Today, consumers have more options than ever before when it comes to purchasing products. Not only can they shop in-store, but they can also find almost everything they need delivered directly to them. From home goods and electronics to groceries and medications, there’s little they can’t order to arrive at their front door. That also includes cannabis.
While cannabis delivery was in its early stages before 2020, the pandemic quickly accelerated its popularity. Consumers were able to get their medical and recreational cannabis products without having to leave their homes. In a time when life was scary, confusing, and uncertain, delivery made at least one thing a bit easier.
Even as things are starting to return to normal, many consumers are still finding they prefer delivery. It’s safe, secure, and convenient. It’s likely going to stick around long-term.
If you’re thinking about starting a cannabis delivery business (or you’re a dispensary considering adding a delivery option), now’s a great time to do so. The thing is, you’ll want to make sure that you do so legally. That means you’re staying compliant with each state’s various laws and regulations. Here’s a few things you need to know about how to start a cannabis delivery company.
Licenses and Permits
You can’t just start delivering cannabis. Before you do anything, you need to obtain the necessary license and permits. The type of license you get will depend on where you’re operating. In some places, you need to get a retail license before you can get a delivery permit. In others, you can apply for a delivery-only business license.
The process can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you’re starting a business from scratch. An experienced marijuana consultant can help you navigate getting your license and permits. They can also answer any questions you might have about getting your delivery business up and running.
Inventory Stocking and Tracking
Even if you don’t run a dispensary, you still need to stock inventory and ensure that you have enough to meet customer needs. You can estimate what you’ll need by researching the demand where you plan to operate. You’ll want to be sure to research the regulations regarding how much you can stock at once. You’ll also need to know how much you can transport in a vehicle and ensure you and your drivers adhere to those laws.
In addition to stocking inventory, you’ll need to keep track of your products. Inventory tracking is vital for compliance. You’ll need to keep a detailed log of every delivery and ensure that you update it regularly to reflect your current inventory.
Tracking your inventory is only one part of maintaining compliance. The cannabis industry has numerous rules and regulations that you need to follow strictly. While the exact laws vary based on your location, some to keep in mind include:
- Keeping a copy of your cannabis delivery business license in every vehicle that transports your products
- Logging the details of every single delivery
- Keeping an active GPS in every delivery vehicle
- Securing products properly during transport
There are many rules and regulations regarding cannabis, and they’re always changing. Staying up-to-date is crucial for your success (and survival) as a delivery company. For questions, concerns, and help with compliance, a cannabis supply chain consultant can be an invaluable asset.
Determining Your Delivery Radius
While it’s tempting to offer delivery all over, there are a few reasons why you shouldn’t. First, there’s the cost. The further you go, the more you have to spend on gas, vehicle maintenance, employees, infrastructure and more. Look to other delivery businesses for help determining your own radius.
Second, while the state may allow cannabis, some areas within it might not. Make sure that you’re knowledgeable of all state and local regulations to ensure smooth, compliant deliveries.
Delivery Vehicles and Drivers
As previously mentioned, all of your drivers should have a valid copy of your cannabis delivery business license with them in the delivery vehicles at all times. They’ll also need their driver’s licenses and employee identifications. Every driver should be 21 or older.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there may be restrictions on how much a delivery driver can transport at one time. While it’s tempting to pack the car full and make as many deliveries as possible in one trip, you want to ensure that no driver is carrying more than the maximum allowed amount.
Deciding on the Right Model
If you currently run a dispensary, you might consider adding a dedicated delivery service to cater to a broader audience. It can also help you continue providing service to your existing customers who can’t visit or aren’t comfortable visiting your dispensary at any point.
If you’re starting from scratch, you have a couple of options. The first is to rent a space in which you stock specific products. You can create a website or app that shows what you have in stock, and your customers can then place their orders. Or, you could operate similarly to a grocery delivery service. You build an online marketplace, and local dispensaries can register with you. Customers can browse the offerings from each dispensary and select their desired products.
Once you determine your business model, then you need to decide on your delivery model. You can deliver multiple orders in one go (making sure that you don’t exceed the maximum allowed amount of cannabis per vehicle), or you can have your drivers deliver one order at a time.
Get Your Cannabis Delivery Service Up and Running, Legally
In today’s world, a legal cannabis company can be quite lucrative and highly rewarding. The catch is, there are many laws and regulations surrounding cannabis that you need to navigate to establish a successful, operational business. Not following these laws to the letter can cost you your business.
These steps can help you to get your delivery business started legally. If you have any questions or concerns about licensing, compliance, or what you need to do next, M Consulting Experts is here to help. With years of experience in the cannabis industry, they can help you navigate the process and avoid as many potential pitfalls as possible. Visit M Consulting Experts today for more information.