Among the many gifts 2020 has bestowed upon us, “the fear of others” and “the fear of the outside world” are the gifts that just kept on giving.

While Amazon and DoorDash have helped replace dealing with real humans, neither handle cannabis—and unless you’re growing your own, how are you gonna stay high and housebound?

Thanks to the pandemic, many Oregon dispensaries now offer options: Home delivery, and curbside pickup. While delivery had been an option pre-COVID, curbside pickup is a new addition to 2020. The OLCC has temporary rules in effect which allow dispensaries to bring cannabis purchases to the buyer “outside of the store and within 150 feet of the retailer’s licensed premises.” If you’re in a vehicle, all passengers must be at least 21 years of age.

However, both delivery and curbside pickup come with a drawback: namely ordering cannabis flowers that you can’t see or smell before dropping the dough.

Cannabis remains an agricultural product, and most buyers rely on their eyes and nose to help make their purchasing decisions. Like trusting an InstaCart shopper to grab your order of tomatoes, you’re now at the mercy of the budtender to make sure you’re getting the best of what’s on the shelves.

If delivery is an option, here’s how to get that product from the store and into your hands:

Many dispensaries now offer delivery through Dutchie. (Their one time local competitor Eaze operated for a hot minute in Portland last year, but now exists solely in California.)

I’ve been using Dutchie since March, which serves cities in the US and Canada. Signing up for the ordering platform requires an electronic copy of your ID and takes less than five minutes.

The site lists dispensaries offering delivery, curbside pickup, or both, their proximity to your delivery address, and provides an online menu of the available products.

Those stores, rather than Dutchie, fill the orders and make the deliveries, but are restricted to how far and where they can deliver—so hotels and dorm rooms are out. Dutchie showed 107 dispensaries within a 35-mile radius of my Goose Hollow home.

The menu provides prices for both recreational and medical cannabis, and lists product categories such as flower, concentrates, vaporizers, edibles, accessories, and more. Specials and discounted products are frequently, but not always, highlighted.

Click your choices and fill your cart up to the legal possession limits (higher for OMMP cardholders) and select your payment, including cash, credit/debit card, and newly added payment service Hypur. These dispensaries often require a minimum purchase for free delivery, and will tack on a nominal fee if those minimums aren’t met.

You’ll receive texts/emails that update you as your order is received, prepared, and leaves for delivery. Your masked driver will then show up at your home with a child-proof bag containing your weed, and after checking your ID and collecting your signature, they’ll be on their merry way—and your day will get merrier as well. And be sure to tip your delivery person generously, because they are doing valuable, risky work, and they just brought you a bag of weed.

Here are some helpful hints that will make your delivery experience even better:

• Watch for specials: Some dispensaries have discounts that won’t be listed on Dutchie, but can be found on their home site. Bridge City Collective offers 20 percent off on a particular product category every day, allowing for some great buys for those who plan ahead. Research these sale days in the blog section of their website.

• The Dutchie menu isn’t always updated in real time, so call the dispensary and ask if you don’t see what you want. I’ve found multiple unlisted products with a quick call.

• Also call if you need advice or recommendations on certain products or intentions. What’s best for sleep issues, or boosting a troubled mood? The Dutchie menu doesn’t have as much information as the budtender will. It will list THC/CBD content, but little to any information on terpenes, effects, etc.

• That goes for all flower purchases, too. After some subpar deliveries of flowers, I now call and ask specific questions before ordering: What’s the harvest date? What’s the terpene count? And “What do YOU think of it?” The majority of budtenders will ‘fess up if it’s not something they would smoke, and most have great suggestions for alternatives that will meet your interests and budget. Utilize their expertise.

• Know your grower. That “Wedding Cake” from Chad’s Farms may not be as tasty and strong as the same strain from Brad’s Farms—and because you checked out both websites and read some reviews, you know to always avoid cannabis from Chad’s. You stand a better chance of product consistency when you buy by farm, not strain.

Find more great cannabis articles just like this one in the Mercury's Cannabis Guide 2020!