The problem with living in San Francisco is many of our complaints regarding WEED, sounds like major whining from some elite snobs. Case in point: Marijuana delivery services.
I’ve mentioned a few times that when I don’t go to my favorite Pot Shop downtown, I’ll get my boo delivered. And it’s pretty great deal and I’m always appreciative that something like this exists.
A few months ago, some enterprising WEED wonk perused the Board of Equalization paperwork, the controlling legal body on who gets permits and the what-not for Marijuana anything (location, can you inhale there, can you have edibles, etc.) and found a loophole in the bureaucratic haystack. It was discovered that if you have a permit for a dispensary, you can deliver your goods, because in the wording, it doesn’t state that you can’t. I am simplifying, but not that much. It’s a loophole. Just like the oilmen and off-shore poker palaces use. Here’s a technical goof that allows an opportunist or Medical Marijuana dispensary to take advantage of an unforeseen revenue stream at their disposal.
I first heard of this down in L.A. when they closed some of the four thousands dispensaries that had been opened in the mad Green Rush. When so many Pot Shops were forced to close-they still had product in the back room. Many owners created delivery services overnight to off their stash. From what I hear, some are still in business illegally. I’m telling you, L.A. is going to bring down the movement. But that’s soon going to be Orange County’s problem. Anyhoo…
So locally here in SF, I see some of the established, so-called compassionate oriented dispensaries are delivering. The drive to include delivery service is nothing more than an excuse to make more money.
Here’s the other aspect to this crazy revolution, so much of it is location, location, location.
The original legal delivery service in San Francisco is Green Cross. Total Transparency: I use these guys.
Kevin Reed is the founder of Green Cross. I spoke to Kevin about what I was seeing with the start of dispensaries who never delivered before; now there are a great number of them getting into his area of expertise. And of course, most of these players started delivering in just the last few weeks.
I should also mention that Kevin Reed is one of the unsung pioneers of the movement here in the City. He’s been in the movement for as long as I can remember (okay mean stoners, yes, the memory goes back clearly at least ten years.) Kevin had a dispensary and it was closed down due to zoning laws and neighbors. Now he operates out of a different local with some success.
I asked Kevin what he thought of what was happening in the City regarding the loophole that Dispensaries now can deliver.
“First of all, they [the dispensaries] really don’t have an idea of what they’re getting into. We’ve been doing this for awhile,” Mr. Reed says securely. “If you noticed some of the dispensaries that started delivering, is now demanding a dollar minimum. Too bad for them that they have to reinvent the wheel.”
“One thing I like about you guys besides for the professionalism of your drivers and delivery guys is that you accept debit cards. That makes it real easy,” I say like a spoiled smoker.
“Our drivers are good, that comes with training. For us, we didn’t get into this yesterday…Our whole focus is on customer service. It’s about personality more than a delivery service. Read our Yelp reviews. We work hard on hiring the right people. Because running a delivery service cost about 400% more than running a dispensary, you have to be smart. And I think I’m still losing money,” Mr. Reed jokes.
“You also have San Francisco’s longest running Cannabis Cup, officially three years old now. Why do you hold the Cup in November? (November 14th, 2010 http://thegreencross.org/v4/)
“Well, it’s harvest time, right?” Mr. Reed responds coherently.
“Yes, ‘nuff said. But it’s always harvest time with indoor pot.”
“They grow some pretty amazing stuff outdoors. I believe soon outdoor pot will be perceived as competitive as indoor pot is seen as. Plus, we’re trying to go more organic. With indoor pot, even though it says organic, you never know…Everything we do started up north. They should be included.”
Okay, big question, where are we going with Legalization.
Mr. Reed breathes in and then says, “It will all get down to how we tax WEED. Right now Richard Lee is setting the bar. What he has done in Oakland, is much like the old political machine of old. He’s starting to get his people in place. He’s a non-profit that has invested over a million bucks to see the initiative get on the ballot in November. At some point, he’s going to be able to ask for favors from the politicians he’s supporting. And if the people of California think that by taxing Marijuana, it’s going to save the world. Think again. What Prop. 19 is going to do is, bring up the ancient debate of state rights versus federal rights. It’s going to be interesting…”
I’ll be joining Mr. Reed today when Tom Ammiano and others host a symposium on what Legalization might look like. It is being held at 4pm at the Hiram W. Johnson Bldg. today. I thank Mr. Reed for his time.