According to researchers, a fully mature adult use cannabis market can take from two-five years, and with the Covid-19 pandemic and suspensions of licensing, Illinois appears to be more on the five-year trajectory.
A slow start into recreational legalization is expected for several reasons that have nothing to do with the pandemic, such as the simple lack of cannabis education.
But as the recreational market expands and more cultivators, infusers, and dispensaries receive licensing and open shops, other new cannabis businesses will eventually follow.
We at ILNJ believe the specific cannabis business Illinois should not slow roll is a cannabis delivery services.
Illinois should not and does not have time to wait for a fully mature market to legalize cannabis delivery services. Start now, and priorities registered medical patients. Then move on to recreational delivers.
Twelve states currently have legal medical cannabis delivery, including Arizona, California Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Oregon.
During the stay-at-home orders, cannabis deliveries spiked in states where it’s legal.
California and Colorado have incorporated legal recreational cannabis delivery services. California, thought, is competing with a strong black market delivery service that had already rooted before deliver services were legalized.
Illinois already allows for curbside pickup. Why not take the extra step?
A delivery system could be a life-changing service for medical patients up and down the state who cannot travel well or reside in rural areas far from any dispensaries.
With “no contact” deliveries, medical patients, many who may be more acceptable to contracting illnesses, would be at a way lower risk with a delivery system.
Licensing delivery services also would create new business, which would employ more Illinois workers.
State Rep. Sonya Harper, who co-sponsored the bill that legalized pot statewide at the start of the year, introduced legislation in February that would allow dispensaries to deliver medical and recreational cannabis products and then called for Gov. J.B. Pritzker to take immediate action.
We agree with Rep. Harper. Gov. Pritzker needs to prioritize a delivery service system and implement it as quickly as possible.
If Illinois doesn’t license cannabis deliveries, the black market will offer (and does) the service to fill the current demand.
The longer Illinois waits to implement a delivery service, the more rooted the black market becomes and the more difficult establishing a legal system will become.
If employing a legal delivery service is too daunting of task for Illinois politics to quickly achieve, then maybe Illinois should just legalize deliveries and allow the competitive market to sort it out.
Either way, Illinois needs to legalize cannabis deliveries.