MUCH HAS BEEN made in recent weeks about a proposal pending before the Cannabis Control Commission that would allow the home delivery of marijuana in Massachusetts. If you feel hesitant about the concept, you are not alone. Among the 54 percent of voters who voted in favor of legalization in 2016, there’s a subset who could imagine stores in our state but are nervous about marijuana arriving at one’s doorstep. Maybe there are concerns about whether it can be done safely. Maybe it’s the fear of diversion to children. Maybe it’s good old-fashioned NIMBY-ism: a store operating in another town is different than a delivery van arriving next door. For those who voted against legalization but have developed a begrudging acceptance as stores continue to open, delivery may seem too much, too fast.
I believe there is a place for home delivery in our regulated system if it includes guardrails that enable the cannabis commission to treat it as an extension of storefront retail. That includes identification checks when a customer makes an order and when a delivery is made to prevent underage sales. Another is the use of body cameras by delivery employees to deter robberies and provide evidence when they do occur, as has happened in California and Nevada. The risk of crime must factor into any safely regulated system that functions well, not just for those who receive the delivery, but also for the public at large. Of course, privacy is important, and it is reasonable to limit the purposes for which collected video may be used.
So, if conflicting concerns exist, why allow delivery now? The reality is you can receive marijuana directly to your front door in Massachusetts today. Six registered medical marijuana dispensaries have provided delivery services to certified medical marijuana