Philly Mulls Home Delivery of Medical Marijuana

Article by Sam Wood, The Inquirer

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Medical marijuana won’t be available in Philadelphia for more than a year, but when it finally arrives, patients may be able to have it delivered to their doors like a pizza or pick it up at a dispensary tucked inside a large shopping mall.

At a City Council committee hearing Friday, city senior planner Paula Brumbelow suggested home delivery as a way of ensuring access to those who need the drug most.

Some jurisdictions already permit medical marijuana dispensaries to provide this service. Last week, New York state authorized delivery to people who are too sick to travel. There could be other advantages to courier service, such as avoiding pot businesses near schools, day-care centers, and churches.

Delivery “may also allow us to be conservative on the locations of dispensaries and possibly future recreational stores,” Brumbelow said.

When the regulations governing the state’s cannabis industry finally are adopted, entrepreneurs will be able to apply for permits to grow or dispense. The total number of licenses allowed by  state law is limited to 25 for cultivators and 50 for dispensary operators.

Lindy Snider, who has launched several cannabis start-ups, also stressed the importance of making medical marijuana accessible.

“Just like pharmacies, patients should not have to drive clear across town to an industrial area to access medicine,” she said in her testimony to the committee on public health and human services, advising Council to guarantee that dispensaries are geographically spread out and close to public transportation.

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