Marijuana Delivery: Addressing Concerns and Public Policy Issues
© Dreamstime.com

Policy Brief

Marijuana Delivery: Addressing Concerns and Public Policy Issues

There is little reason to suggest that any of the social and economic costs potentially associated with legalization are exacerbated to any extent by allowing delivery services.

Despite the growing retail legality of marijuana, states and counties are outlawing delivery. This stems from several concerns such as certifying the age of the buyer, impaired driving and accidents, violent robbery of delivery vehicles, local variation in regulations, and illegal imposters in the market. There are obvious desirables of marijuana delivery as well such as preventing impaired persons from driving to get more product, helping mobility-debilitated medical patients, and allowing persons who live in cities that ban dispensaries to still have access to a legal product in the state. Delivery of marijuana is currently legal in some California counties, Oregon, Nevada, and Canada. This paper briefly reviews the regulatory history of alcohol delivery and how it relates to marijuana, reviews research on the issues described above, and provides public policy discussion for each issue.

In many ways delivery is an extension of legalization itself—it simply makes marijuana more accessible. However, there is little reason to suggest that any of the social and economic costs potentially associated with legalization are exacerbated to any extent by allowing delivery services. There is scant evidence that marijuana delivery will increase teen use, increase violent crime, or put more impaired drivers on the road. States will have to find a way to deal with patchwork law-making, such as improved coordination with providers or state supremacy on the issue. Imposter syndrome is only a problem to the extent that retail prices remain higher than black market prices due to taxes and regulations. Overall, delivery will increase access for both medical and recreational patients, and help to eliminate the black market without dragging along the falsely associated social costs.

Full Brief: Marijuana Delivery — Addressing Concerns and Public Policy Issues

Spence Purnell is a policy analyst at the Reason Foundation, where he works on pension reform, Florida policy issues and economic development.