Illegal Pot Delivery Services Stealing Business From Legal Dispensaries

A prevention specialist asked San Diego's city council for an ordinance that would stop these illegal delivery services last week

The owner of a licensed medical marijuana dispensary is speaking out, saying illegal marijuana delivery services are taking business from those following the law; and they're putting people in danger.

Ebon Johnson, owner of Mankind Cooperative has one of eight storefronts in the city that has a legal permit to sell medical marijuana. With that, he's also allowed to have a delivery service. He said business is way down because hundreds of illegal delivery services are taking over. "They're everywhere,” Johnson added. “They're doing it out of their house they'll take a little spot in a suite. There's no regulation."

Johnson used to do about 55 deliveries a day before his store opened, when he too was operating a delivery service illegally. “Now we're down to 15 to 20 deliveries a day, so it cut our business by two-thirds," said Johnson. He said the amount of illegal delivery services are growing by the day. "They just go out and do it like a drug dealer. ‘Hey, call me up on weed maps, there's 400 people to choose from and if you're not going to provide it, someone else will,’" explained Johnson.

Johnson charges sales tax and follows guidelines issued by the city, something that he said the illegal deliveries don't do. "They can do it out of their house. They don't have to pay employees, they're not reporting anything," he added. He said there's also major safety concerns. Delivery drivers get robbed because they don't know who they're delivering to. It even happened to Johnson when he first started. Since they're illegally selling, when a crime happens, they don't report it to police. "They don't call police so there's a lot of undocumented crimes out there," Johnson said.

The issue was brought up by a prevention specialist to San Diego’s City Council November 15, asking for an ordinance that would stop these illegal delivery services.

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