Drive-thru Dispensaries:  Here to Stay or Gone Tomorrow?

By Marieval Yebra

If you can buy weed legally because you have a 215… (well, until the beginning of the year depending on what state and county you live in,) you have probably been made aware of drive-thru dispensaries. Some of you probably live in counties that are not allowed to have these awesome drive-thru destinations.  But do these dispensaries have their drawbacks?

Well, for one thing, drive-thrus have been a staple of American culture the beginning of time. Everything at one point has been a drive-thru. Whether or not the drive-thrus have been successful is another subject altogether but none the less everyone has been to a drive-thru once or twice in their life. Whether it’s for coffee or medication; drive-thrus are on the rise and have been for more than two decades.  Now you add the ability to buy marijuana to that equation and then you have got something there. The thing with a “good thing” is that sometimes it’s too good to be true.  Sometimes it is really more trouble than its worth.

Before deciding on whether drive-thru dispensaries are good for you, look at the track record of drive-thrus in general. Then look at the best qualities in dispensaries than weigh in on whether or not it’s the best idea. There will be a lot of mixed feelings when it comes to drive-thru dispensaries because, let me tell you, sometimes there are just discrepancies when it comes to food from mediocre restaurants

First things first: Are drive-thrus a good idea in the first place?

For convenience, yes definitely, drive-thrus are an awesome idea. You can order your necessity and go on your way. You can sit in your car without having to worry about getting out of your car. If you’re a parent, you don’t have to worry about uprooting your sleeping baby and letting your ill-mannered toddler free to the unsuspecting public. If it’s hot and you’re lucky to have air conditioning then right on. Thumbs up and kudos to you, you will be able to stay cool and get your iced coffee or an eighth of that much-needed prescription. Luxuries.

Are drive-thrus inconvenient?

Yes, definitely. If you have ordered food from a drive-thru, then you know that people make mistakes. I have worked food. People definitely make mistakes, but if you’re in a hurry, it sucks. So imagine if you’re ordering marijuana and you get the wrong strain, or it’s not what you think. No bueno. I don’t know about you but looking the herb before buying it is definitely helpful. And unless you’re a regular customer to that business then you really don’t know what they sell and if you like it enough.

Are they safe?

Well, we have all seen those videos that show crazy, disgruntled customers beating night shift workers to ridiculousness. But if you’re in the weed business then more than likely you have security systems and won’t be had by some dumb cad looking to score a buck.

That, and let’s get real, most marijuana customers are not the kind to want to rob their suppliers. Yeah, you get some a-holes here and there, but for the most part, it can be safe.

Will it be profitable?

More than likely yes; but you have to really look at your demographic. Do you have enough customer base to cover costs of being a drive-thru? Can you supply your patients on a regular basis.

Is it cheaper if you’re a patient?

It all depends on the supplier. Remember that you should know what you’re ordering. If you have questions, keep them to a minimum or call the business itself ahead of time. For the most part, the prices are around the same as a delivery service or a walk in dispensary.

Now let’s look at some actual medical drive-thru dispensaries…

All Greens-

One of the most recent drive-thru dispensaries to open was in Arizona. It is the first one in the state. It opened on the 27th of October, located in Sun City. The name of this drive-thru dispensary is called All Greens Dispensary.

After moving the dispensary to a different location and with a drive-thru, they hope to use their drive-thru to better serve patients who are in wheelchairs and walkers. Since most of the medicinal marijuana cardholders are either disabled or elderly or, both and Sun City’s demographic is mostly seniors it really does seem like they might be doing a great job reaching those customers who otherwise may have had trouble getting the medication they needed. Yes, delivery systems are offered at most dispensaries, but sometimes it’s more expensive, includes extra fees for the delivery, or takes some time to get to your house… just like the pizza delivery guy on Superbowl Sunday. That’s no fun.

All Greens offers vapes, topicals, tinctures, concentrates and the common dried flower.

Apparently, they are also bragging about their selection of edibles. They claim that it is the largest in the state.


Tumbleweed was the first drive-thru dispensary in the nation. Opening its doors on 4/20 of this year, it hopes to do the same for customers as All Greens, but this one is located in Colorado. Glenwood Springs, Colorado to be exact, no surprise since marijuana is now considered a recreational drug and is completely legal. It does have a different customer base and therefore somewhat of a different process for its customers but none the less it hopes to do what any business that uses a drive-thru hopes to do. Better serve the customers.

Surprisingly enough there really aren’t a lot of drive-thru dispensaries even with weed being completely legal. I was surprised that the state isn’t sprinkled with them, but I guess it’s like alcohol. Yes, it is legal, but there are not a lot of drive-thru liquor stores or bars. There can be too much of a good thing.

Tumbleweed offers the same as any other dispensary, but the prices are pretty steep. That’s what happens when weed becomes legalized; the government has their hand in the medicinal marijuana community, and everything becomes expensive.

Since the first drive-thru dispensary did not open their doors until 4/20 of this year, it’s hard to say whether or not drive-thru dispensaries will be on the rise. Just like anything else time will tell.