There have been people delivering cannabis since long before medical marijuana was first legalized – however, it has slowly transitioned from being an extremely illegal activity, to a legal grey area in a number of states. Now, Portland City Council has created a new classification of business license they are calling a “marijuana courier” – basically a cannabis delivery service. This is the first time in the recreational market that this type of business has been established, ensuring that business owners and employees are operating within the law.
Businesses that want to deliver cannabis to adults – or patients – in Portland, Oregon will need to apply for a retail license from the state and then for a “courier” license within the city. They will not be allowed to have a physical storefront where customers can come and shop – however they will be able to produce their own cannabis and products and set up a headquarters, which can be located near existing dispensaries (even though dispensaries must remain a minimum of 1,000 feet apart).
“Since the state regulations keep changing and the industry keep flourishing, we’ll be coming back with multiple changes I’m sure,” Commissioner Amanda Fritz said. “I look forward to that time.”
The license classification created appears to be the first of its kind – businesses in California, like Speed Weed and Eaze, don’t have a specific license allowing them to make deliveries. In some states with medical marijuana programs, delivery is often authorized through legislature, specifically for patients who cannot physically get to a dispensary to obtain their medicine. But, this has not been a very common practice and has not really been brought up when considering the recreational markets growing in Oregon, Colorado and the now six other states.
For most cannabis businesses, having a business license is the biggest accomplishment before actual sales – after all, just five years ago there was no such thing as a “retail marijuana dispensary”, or any kind of delivery service for that matter. This is one of multiple “micro” business licenses that Portland has decided to create for the recreational cannabis industry – and while it may seem like a lot of technicalities to some, it is really a great way to ensure that many small businesses continue to be able to operate legally – without any question about whether or not their business is legitimate.