Illustration by James the Stanton

The Many Benefits of Illegal Weed Delivery

For the second year in a row, efforts to bring cannabis to your door, legally, failed. Maybe that’s a good thing.

A massive omnibus cannabis bill just landed on Governor Jay Inslee’s desk. It covers some pretty cool stuff, like being able to share your weed (which may finally open the “smoking lounge” conversation) allowing medical users under 21 to enter medical dispensaries, and allowing medical patients to buy seeds and starter plants directly from growers. What it does not include is the legalization of weed-delivery services, despite the City of Seattle’s efforts to push such legislation through Olympia for the second year in a row.

Though cannabis-delivery services are totally illegal, a not-so-secret cottage industries has sprung up in Seattle in the wake of I-502. A quick Yelp! check on “Best Marijuana Delivery in Seattle” brings up scores of listings, revealing that locals have been more than happy to openly advertise delivery services. Even though the city has prosecuted several of these illegal operations, at least 14 persist, according to the city’s Finance and Admiinistrative Services office. There is a reason for that.

The benefits of weed delivery are many. Keeping stoned people from getting behind the wheel of a car is the most obvious. There is also the privacy factor, as well as convenience, but for medical patients who are homebound, delivery services are a genuine lifeline. Just ask “Tyrone,” a homebound vet who lost one leg to the Vietnam War and the other to diabetes brought on by alcoholism he suffered after coming home. He regrets not turning to cannabis to cope with his PTSD back in the 1970s. Now he medicates with a variety of concentrates and edibles to cope with stress, depression, and insomnia. That he can anonymously place an order and receive a dosage “without having to deal with the world” makes cannabis delivery an easy decision for him. “My guy knows me,” he says with a chuckle. “Sometimes I just say hello and he answers with ‘One Tyrone special, comin’ up!’ ”

That is not to say that legalized delivery would automatically be welcome by all. As is the case with all marijuana legislation, the devil is in the detail. For instance, the unsuccessful Senate Bill 1712 that was being pushed by the city attorney’s office earlier this year proposed that delivery services must be attached to already established stores or dispensaries.

The few delivery couriers who would talk to me on the record eschewed the idea of aligning with stores or dispensaries. In fact, most of the delivery services I spoke with would prefer that, if they were going to have to work under someone, it be producers, not retail outlets. That way they could have consistent menus for their customers, as well as being able to hand-pick specialty strains for their medical clients.

As has been the case throughout this era of legal weed, legalizing weed delivery, if done poorly, could force an aspect of cannabis culture that has grown organically–albeit illegally–into the one-size-fits-all mold of state law. Surely there’s a way to create a body of regulations making delivery safe and consistent for both courier and customer without punishing entrepreneurs who have been filling a gap for some of Seattle’s most marginalized marijuana consumers. Maybe next year a better bill will make it to and through the legislature.

stashbox@seattleweekly.com

CORRECTION A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that legal marijuana delivery was included in the omnibus bill. That is not true.

More in Eat Drink Toke

Photo by Conner Knotis 
                                Jerk Shack’s jerk chicken.
Bring on the Jerk

Finally, the Caribbean stakes a spot in Seattle thanks to Jerk Shack.

Dennis Peron. Illustration by James the Stanton
The Cannabis Community Mourns Activist Dennis Peron

The grandfather of medicinal marijuana was 72.

Touch Down in Kerala, India via Kirkland

It’s 30 minutes east of Seattle, but Kathakali boasts some of the best Indian food in the area.

Working Nine to High

Can you keep your day job and your cannabis?

Patrons get their pong on at Spin. Photo courtesy of Spin and Victoria Kovios
Spin Gives Ping Pong Hustlers a Home

Slicing up the obsessively slick new downtown bar.

Joli’s French Twist in Phinney Ridge

The new resturant brings a feminine streak to bistro-style dining.

Courtesy photo
A Pizza Bar With a Pedigree, Potential, and Plenty of Hiccups

Supreme in West Seattle serves up New York-style pie and apologies.

Illustration by James the Stanton
Corporate Sharks Smell Weed in the Water

As more states legalize cannabis, big players take a big step forward.

Is poké, like this from GoPoké, a fad or a new fixture. Only time will tell. Photo by Suzi Pratt
A Year of Fads and New Fixtures in Seattle Dining

Neither money nor reputation guaranteed success in this frenzied year of dining evolution.

Remembering the American Mother Goddess of Medicinal Cannabis

Joanna McKee changed the conversation about marijuana.

The Liquor Industry Make a Play for Legal Weed

The landscape of cannabis in North America is potentially about to experience a hostile takeover.

Chef Soma and Her Cult of Soba Are Back

Kamonegi in Fremont serves up the underappreciated noodles, along with esoteric takes on tempura and other Japanese-inspired delicacies.