- BMMR proposes allowing provisioning centers to hire deliver drivers.
- Each dispensary would be allowed to hire one driver, who could deliver for three customers at a time
- The board is reviewing this proposition at the September 17 meeting
The medical marijuana industry in Michigan has faced one large problem since the MMFLA began over a year ago: not enough provisioning centers. Michigan has a robust patient base, with over 290,000 card holders to date. Despite this massive number of patients, only ⅔ of them are within 30 miles of a provisioning center, giving nearly 100,000 people a significant commute just to access their medication (per Andrew Brisbo, BMMR director).
For many, an over 30 mile commute just isn’t in the cards, as patients can be suffering from an incredibly wide range of conditions. It seems the BMMR finally understands this major issue, and proposed a home delivery policy to be discussed at the September 17 public hearing.
When asked about the issue of home delivery, BMMR spokesman Andrew Brisbo said, “This isn’t a brand new issue. We heard about it even during the promulgation of the emergency rules.”
What Would Home Delivery Look Like?
Previously, home delivery was only possible for patients with a caregiver relationship, which presented strong barriers to many who had trouble accessing their much needed medication.
Under the license of a provisioning center, delivery drivers would be allowed to transport medication to 3 patients at a time. The BMMR based their proposed delivery plans off of California and Oregon’s, using a similar weekly and monthly delivery cap seen out west. The numbers associated with this cap are not yet clear.
Provisioning centers would be required by law to keep all deliveries on record and upload it to the state’s monitoring system, just as if they were selling from their brick and mortar location. The information uploaded to the system would include product delivered, delivery destination, departure times, and delivery times. Patients would be able to order and pay online, and order even if the municipality in which they reside opted out of the MMFLA.
Furthermore, drivers would not be able to leave their vehicle while any product is in the car. This protects each specific provisioning center’s interests and product form theft. Drivers also must have GPS on their cars so the provisioning center is able to track each delivery.
One Issue with the Proposed Plans
While the possible implementation of a delivery policy may help provisioning centers expand their reach,one issue remains; each dispensary would only be allowed to employ a single delivery driver. There is also no limit on how many miles a trip could be, which would pose serious problems with a one driver system. A single driver could easily handle a small market, but in very large markets (metro Detroit comes to mind because of the relatively small number of provisioning centers) there just wouldn’t be enough time each day for one person to cover an entire market.
Overall, this possibility proves to be an excellent step in the right direction to cover patient needs. As the Michigan medical marijuana industry continues to mature, the policies will only become better