With legal, adult-use cannabis expanding across the U.S., delivery services are reshaping the market — but rules aren’t the same everywhere. To better understand the ins and outs of the diverse delivery landscape, we’re sharing stories from women across California who have experienced the highs and quirks of on-demand weed. Tune in to get a better understanding of this ever-evolving industry, and how it’s changing the way we access our favorite products, one doorstep at a time.
Ellen Scanlon (00:00):
This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.
Maggie Connors (00:05):
One time, I was golfing, so it was incredible to go from growing up on the East Coast, loving weeds since high school, but it being pretty inaccessible for me to ordering online and having it delivered was really mind-blowing and a privilege and certainly the beginning of my passion for the legal cannabis industry.
Ellen Scanlon (00:32):
Welcome to How To Do The Pot, a podcast helping you feel confident about cannabis. I’m your host, Ellen Scanlon. You just heard from Maggie Connors, the California-based VP of marketing at women-owned cannabis brand, Garden Society. Can you think for a second about a day when time has completely gotten away from you? Before you know it’s dark outside and not only have you run out of time to go to the grocery store, you’re also starving. Those are the days when I’m very grateful for food delivery. I can order groceries or dinner and have what I need when I’m short on time. In more and more states, that same logic can be applied when you’ve run out of your favorite pre-roll cannabis infused drink or that yummy edible that helps you get a great night’s sleep. Whether you love delivery for its convenience or you just prefer to shop from the comfort of your home, cannabis delivery is popping up in more and more states.
If you’re ready to try it but still wondering how it really works, I’m here to help so you know what to expect and you don’t miss out on a time saving way to buy weed in the legal market. To be very transparent with you, the process of researching this episode was not very straightforward. Weed delivery is complicated. Every state, often the individual cities and towns within that state can all have different rules and regulations. The team at How To Do The Pot, special thanks to our producer, Madi Fair, scoured websites, checked out regulations and dug into local laws to uncover the intricacies of delivery across the U.S.
Part of the challenge of finding accurate information is because the cannabis industry is so new. It’s still in its early stages. There’s no map for this, and we’re all learning as we go. Each new state that legalizes looks to the states that have come before for guidance. In many cases, the wise path forward is not doing what has been done so far. There isn’t a gold standard yet for a smooth road to legalization. Delivery is sometimes considered a legal workaround for counties and cities that have otherwise voted not to allow dispensaries. If you’re interested in policy, the topic of weed delivery will get you very curious and if you just want your weed to arrive by 8:00 PM so you can go out, we’ve got you covered too. And remember, for better or worse, it’s all changing very quickly.
In this episode, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the ins and outs of the delivery landscape. Our guests today are women across California whose experiences show just how varied delivery can be, even in a state with a pretty mature legal market. Before we get into this week’s episode, I want to thank the people who’ve been asking how they can support the show. Please tell all your friends. Clicking the share button on one of our episodes and sending it to a friend is a great way to help us grow. Another thing you can do is sign up for How To Do The Pot’s newsletter. It’s a twice a month resource that helps you feel confident about cannabis for health, wellbeing, and for fun. We have thousands of subscribers reading and replying with comments and tips and the more the merrier. We couldn’t do this without you. Please go to dothepot.com to sign up. Thank you, and I really appreciate your support for the show.
First things first, every state in the U.S. has different rules about cannabis and not all states with legal cannabis allow delivery. As of September 2023, there are 14 adult use states that allow delivery. That means a state where anyone over 21 can buy weed. These states are California, Colorado, Arizona, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. I’ll add all the states to the show notes so you can reference it. There are some quirky details to know about depending on where you live. For example, if you’re in Oregon, you can only get delivery between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM If you’re in California, make sure your home, when the package arrives, you need to present your license for the delivery driver to scan and no one else can accept the package for you. If you’re hoping to have we delivered while you’re on vacation in a legal state, some states don’t allow delivery to public places like hotels.
Delivery is also allowed in 10 states where medical cannabis is legal. They are Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Minnesota, Montana, West Virginia, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Utah. Wherever you are, you definitely have to have a valid ID that shows you’re over 21. How you show it to the delivery person or add it to the website you’re ordering from can differ by state and by the company that you’re buying from.
A few tips about payment, which is something to check before you finalize your order. Can you only pay with cash? Do they accept checks or are debit cards allowed? There can be delivery fees and you will be charged for state and local taxes. It is technically not legal to buy weed with a credit card because of restrictions around banking that are all tied to cannabis still being federally illegal. Some places may have found a gray area, but maybe ask a few questions about how they’re processing the payment and for now, consider sticking with cash.
Now that you know more about cannabis delivery, I hope you feel more confident when you’re ready to try, and I know it always helps to hear from other women who have been there. Laurel Pantin is a California-based stylist, editor and writer of two very popular newsletters, Earl Earl and Your Mom. Laurel shares how she was surprised by a very fast delivery when she was out with her family.
Laurel Pantin (07:51):
I was ordering from a delivery service after we had moved to LA. My other experiences with delivery services is it could take 20 minutes, it could take four hours, but it usually took closer to four hours. So I was out to dinner with my kids and I placed this order online, going to obviously indulge after they go to bed, and all of a sudden we had just put our food order in and it’s like, “Your guy is on the way to you.” And so I was like, “Oh my God.” I was like, get everything to go and rush home. And my kids were like, “Why are we leaving like this?” And I was like, “Mommy has an important delivery.” I was driving home as fast as I could to meet this guy because I didn’t want to leave him hanging and not pay for it or whatever. My worst fear in a situation like that is that they’re going to come all the way to my house and I won’t be there.
