Push a button, get some legal pot.
This could soon be a reality in Seattle if a new bill makes its way through the state legislature.
Mayor Ed Murray and City Attorney Pete Holmes voiced their support for legal marijuana delivery services in Seattle, penning a statement on Tuesday that described a pilot program which would let five recreational shops offer a way for customers to order weed without leaving their home or office.
When the state of Washington passed its recreational marijuana laws in 2012, there were no regulations established for a delivery framework. But with existing illegal pot delivery services still operating in the Seattle region and not paying tax, officials say that they are “undercutting Washington state’s voter-approved legal marijuana market.”
“We must address illegal delivery services that are undermining I-502 and allow responsible businesses to offer delivery service in Seattle,” Murray said in a statement. “The proposed pilot delivery program, along with increased enforcement of existing marijuana laws, will better protect customers, patients and business owners, while strengthening the legal marijuana industry.”
The effects of the mayor’s opinion are already being felt, with local media outlets like The Stranger saying that they will no longer let unlicensed marijuana delivery services advertise in their newspaper.
The Stranger strongly believes in legalization & a thriving retail market. We will be discontinuing unlicensed delivery service ads in Feb.
— Tim Keck (@timothykeck) January 19, 2016
House Bill 2368 would limit marijuana delivery to private residences and to Washington state residents over the age of 21. Recreational pot shop employees would also be required to undergo training on proper verification of IDs.
This is good news for folks like Josiah Tullis, the University of Washington junior who launched a weed delivery startup called Canary in 2014 that billed itself as the “Uber for pot.”
Canary initially worked with medical marijuana dispensaries around Seattle, but new laws approved last year effectively prohibited the delivery of medical marijuana in Washington, forcing Canary to shut down in April 2015.
But now, Tullis told GeekWire that he’s ready to partner with the five recreational dispensaries in Seattle that will be able to deliver pot if the bill makes its way through Olympia.
“We have been maintaining our technology and intend to service legal delivery outfits as soon as they can launch, either here in Washington or in Oregon where recreational delivery has already been codified,” Tullis said. “Servicing online orders and on-demand delivery is a huge logistical challenge for these players and our software makes it easy for recreational shops to enable both overnight.”
Washington would be the first state to roll out a recreational marijuana delivery framework. Other states like California allow medical marijuana delivery, which has enabled companies like Meadow to build an app that lets patients order pot and have it delivered in under an hour.