Driving Through the Future of Pot Shop Drive-Thrus


There’s nothing more American than using the drive-thru service.  From restaurants to banks, many industries established a drive-thru option for better-quality service at a faster rate.  The first bank that utilized a drive-thru window teller was from the Grand National Bank in Saint Louis, MI in 1930.  Only deposits were allowed at the time, but it pioneered what would be a revolutionary way of completing business.

As a kid, nothing was more exciting than being taken into a drive-thru service for food.  My parents would drive me to the McDonald’s for some lunch after finishing some errands.  The concept was pure and simple:  you drove up to the microphone to place in your order (my order was usually the Quarter Pounder meal with fries and a Coke!).  Once you place your order, you drove up to the window where you pay for your meal.  After you pay for your meal, you grab your food/drinks and head home to eat.

McDonald’s is just one of many companies that embraced the drive-thru concept in America.  With more unique industries springing up each year, the need for more drive-thru services becomes more important than ever.  After last year’s elections, one industry that is looking to push out their drive-thru service is the cannabis industry.

Parachute, a small town in western Colorado, has given the go-ahead for a business to open the state’s first drive-thru cannabis dispensary.  Last Thursday the Board of Trustees voted to approve the annual renewal of the business license for Tumbleweed Express, which will clear the final legal to opening the drive-thru pot shop. The Tumbleweed Dispensary is expecting to open up the Tumbleweed Express Drive-Thru sometime next month.  This unique drive-thru service will open up in a former car wash that is located just across the street from the store’s location.

Here are a few rules that would be established for the drive-thru:  you have to be 21 or older to order from the drive-thru (that includes backseat passengers as well!).  Security and surveillance will be set around the drive-thru while business is operating.  The last thing is ensuring that no orders are visible from outside the licensed premises.  You can consume your order after you purchase it, but it can’t be done on Tumbleweed Express.

Tumbleweed Express will set the stage for what will be Colorado’s first drive-thru cannabis store.  It will be a similar concept to ordering a Quarter Pounder at McDonald’s, except you will be able to order cannabis products instead.  Oregon already became the first state to open the nation’s first drive-thru shop in Gold Beach, but it quickly shut down due to being close to two schools.  Colorado will have to work hard to prove that this familiar business concept can work for the cannabis industry without causing any major hiccups in the process.

This would be an interesting concept for the cannabis industry!  The drive-thru concept helped flourish many businesses and it could definitely give the industry leg-up for its competitors.  Hopefully Colorado will get things situated in order for the drive-thru to work properly.  If all goes well, then it could mean major changes for how the industry conducts business in the next five years.

With new industries making waves in America, so does the demand for different ways to conduct business (and vice-versa!).  The slow cultural shift towards legalization has prompted businesses to stay ahead of the curve in order to understand their audiences better.  Drive-thru may help flourish the cannabis industry, but a new business trend could be right around the corner.

If all runs smoothly, then we may see a future where we purchase a Quarter Pounder meal with a quarter pound of cannabis.

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