floating around about marijuana, its legality, and especially whether or not it’s legal to deliver.
Even the state-by-state guide below should only be a starting point.
Remember: Local laws may differ from state laws.
As different towns and counties pass different ordinances, it can result in a tricky web of laws, codes, and regulations that can be difficult for law enforcement officials to figure out — let alone normal people.
Also remember that just because an initial bill passed the state senate does not mean that the law has gone into effect in your town.
Likewise, some states classify cannabis products in different ways.
A small-dose marijuana gummy would be considered legal in California, for example, but would be classified as a “controlled substance” in Texas.
Ordering marijuana for delivery or becoming a marijuana delivery driver is a situation where you need to understand your local laws before you dive in.
A Guide to State Laws
Below is a brief, state-by-state guide to laws regarding cannabis delivery.
This section is broken up into three sections, looking at states where you can get recreational cannabis delivered, states where delivery is limited to people who order cannabis for medical use, and states where laws ban the delivery of cannabis in any instance.
States Where You Can Get Recreational Cannabis Delivered
Below are states where recreational cannabis can be delivered.
We’ve expounded a bit as the laws in each state are quite different, and it’s helpful to understand how the laws work in each place.
Marijuana delivery is legal in the state of California.
While some areas don’t allow you to sell it, state laws permit cannabis to be delivered anywhere within state lines.
However, you must be 21 years old to purchase it, and you can only possess up to an ounce — including drivers, unless licensed by the state — at a time.
Customers must also prove their identity when the cannabis is delivered.
Nevada dispensaries are allowed to deliver to individual homes, as long as the delivery person works directly for the dispensary.
So if you want to be a third-party delivery driver in Nevada, no can do.
Customers can only order up to an ounce.
Oregon dispensaries can deliver cannabis to people 21 years and older, and those people have to be in the same city as the retailer.
Deliveries must be made to individual homes, and the law specifically bans deliveries to “transient dwellings,” like a hotel.
You can only get delivery from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Medical Marijuana States
The following states allow medical marijuana patients, and only medical marijuana patients, to have cannabis delivered to their door:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- Washington D.C.**
In all of these states, the recipient must be registered with the state as a medical cannabis patient, and the delivery must come from a state-licensed vendor.
Some states require special packaging for cannabis delivery, while others insist that drivers be registered with the state — even if they’re driving for a state-licensed vendor.
You might have noted the asterisks above.
Let’s dive into why we’ve marked Colorado, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C.
Cannabis users from Denver to Aurora were delighted that a recent vote approved the delivery of recreational cannabis within the state, just a year after a similar vote was turned down.
The bill is still waiting on the signature of Governor Jared Polis, but if he signs, it will go into effect in 2020.
So Colorado may soon allow more than just medical marijuana delivery, but it doesn’t yet.
Massachusetts does not allow the legal delivery of recreational marijuana.
Medical patients, yes, but for recreational pot shops, which just became legal in the state, it is not legal to deliver.
That being said: It is legal to “gift” marijuana in the state of Massachusetts.
Some people have taken to ordering a t-shirt or piece of art to be delivered, and then get a “gift” of cannabis with it.
This is very clearly exploiting a loophole, and we wouldn’t recommend trying it.
Like Massachusetts, you cannot technically get cannabis delivered to your door, but you can be “gifted” cannabis.
Some places have used this loophole to offer delivery of other items with the promise of a “gift” that comes with it.
Again, we urge you to exercise caution in this case.
States Where Delivery Is Illegal (or Laws Are Unclear)
The following states do not expressly allow the delivery of cannabis in any instance, even for those registered as medical cannabis patients.
The Future of Marijuana Delivery
With a big movement toward the legalization of cannabis, and more and more consumers expecting on-demand delivery of their favorite products, it seems inevitable that we’ll soon live in a world where you can have cannabis delivered to your door.
That day isn’t here yet, at least not in most states.
Before looking for jobs in this field, or trying to order cannabis delivered to your door, read the above and check to see what the laws are in your state.
Then double check with friends or law enforcement regarding any local ordinances.
Understanding these laws will keep you protected.
Unsure if this is the world for you?
There are plenty of other delivery jobs out there right now.