Drive-thru bud

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Drive-through cannabis has some major advantages, especially in the age of COVID-19 — as you don’t have to risk a breach of distancing by going into a shop.

It even feels safer than getting your cannabis delivered at home, where you still have to deal with someone coming to your home and exchanging payment and product.

It’s similar to a drive-in bank and, in fact, the La Mota shop on Stewart Avenue in Medford used to be an Umpqua Bank branch. It has a drive-up window where La Mota budtenders can announce the daily special, inspect your ID, display product, pass money and deliver the goodies through a sliding drawer, says Justin Tonkin, district manager for La Mota’s five outlets in Medford.

Customers at La Mota in Medford, can use a drive through window at their Stewart St. location. Photo by Jamie Lusch

If younger passengers at the drive-up window seem to be contributing to the shopping decisions, or are handing cash from the back seat, the budtenders ask them for ID also. If it’s not forthcoming, they can wave the vehicle on, or suggest an adult come inside and shop, says John Dickinson, a budtender at the Stewart Avenue dispensary.

“You have to be observant of the situation,” he notes. “We try to be real friendly, like Dutch Bros, ‘Hey! how’s yer day goin?’ but we dial it down a bit.”

The drive-through gets 20 or 30 customers daily, with volume peaking on Fridays, says Dickerson. Lunch hours and late evening also seem to be busy times. Many come for half-off flower specials on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The store was recently selling bud and prerolls for $2 a gram.

Drive-thru is a good alternative for handicapped people or those with anxiety, he adds.

The La Mota at Stewart and Kings Highway was a pioneering cannabis outlet, providing the first drive-thru in the state, says Tonkin.

Since marijuana is required by OLCC to be locked up at closing — the store closes at 10 p.m. — this ex-bank has the most secure lockbox in the civilized world — a cavernous vault protected by a three-ton door, says Dickinson, with a smile.

If you’re wondering what La Mota means, it’s Spanish for “a little bit,” and it’s talking about ganja. What does ganja mean? It’s Hindi for weed.

La Mota has 22 locations in Oregon, including four in Medford — at 17 S. Riverside Ave., 1035 Court St., 3460 N. Pacific Highway, and the store on Stewart.

For more information, see www.lamota.com or call 541-382-9333.

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