What Rural Internet Access and Cannabis Delivery Have in Common

What Rural Internet Access and Cannabis Delivery Have in Common

Ask just about anybody what internet access and cannabis home delivery have in common and you’re likely to get a blank stare. But for someone who lives in rural America, the question has an immediate answer: availability. Simply put, neither internet access nor cannabis home delivery are readily available in rural areas.

Visit any major metropolitan area and internet access will not be a problem. Ditto for cannabis delivery, at least in states with legal medical and recreational marijuana sales. But rural residents of those same states are not always so fortunate. Accessing just about everything city dwellers take for granted is harder when you live in the middle of nowhere.

High Speed Internet Access

City dwellers, and even their suburban counterparts, have lots of choices for high speed internet. There’s cable, fiber-optic, and 5G wireless. Even DSL (though not as fast) is still available in many cities. But what about small towns and rural areas where the nearest neighbor could be miles away?

Rural residents do not have many options for internet access, let alone high speed internet. Their two best bets are satellite internet and 4G wireless. But even these two options aren’t available everywhere. There are some places in which there is literally no direct internet access. People need to get in their cars and drive into the city where they can access the internet at a coffee shop, library, etc.

Cannabis Home Delivery

Likewise, access to cannabis home delivery is sketchy for rural consumers. Some states with legal marijuana do not allow home delivery at all. Others allow delivery but with restrictions. Where home delivery is allowed, operators tend to concentrate their efforts in metro environments. And why not? That’s where the money is.

Utah is one of the states with an established home delivery program. It is a medical-only state, and only a certain number of operators are licensed to grow, process, and sell medical cannabis. This limits the market for rural home delivery.

The owners of the Beehive Farmacy, a Utah medical cannabi dispensary, says that state legislators approved home delivery a couple of years ago. And although more than 15,000 rural home deliveries were made in 2022, the number pales in comparison to the total number of sales conducted in the state. To date, only one company has stepped forward to offer home delivery statewide.

It is All About Demand

Home delivery is a service based on demand. If the demand is there, someone will provide the service. But there is a catch: the demand needs to be strong enough to generate a decent profit. Therein lies the problem with both high speed internet and cannabis home delivery.

Demand is obviously high in urban and suburban areas. It is not so high in rural areas, at least relative to the amount of money service providers would have to spend to do what they do. For instance, cable companies are reluctant to build the infrastructure necessary to provide high speed internet in rural areas because there aren’t enough subscribers to make it worthwhile. They couldn’t recover their costs, let alone make money.

The same thing holds true with cannabis home delivery. Running vehicles costs money. Gas, insurance, and vehicle maintenance are all expensive. So if there aren’t enough customers in a given area to make it profitable, delivery services are reluctant to get involved.

Living in rural America is not always easy. Everything from high speed internet to cannabis home delivery can be hard to come by. But that’s the price some people are willing to pay for their slice of rural paradise.

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