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Marijuana home delivery now a reality; but don’t expect it by bike

Posted by on February 10th, 2017 at 12:07 pm

Bicycle delivery

Why can’t bikes deliver marijuana?
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

When I saw a KGW report this morning about home delivery of recreational marijuana, my first thought was: “I wonder if they could that by bike?”

After all, marijuana is big business in Portland and local companies deliver all sorts of things by bike. With companies like B-Line Urban Delivery, Go Box (pictured above), and Portland Pedal Power, Portland is on the cutting edge of using bicycles for delivery.

Marijuana by bike in Portland should be a no-brainer. At least that’s what I thought.

My curiousity led me to call Aleeya Kim, owner of La Cannaisseur in Linnton (whose shop was profiled in the KGW story). I asked Kim about bike delivery and she referred me to the official Oregon Liquor Control Commission rules they have to follow in order to keep their license.

The first rules I found were temporary rules adopted in October 2015. Those rules didn’t include any specific language that would prevent the use of a bicycle for marijuana delivery. That’s because whenever the language referred to the delivery vehicle, it didn’t include the word “motor.” And in Oregon law, “When the term ‘vehicle’ is used the term shall be deemed to be applicable to bicycles.”

Great! I thought. Let the bike deliveries begin!

But I wanted to confirm my findings with the OLCC. I called their public affairs manager Mark Pettinger. Pettinger informed me that the rules from 2015 had been revised and were no longer valid.

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Where the initial rules referred only to “vehicle,” the final rules (PDF) — in the chapter titled “Delivery of Marijuana Items by Retailer” — do include the term “motor vehicle”.

Here’s the relevant passage of Oregon Administrative Rule 845-025-2880 (emphases mine):

(b) The marijuana retailer may only deliver in a motor vehicle to the individual who placed the bona fide order and only to individuals who are 21 years of age or older.

(h) All marijuana items must be kept in a lock-box securely affixed inside the delivery motor vehicle.

Beyond the “motor” part, there is nothing in the OAR that would prevent a bicycle from being used as a marijuana delivery vehicle. In Oregon, even if a law includes the term “motor vehicle” it still applies to bicycles unless the law specifically states that bicycles are excluded (or if the law is obviously not applicable).

But here’s the catch: OAR and ORS and not the same thing. While the ORS are state statutes passed by the legislature, OARs are created and adopted by agencies (the OLCC in this case). Therefore it seems likely that the OLCC specifically added “motor” to the rules so that bicycles couldn’t be used to make home deliveries of marijuana.

So the question remains: Why would the OLCC want to make sure bicycles couldn’t be used to deliver marijuana? We don’t know the answer to that yet, but it might be interesting to find out.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Justin MJonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)Josh GDan AHello, Kitty Recent comment authors
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Hello, Kitty
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Hello, Kitty

I’m not super worked up over home pot delivery, but I have to say these rules are BS. If you can deliver by car, you should be able to deliver by bike. I can’t imagine anyone here would disagree.

Allan Rudwick
Guest
Allan Rudwick

Just use an e bike. Powerful ones are legally motor vehicles of I remember correctly

Brian
Guest
Brian

Asinine.

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

“So the question remains: Why would the OLCC want to make sure bicycles couldn’t be used to deliver marijuana? We don’t know the answer to that yet, but it might be interesting to find out.”

I’m guessing it might be because of this: “(h) All marijuana items must be kept in a lock-box securely affixed inside the delivery motor vehicle.”

They’re trying to reduce the likelihood of theft if delivered by bicycle.

Josh G
Guest
Josh G

On this http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Maintenance very well done show, the (blackmarket) bike weed man keeps his stash in a light safe box in his backpack.

Bill Cinton's Ghost
Guest
Bill Cinton's Ghost

I really don’t care for the fact that they treat us so much like cars. I don’t have a licence, and I went to get it back this year, and it turns out a red light violation on my bike has my privileges to drive suspended, despite giving a state ID to the cop.

I don’t break the rules in a car, its a weapon. On my bike, yeah I run a lot of lights and generally take my life into my own hands. They are not the same thing!

TonyH
Guest
TonyH

I’ve idly thought of doing just this. I have to observe, though, the security issue could be huge. People rob dispensaries. Being on a bike against determined armed thieves, isn’t an enviable position.

Eric Leifsdad
Guest
Eric Leifsdad

Bicycles are just too subversive and hard to control. They nearly run over people in crosswalks all the time, almost crashing and just about spilling everything aboard. We can’t have marijuana not quite scattered all over the pavement.

They were probably trying to write “car or truck, which is not a ragtop convertible” or something that would fit their assumptions, when what they should have done is state a performance requirement of the necessary security/containment/durability. Essentially, they are requiring a barrier of picking or breaking two locks before making a getaway, possibly with an alarm on the first. They may incorrectly be assuming that this phrasing specifies a vehicle which cannot be quickly lifted and trucked away.

bikeninja
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bikeninja

Its obvious, the weed thieve gangs could just run over the bicycle pot delivery folk in their cars and claim the sun was in their eyes. Then as long as they scooped up all the pot before the cops arrived and stayed on the scene they would not face any charges. So it would make violent hijacking of pot in transit much too easy and almost legal.

Jolly Dodger
Guest
Jolly Dodger

Company of origin liability issue? The new ‘delivery services’ will need to serve multiple dispensaries…If a scofflaw cyclist cannabis courier hits a pedestrian, they’d need special insurance. Drivers would have their obligatory coverage, just to get hired.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Is this a Portlandia episode?

Justin M
Guest
Justin M

I imagine they’d have to have non-stoner riders anyway. Cuz lung capacity. Or at least they would need asthma inhalers.

Evan
Guest
Evan

These rules would seem to imply that you can’t deliver by foot, either. When delivering by motor vehicle, how far can you walk from the vehicle to complete delivery? If you’re delivering to multiple locations within a building, are you required to return to the vehicle between deliveries?

Mark smith
Guest
Mark smith

Why? Because the olcc came up with it. It’s like the auto industry writing their own laws.

q
Guest
q

Doobious.

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

“In Oregon, even if a law includes the term “motor vehicle” it still applies to bicycles unless the law specifically states that bicycles are excluded (or if the law is obviously not applicable).”

How sure are you of this statement? The cited source refers only to the Vehicle Code, which is only a subset of Oregon law.

Tim
Guest
Tim

I’ve known of marijuana delivery by bicycle for 30+ years We gave up a lot just for it to become legal(just for others to get their fingers in the pie). Too many rules around it, I’ll take chances with the old players who stay under the radar…

dan
Guest
dan

The discussion around this feels a little bit like taking our eyes off the ball. It’s interesting, but in the larger scheme, not really an important piece of our transportation policy as it relates to bikes. Also, why can’t I get booze delivered? 🙂

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Motor vehicle operators are responsible adults. People who ride bikes are kids or delinquents.

Josh G
Guest
Josh G

Is this really prohibiting bicycle delivery? Or was this just the usual case of bicycles being forgotten about and overlooked?