Sherry Choat, 65, says she is generally very outgoing. Still, she loves the option of having cannabis delivered to her home in Northeast Portland.
“There are days when my supply is low, and I think, ‘I just can’t make that drive,’” Choat says, laughing. “That’s how I discovered they deliver. It’s so nice to have that option.”
Choat receives her recreational marijuana deliveries on days she does not feel like visiting her favorite cannabis retailer, La Cannaisseur in Linnton. La Cannaisseur, one of the first retailers licensed for delivery in Portland, is joined by more than 150 other cannabis shops in Oregon seeking approval from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to deliver recreational marijuana to customers.
Aleeya Kim, La Cannaisseur’s owner, launched delivery services in February. So far, so good, she says. She describes the shop as a “destination dispensary,” on the outskirts of Portland, close to Sauvie Island. But except for summer, which Kim says is the core of her business, she doesn’t get a lot of customer traffic.
“We have this really funky, prohibition-era shop with a lot of ambience, so people do like to come here and spend some time,” she says, adding she has worked hard to build community, serving as vice chair of the local neighborhood association and taking advantage of other civic engagement opportunities. “But still, delivery enables the entire city to discover us.”
La Cannaisseur will deliver anywhere within the city of Portland, charging a 50-cent per mile delivery fee and a $50 minimum order.
“On a busy day, we’re doing about three deliveries,” she says. “It’s not an overwhelming number of deliveries yet. It’s threading in the pockets that we’re in. We don’t really do big advertising, so our business is growing by word of mouth and just keeps picking up.”
She envisions someday purchasing a fleet of cars for delivery purposes.
Rules are clear
The OLCC requires marijuana delivery customers to be at least 21 years or old. Customers must sign for deliveries, which can only be made between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
The cannabis must be transported in a locked box and secured to the delivery vehicle, which can carry no more than $3,000 worth of product at a time. Retailers can't deliver product to places like motels, campgrounds or dorms, just residential homes.
Kim says she hopes state and local regulators reconsider the rule that does not allow them to deliver to hotels, particularly since lawmakers have said they intend to lure cannabis tourists to Oregon. In addition to tourists, there are some customers who are immobile or otherwise unable to leave their homes easily, as well as those who merely prefer the convenience of delivery.
“We knew there was a lot of interest in delivery services. But before we could launch, we had to alter the cannabis tracking system to allow for the delivery of recreational marijuana to homes,” says Mark Pettinger, and OLCC spokesperson. “Now it’s just part of the system.
And so far, Pettinger says the system seems to be working pretty well.
Catering to specific tastes
Adrian Wayman, co-founder of Green Box, is still awaiting his permit to begin his gourmet, subscription-based delivery services. Unlike Kim, his service is akin to organic food delivery, where members can create a profile, take a survey and select their favorite flavors and strains for delivery each quarter, monthly or even every other month. Already he has 250 customers signed up.
People in Oregon appear eager for cannabis delivery services, and maybe for it to expand to alcohol eventually.
“That would be so great,” Choat says. “I don’t really do pizza delivery anymore because I’m trying to be healthy. I’m not so sure I’d take advantage of alcohol delivery, either. But it seems to me that delivery services like this would help keep people off the streets, in their homes and safe.”