The crackdown on medical marijuana collectives in California, which started last year, continues to impact the ability of collectives throughout the state to keep their doors open for their patients.
In San Diego and Imperial counties, over 200 collectives have been forced to close their doors in the past 4 months due to growing pressures from the federal government and US Attorney Laura Duffy.
At least 50 of the collectives that have shut their doors in San Diego have changed to delivery services, forgoing the storefront and operating by delivering patients’ medicine to their doors.
Federal prosecutors have yet to comment on enforcement of delivery services in California. So far, no cases have been brought against delivery services to the City Attorney’s Office.
While delivery services do offer a solution to the forced closure of brick and mortar collectives, it is not necessarily a simple solution for business owners. Delivery service owners face increased costs due to gas prices and staffing. They also are putting their safety at a greater risk, due to the fact that they could be carrying large amounts of both money and marijuana.
There are also problems for the patients. Many MMJ advocates have argued that the move to delivery services has led to less accessible and more expensive medicine for patients.
That’s not to say that their aren’t benefits to delivery services, though. The ability to reach patients who are too ill to visit a storefront increases with a delivery service. Also, without storefronts there are likely to be less complaints from neighbors in the surrounding areas.