Ellen Scanlon (08:42):
Delivery can be really convenient and as Laurel found out, having a backup plan is a good idea too.
Laurel Pantin (08:50):
I live in West LA in Brentwood and there’s a dispensary now very close to my house and it’s on my regular. I do this like a power walk. It’s on my power walking path. So sometimes I’ll pop in on my way home.
Ellen Scanlon (09:04):
Even as it’s so convenient to have someone come right to your door, I have to confess that timing is one of the things that can deter me from delivery. Sometimes I don’t know my schedule and feel a little constrained by three hour windows. I also live two blocks away from a dispensary. Thank you, North Beach Pipeline. And the great news for consumers is that with more safe legal access comes more choice. Maggie Connors, who you heard from at the beginning of the episode was on her way to the dispensary when she ran into some issues. A delivery service called Eaze saved the day for her.
Maggie Connors (09:46):
So I moved to California from New York in 2014, and so pretty quickly I caught on to the cannabis medical industry and this of course was in the last few years of the medical market and it was quite mature and heard from a friend about how simple it is to get a medical card. A friend and I did that and we were roommates and we scheduled our appointments with the doctor online, back to back. And it was funny because he used sort of the same jokes, but we could hear each other’s medical appointment. I always zoom out of this industry and think like, “What a moment I’m living,” and made me think of alcohol prohibition and doctor’s notes to consume, and here I was getting my weed card.
Anyways, they emailed something, maybe it was the state letter and my friend and I rushed. We were in Palo Alto in business school at Stanford, and we drove to the nearest dispensary an hour away in traffic, which was San Jose, and we showed up and they were like, “You can’t come in. You need the actual letter sealed from the state.” And so we drove the hour home, sort of deflated, but you can tell we were very eager. And so my first order ended up being over Eaze. And throughout the years I had Eaze delivered on campus once I left class to pick up the order. One time I was golfing, so it was incredible. I mean, to go from growing up on the East Coast, loving weed since high school, but it being pretty inaccessible for me to ordering online and having it delivered was really mind-blowing and a privilege and certainly the beginning of my passion for the legal cannabis industry.
Ellen Scanlon (11:48):
With so many states offering delivery services and people getting very used to the convenience. I’m excited to see how this part of the industry evolves. These stories are a great example of how in the same state operating under the same state law, you can have an experience like Laurel’s racing home with her kids and then Maggie hanging out with friends and getting her weed delivered to the golf course and everything in between. Imelda Walavalkar, the CEO of cannabis brand, Pure Beauty helps to remind us all that the legal markets have come a long way, even with the occasional delivery snafu.
Imelda Walavalkar (12:30):
I’ve been buying weed on the illicit and license market for a very long time. So I think it was around 2013 or 2014-ish. It was in San Diego. At that time, it was pre adult use, so you had to get a medical prescription. So I went to this office park in this random strip mall and the doctor was online, and I think I told him I had insomnia and anxiety, which are both true. He approved me and I got an ID, but at that time in San Diego, they closed all the retail stores so you could only get delivery, which I thought was really weird and I think it’s probably because San Diego tends to be very conservative around cannabis policies. I think they were looking to more, not protecting the cannabis consumer, but more so neighborhoods and areas that just didn’t want dispensaries in their areas.
The way it worked, and I did this a lot of times in New York City as well, is you meet this delivery guy in their car, which looking back, I can’t remember if it even crossed my mind that that might be a sketchy thing to do because you just get in. Sometimes they even drive around the block. And so he just had a bag of stuff which was very different from the retail and delivery experience that you see today, especially in the more sophisticated markets. So I got my, I think it was just some flour and some edibles, and then I think I smoked out of his vape pen after I made my purchase. Super casual. What was interesting about that time in the medical market, which also applies to the illicit market today, is the lack of testing compared to how rigorously we test things now for pesticides and heavy metals and mold and stuff like that.
And it’s crazy because I’m very hardcore about what I put in my body. I go to the farmer’s market every week and pay attention to how things are grown, and that’s a philosophy we apply to our own brand. But I wasn’t even thinking at that time about how my weed was grown. I don’t think a lot of people were, and I think that’s changing a little bit now, but I think at that time you were just so grateful to be getting it that you didn’t really question anything. Looking back, I’m like, “What was I doing or thinking?” I’m like, “He seems nice.”
Ellen Scanlon (14:36):
As Imelda points out, the growth of the delivery landscape isn’t the only thing shifting in cannabis. So if you feel a little frustrated or annoyed because delivery isn’t coming as quickly as you might like, take a breath. In adult use markets, we are very lucky to have safe, regulated, tested, and consistently dosed products. There are still many states relying on the illicit market. Innovations like safe legal delivery are a direct result of legislation. It matters where your local lawmakers stand on cannabis and can really affect access. As we gear up for election seasons, please make sure you’re registered and get out and vote.
My goal with sharing these stories is to take this scariness out of doing something that was illegal for a long time and to help you feel supported, less alone, and a little lighthearted when you decide to go shopping for cannabis, I really want you to have fun and I’d love to hear your story about weed delivery in the state where you live. Please send us a voice note to firstname.lastname@example.org or DM at Do the Pot.
Thank you for listening to How To Do The Pot. For lots more information and past episodes, visit dothepot.com. Are you one of the thousands of people who love How To Do The Pot’s newsletter? If you’re not getting it, please sign up at dothepot.com. And if you like How To Do The Pot, please rate and review us on Apple Podcast. It really helps people find the show. Thanks to our writer, Devin Andrade, and our producers Madi Fair and Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon and we’ll be back soon with more of How To Do The Pot.