By Joseph Ditzler

The Bulletin

A June change in state regulations will make home-delivery service more feasible for recreational marijuana businesses.

The limit on the value of marijuana products that a deliveryperson may carry increased in June from $100 to $3,000, said Mark Pettinger, spokesman for the Recreational Marijuana Program of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. State regulations will allow licensed, recreational marijuana retailers to deliver products to residential addresses only, not business addresses such as hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfast inns or public property such as parks and campgrounds. Like any topic in marijuana regulation, that may change.

“Is that to say there might not be some accommodation legally or by administrative rule?” he said. “That might happen, but for now, particularly with delivery of cannabis products, (the regulation) is pretty straightforward.”

Currently, medical marijuana dispensaries may not make home deliveries. The OLCC expects to issue retail licenses before the year is out, and most medical marijuana dispensaries are expected to switch to retail sales.

Nick Harsell, owner of High Grade Organics, a Bend dispensary on Davis Avenue, said he expects his shop will be making home deliveries next summer. With more marijuana products allowed in the vehicle, a delivery driver may make more deliveries per outing, reducing overall costs.

Harsell has no detailed plans but foresees a service built around software that takes orders and tracks deliveries to the consumers’ doors, he said. He expects competition among Bend marijuana retailers to heat up around delivery service.

“If everyone has a delivery service, how do you discriminate between delivery services?” Harsell said.

Lizette Coppinger, co-owner of Cannabend on NE Third Street, one of 17 dispensaries in Bend, said she expects home deliveries will benefit medical marijuana patients, particularly.

“We started out as a medical facility, and we still do think of our patients,” Coppinger said. “Many are not able to leave their homes … or their caregivers can’t step out.”

Retail sales of limited amounts of recreational marijuana are permitted at medical marijuana dispensaries under an Oregon Health Authority program that expires Dec. 31. Dispensaries that have already applied for OLCC recreational licenses may submit a delivery plan, Pettinger said. New applicants should include that plan in their paperwork.

According to the regulations, each delivery must be documented. Marijuana products carried for delivery must be locked up in a box securely affixed to the delivery motor vehicle. Deliveries may be made only between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., and customers must show identification when the delivery arrives.

Harsell said he would employ software of the kind created by Baker, a Denver-based firm that built an “order-ahead platform” for marijuana consumers. Eventually, he foresees a subscription model that sends consumers a prepaid, monthly package, like wine-of-the-month clubs.

“I see it as opening a door for people that don’t feel comfortable going into a dispensary,” Harsell said, “or wanting (delivery) strictly for the convenience of it, but also being private about it.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7815,

jditzler@bendbulletin.com

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