From a dispensary to your front door — that’s the promise of Doobie, St. Louis’ only cannabis home delivery service, which on July 22 marked its first day of ferrying orders to medical marijuana patients in the metro area.
While the service can feel at first like DoorDash for weed, Doobie presently connects patients only with products at Jane Dispensary (6662 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-464-4420). On a recent weekday, the service sent a shiny white van with ice-cooled bags of THC gummies to a residence in south St. Louis.
But actually getting a delivery of cannabis — which in this test case took about two hours from placing the order to receiving the product — isn’t quite as simple as firing up a food delivery app and scrolling through a menu from your favorite Chinese restaurant.
For one thing, as Jane general manager Jordan Everding explains, your delivery driver isn’t some stranger they’ve hired through an app. Instead, the entire process, from product to driver to vehicle, is controlled by the local dispensary. Doobie is just the “delivery partner,” Everding says.
What Doobie does offer is the online system that unites Jane’s cannabis menu with delivery-tracking software and payment processing. It’s here that things get a little more complicated.
First, customers are required to create an account with Hypur, a third-party payment processor that links to your checking account — which charges the full amount of your order at checkout. Everding says this system meets Missouri’s legal requirement that all cannabis purchases are paid for on-site. It means that the entire delivery is effectively cashless.
For some customers, these steps may pose a digital barrier, and Everding acknowledges that customers could be wary of linking a bank account or setting up a Hypur PIN number just to get a delivery.
But at least for now, this is the only avenue for legal cannabis delivery in St. Louis. (Everding also notes that while the current Doobie order form appears to feature an alternative form of payment, the field listed as “Pay by phone” actually connects customers with a Jane employee — who will then walk you through the steps of making a Hypur account to finish the payment process. Everding says that the current menu will soon be updated to better reflect the payment options.)
Customers should also expect to provide their Missouri medical marijuana card number and an ID or driver’s license. They should also to be available for a phone call from a Jane employee who will finalize the order. (Remember to keep your Hypur PIN number handy!)
Additionally, the delivery driver will require you to sign a form and provide your medical card and ID once again, all steps needed to comply with the state’s “seed to sale” tracking system.
Granted, these are a lot of extra steps. But in an interview, Everding says the first week of the delivery service has shown just how needed it really is — and how eager customers are to enjoy the convenience of on-demand cannabis.
“From a regulatory standpoint, we have a lot of hoops to jump through,” she notes. “But I just think people are so excited to have cannabis delivery. Everyone has been so patient and so understanding, and they’ve been willing to charge through the mud with us to get to the point where we can pull up to the front door and give them cannabis.”
The additional steps to making cannabis delivery work underscore the complexities of operating in the industry while the federal government still considers the product an illegal drug.
On one hand, the existence of a service like Doobie couldn’t exist without the state’s legal structure: While dropping off a Doobie-branded bag with the ordered THC edibles, Jane’s delivery driver told the RFT that he appreciates the extra paperwork: It means the Missouri State Highway Patrol is alerted when a (legal) weed delivery is out on the streets. The driver was understandably grateful to not be confused for a drug trafficker every time he left the store with a new order.
On the other hand, major financial institutions still consider the cannabis industry risky, forcing dispensaries to rely on cash transactions or companies like Hypur.
To encourage medical marijuana patients to try the delivery service, Doobie’s fee is waived through August. Everding tells the RFT that the fee will eventually run at a flat rate of $10 per delivery, though she added that the business is also considering a tier-based structure based on the distance for delivery.
As far as the delivery footprint, Everding says the store is accepting orders from customers as far out as St. Louis County “a little further west” of Interstate 270.
“We wanted to be the only delivery in the area right now,” she says, “so we wanted to make sure we can serve as many people as possible.”
For more information about setting up a Doobie-enabled doobie delivery, visit TryDoobie.com. For a more hands-on account of Jane Dispensary products — including the stupifying “Bubba Fett” cannabis strain — check out the RFT‘s own Tommy Chimchards for the full writeup.
Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at [email protected]