Delivery services abound, but most haven’t been approved for licenses
Marijuana users in San Luis Obispo County (SLO) in California want to use delivery services to receive their purchases. However, state laws are causing some issues. Many delivery companies are ready, willing and able, but the state licensing process is proving to be an insurmountable burden.
In California, local governments can decide how and where marijuana can be purchased and consumed. In SLO County, there are only two licensed delivery dispensaries. While others would like to operate within the state’s guidelines, the costs almost make the activity not economically viable.
As Ernest Hall, owner of one of the three licensed dispensaries in the county, explains, “We get people sometimes saying that our products are priced too high but they don’t understand that we are paying taxes and that’s why they are going to the black market and they are getting products that are not as safe as they are as you get from the regulated market.”
Despite the existence of three licensed businesses in the county, there are hundreds of places where marijuana can be purchased – most are unregulated. The licensing process is expensive, as is trying to find affordable locations. Mike Perea, who owns Euphoric Dreams, asserts, “Trying to get offices, trying to get spaces to grow, trying to get anything. I mean, the prices are really, really high in this area.” Perea currently operates under a provisional license while he waits for a permanent state license. However, if he doesn’t find an office by January, he could lose the business.
Businesses are now pushing for California to speed up the licensing process and to go after those who are operating outside of the law. They argue that these measures will help to clean up the industry and force the black market out of business.
In the meantime, the black market will thrive. The commander of the Paso Robles Police Department, Caleb Davis, indicates that the department only goes after people or businesses if there’s a complaint. He states, “Any area consumer field whether that’s clothing, food, whatever, marijuana, whatever, we are not out there actively looking for those who are operating illegally. Certainly though, if it is brought to our attention, it is something we would look into no matter what business it is.”