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Sonoma Patient Group covers the North Bay

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“Drive!” Kevin McEachern tells his team. The delivery manager at the Sonoma Patient Group (SPG), the oldest and longest-operating cannabis dispensary in the county, McEachern has his hands full during the pandemic. More folks of all ages, including senior citizens at Oakmont, want more weed delivered to their doorsteps than ever before. The demographics have definitely changed big time.

On Wednesdays, McEachern himself gets behind the wheel of a Chevy Spark and brings topicals, edibles and flowers—the same items that are for sale in the store—to users who wear smiles when he arrives.

“I typically cover one hundred miles—I listen to KDFC because you can get it almost everywhere and classical music is calming,” he tells me. “Ordering weed is similar to ordering pizza; the customer looks at the menu online, makes selections and adds an address. The driver goes on the road with the product; the GPS automatically sends the ETA. Payment is at the destination.”

There’s no delivery fee, but to qualify a minimum dollar amount is required.

Born in 1982 and raised in Sonoma County, McEachern attended Sac State and majored in social science. For four years he worked as a teacher, then decided he wasn’t meant for the classroom. Before landing at SPG, he worked for Green Light Alternatives, a dispensary in Novato.

“I never thought I’d be in this industry,” he tells me. “In many ways it’s a dream come true. I’m not doing any harm to the planet or its inhabitants. In fact, cannabis helps a lot of people.”

McEachern remembers the days when users needed a doctor’s recommendation to purchase weed. How quaint!

Most of his deliveries are in Santa Rosa, though he also ventures as far west as Monte Rio.

“I never know what to expect,” McEachern tells me. “An older woman wanted weed with high THC, which I normally associate with young guys.”

To be employed as a driver, one needs a valid license and a clear head. The company car comes with documents that protect the driver from an arrest for trafficking. Going on the road under the influence is against company policy. McEachern says he uses cannabis at home.

“I like flowers and edibles,” he tells me.

Are there issues?

“Yeah, a while ago a kid tried to pay with his dad’s checkbook, behind dad’s back,” he says. “That wasn’t cool. Otherwise, it’s a fun job.”

Jonah Raskin is the author of “Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War.”

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