CBDHempMedical and PharmaceuticalRetailAre Drive-Thrus the Future for the Cannabis Industry?

Cannabis can be purchased in-store, online, and it can even be picked up in a drive-thru. For consumers in Vermont, the option is now available in Brattleboro. Ceres Natural Remedies sells hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) - which was recently legalized - and has opened the company's first drive-thru where consumers can pick up cannabis the same way they might get their fast food. While it's not the first one in the country, it's by no means prevalent just yet.
David Jagielski David JagielskiJanuary 1, 20196 min

Cannabis can be purchased in-store, online, and it can even be picked up in a drive-thru. For consumers in Vermont, the option is now available in Brattleboro. Ceres Natural Remedies sells hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) – which was recently legalized – and has opened the company’s first drive-thru where consumers can pick up cannabis the same way they might get their fast food. While it’s not the first one in the country, it’s by no means prevalent just yet.

That doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a cannabis free-for-all, however. The drive-thru is still only for CBD and customers will require a registry card in order to obtain any cannabis products.

Why a drive-thru?

There are a couple of reasons the company notes that it has done this.

The first is to “normalize” the experience and to make purchasing cannabis similar to other types of products. The drive-thru experience is certainly a popular one and is associated with convenience and provides the ease of use that can make it appealing to any type of customer.

Another reason is that for many CBD customers, mobility is an issue. Being able to pick up their orders from the comfort of their cars makes it easier for consumers that might otherwise not be able to physically walk inside a store and collect their purchases from a counter. Many medical marijuana users are very desperate and use the drug as a last resort for pain relief.

Why the model could work

Given the popularity of drive-thrus in America, it’s an idea that could easily take off. The relatively small size of cannabis makes it an easy product to sell in a drive-thru while giving users both privacy and ease of access.

It’s a model that I could definitely see work, especially for the late-night pickup. Whether it’s someone looking to get high on a Friday night, or the medical marijuana patient in desperate need for pain relief, a drive-thru option would fill a big need.

Cannabis continues to go mainstream

Marijuana being available in a drive-thru is only the latest way that the drug has been able to penetrate the mainstream. Attitudes have been changing over the years and with many states legalizing cannabis, it’s only going to make it into more and more places where consumers buy their other day-to-day products from.

As the legalization continues to make progress, inhibitions and restrictions on cannabis will start to fade over time. The one area where it’s likely to still see a lot of restrictions is in areas frequented by children, and there’s no reason to expect that to change. But like tobacco and alcohol, cannabis will likely end up being just another adult-use substance available to the masses.

When that happens, however, could still take some time. Although cannabis has made progress around the globe and in many parts of the U.S., it is still not legal in all forms. In the U.S., I wouldn’t expect to see legalization fully take place until we see the Democrats regain control of the White House. It’s going to take a very strong, liberal movement to legalize the drug, not unlike what we saw happen in Canada a few months ago.

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