What is thought to be the first medical marijuana dispensary drive-thru window in New England started doing business this month in Brattleboro, Vermont.
About 10 medical marijuana customers per day have used the drive-thru window since Southern Vermont Wellness opened it March 6, said Bridget Conry, marketing director for the dispensary.
The MMJ business serves about 30-50 patients in total per day, Conry added.
Patients cannot order cannabis products through the drive-thru window since the dispensary takes patients only by appointment. Rather, they must place their orders online or over the phone, and then pick them up.
Southern Vermont Wellness previously operated out of a historic office building in Brattleboro, but the dispensary outgrew that space and moved to the new location – a former bank building with vaults and the drive-thru window.
“We knew as soon as the building became available, this was something that we wanted to try,” Conry said.
Southern Vermont’s CBD-only sister company, Ceres Natural Remedies, which also operated in the former bank branch, started selling its products through the window in November.
Conry said it took about six months to get approval from state regulators, who were concerned that drive-thru transactions – which are in public view – would pose safety and theft concerns.
Those anxieties dissipated when it was shown that the dispensary had ample camera coverage and other security measures to spot and deter those threats.
Not many states have marijuana drive-thrus.
One opened in Florida last summer, while a small number of drive-thrus also were approved in Colorado and Nevada.
Efforts to allow drive-thrus in Oregon and New Mexico have stalled.
While there are no other drive-thrus in New England, a gas station and convenience store in Maine – Atlantic Farms Gas N’ Grass – won a license in December to sell medical cannabis.
Omar Sacirbey can be reached at email@example.com