Limited and Open Government

If CVS Can Have a Drive-thru, So Can Curaleaf

Does the presence of a drive-thru pose a threat to people’s health and safety? Lehi recently decided that in the case of medical cannabis pharmacies, it does not.

In the past, Lehi city had a rule which prohibited medical cannabis pharmacies from operating a drive-thru. But when the first pharmacy actually set up shop in Lehi, they realized a drive-thru was exactly what they needed. The pharmacy, Curaleaf, requested that the drive-thru ban be changed.

On May 11, the Lehi City Council voted to approve this change after it was unanimously approved by the Lehi Planning Commission. 

Regardless of how you feel about cannabis, this regulatory reform is good news for anyone who likes the idea of a limited and principled government that only involves itself in the people’s affairs when absolutely necessary. 

Laws should be consistently constructed and applied to everyone. Curaleaf pointed out that their Lehi pharmacy is surrounded by other drive-thru establishments. In this case, it seemed that there was nothing specific about the area that merited a prohibition on drive-thrus, this rule was being specifically and exclusively applied to a single industry — and for what?

After all, the stated purpose of the Lehi cannabis regulation is “to protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public”. Which makes you wonder, how exactly does a ban on drive-thrus accomplish that? 

The reality is, it doesn’t. 

This change represents an honest assessment of the responsibility that governments have and a determination that one of the regulations simply didn’t fit the bill. 

Not only was this extraneous regulation not promoting the health and safety of the community, it was arguably doing the opposite. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and increased concern regarding public health, drive-thrus are one of the safer ways to pick up food or supplies as the process requires less contact. This change is a responsive government reacting to a real problem with a pragmatic solution.

Like many regulations, there’s not a very compelling reason to ban drive-thrus. We commend Lehi for making a change that reflects a conservative and responsible interpretation of their role.