In the age of the Internet, shopping is more accessible than ever. You can buy anything from groceries to electronics and have your purchase shipped to you across the world. Did you know some patients can also get their cannabis medicine online? Marijuana e-commerce not only benefits patients, but it enriches the cannabis industry as a whole. In this blog post, you’ll learn about:
Marijuana is a rapidly growing industry in the U.S. With increasing state legalization, more businesses and nonprofits can lend a hand to patients in need. Cannabis business and activity vary from state to state due to federal law, but each state’s scene includes at least one of the following industries.
Of course, the medical marijuana business involves even more aspects than the ones we mentioned above. The sky’s the limit!
At the end of 2017, 29 states and the District of Columbia had legalized medical marijuana. More than half of U.S. states let patients access a natural alternative to standard pharmaceuticals. This trend not only helps patients in need, but it also increases cannabis business across the country. In fact, projections estimated the industry would be worth $7.9 billion by the end of 2017. Check out these facts and statistics showing the industry’s potential:
As you can see, medical marijuana has opened up opportunities for people who otherwise wouldn’t have them. This compassionate industry has paved the way for a richer life for both patients and workers.
More people buy cannabis medicine online than you might think. A study that analyzed online searches for marijuana shopping services found the number of queries increased by 98 percent between 2005 and 2017. These searches mainly occurred in legal states such as Washington and Colorado, so Internet users were looking for safe and legal sources online.
However, selling medicinal cannabis doesn’t come without difficulties. With federal laws banning marijuana on a national level, it can be hard to establish an online business presence. Most financial institutions refuse to allow payments to marijuana-related businesses out of fear of legal persecution. Most cannabis buyers must complete their transactions with cash, making direct online payments tricky. The USPS and major shipment companies completely prohibit shipping controlled substances defined under federal law.
But, like many other aspects of the cannabis industry, online marijuana entrepreneurs will find a way. Marijuana e-commerce professionals have turned challenges into innovation in the following examples:
By turning disadvantages around, online business owners have expanded resources, opportunities and jobs in the industry. Instead of setting commercial activity back, the roadblocks e-commerce faces have made the cannabis industry stronger than ever.
As you can see in the previous section, online medical marijuana sales happen in many ways. These many options give you ultimate control over your treatment by offering a wider variety of medicine and dispensaries. Let’s look at three of the major types of medicinal cannabis sales online.
One of the most common ways patients buy marijuana medicine on the Internet is through their brick-and-mortar dispensary. Depending on where you live, you can order medication in advance or request delivery to your home. Some dispensaries act entirely as delivery services, letting you purchase ahead online. When you work with your dispensary to buy online, you can also take advantage of the medical services of their staff.
You can also find online marketplaces that combine dispensary menus in your area to give you an easy look at the medicine available near you. If more than one place has the same product, you can compare prices and reviews to find the perfect remedy. Depending on the business, you can request your dispensary to deliver your items, or set them aside for you to pick up.
If you don’t live in a state that permits online marijuana sales, your state might let you order cannabidiol medicine, or CBD medicine, online. On a federal level, CBD that comes from industrial hemp is legal to sell. Many patients prefer CBD-based medications because they don’t cause a high, making them suitable for people of all ages. You also don’t have to have a prescription or recommendation for these products. Keep in mind that certain states forbid CBD orders, so read your local laws carefully before clicking the “checkout” button.
The growth of marijuana sales online has broadened the horizons of medicinal cannabis patients throughout the United States. Thanks to Internet technologies, they can shop for medicine from the comfort of their homes. Marijuana e-commerce improves the patient experience by:
The perks that come with online marijuana business services go both ways. Dispensaries have many ways to benefit from e-commerce. As a dispensary owner, you can grow your business through Internet sales by:
The perks that come with online marijuana sales even impact state governments. Some effects happen indirectly by helping residents who then improve the state’s well-being. Others directly benefit states and their economies. Letting patients buy medical marijuana online allows for:
A shining example of a state that approves medical cannabis deliveries is New York. In a unique move, they not only directly regulate dispensaries, but they also oversee deliveries. Through the state’s department of health, patients can request their dispensary to deliver medicine to their home.
In the United States, marijuana laws vary from state to state. Factors like qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, possession limits, cultivation rules and dispensary availability depend on where you live. This principle also applies to deliveries, but with another catch. In some states, cities can decide whether dispensaries can deliver medicine to patients, regardless of state laws. Determining your area’s stance on cannabis e-commerce can be tricky, but we’re here to help. In fact, we’ll walk you through the entire process!
First, you should figure out if you need a doctor’s recommendation to buy marijuana. States with recreational cannabis let adults over 21 buy without a medical cannabis card. However, we suggest getting one even if you’re eligible for adult-use products. Cardholders get benefits and legal protections recreational customers don’t. Read up on your state’s medical marijuana program and card to see if you qualify. The application process is totally worth it! You can visit a marijuana-certified doctor and get an evaluation if you think your condition counts.
Once you have a medicinal cannabis recommendation, you need to look at state and local laws to determine if you can order online and have cannabis delivered to your home. Some municipalities differentiate between deliveries and dispensaries, so read your city’s policies carefully. When in doubt, contact the relevant government officials to have them clarify the regulations for you. Even only having legal pre-ordering can make the dispensary experience easier for you or your caregiver.
Now that you can figure out what you can and can’t do, here comes the fun part! Research the dispensaries in your area to look at their online menus and see what services they have to offer. Depending on their policies and the law, you might have to make an initial in-person visit. But, once you stop in, some places let you get your medicine entirely online. Alternatively, you can find a marketplace website and provide your recommendation and ID to shop their listings.
Just like any other aspect of the medical marijuana experience, research is key to becoming the happiest and healthiest possible. For more information on cannabis medicine, look through our patient resources and read our blog updates. If you have a particular topic in mind, feel free to use our search box in the upper right-hand corner of the page.