Looking out the passenger window of a moving car.


Considering Delivery Options for Cannabis Dispensaries and Retailers

Whether you’re ordering pizza, Chinese, or Indian food, there’s nothing better than that knock on the door when your food delivery person arrives — you get all the benefits of restaurant food without ever having to leave your home. Naturally, some entrepreneurs in the U.S. have adapted this unique service to the cannabis space.

The business of cannabis delivery

In California, there are more than 100 cannabis delivery services, but they don’t cover the entire state — there are a number of areas where these deliveries are strictly banned, and still more where they aren’t allowed to use public roads to deliver cannabis to their customers.

These delivery options aren’t being created for entirely altruistic reasons. Not only is it good for customers who might not be able to visit their local dispensary, it’s good for the businesses too. Interacting with customers one-on-one in their homes provides a unique opportunity for these delivery drivers to increase sales, inform customers of promotions, and most importantly — build a relationship between business and customer.

It’s similar, in a way, to the relationship that develops between a business owner and their vendors. Seeing the same vendor frequently enables these businesses to create a relationship with them. You’re generally more likely to ask for a favor from someone you know and trust than you would from someone you just met — like if you needed a specific product delivered on a particular day or time, or something like that.

Even in states like New York, where the plant hasn’t yet been legalized for recreational use and the state’s medical cannabis regulations are notably strict, industry operators and patients are still utilizing delivery services to facilitate the state’s medical marijuana program.

In states where medical cannabis is legal, it’s basically the same as having your prescriptions mailed to you. The only difference is that the human drivers must verify your identity before delivering your order to you, since you do require a doctor’s recommendation to obtain and use medical cannabis.

Cannabis delivery and federal law

Adult-use cannabis has been legal in Colorado since 2012, but purchasing cannabis product requires citizens to be over the age of 21 and to visit their local dispensary. For most people, that trip isn’t a problem and it becomes as regular as a trip to the grocery store. However, for others — especially those lacking transportation or those who aren’t ambulatory — the trip can be difficult or impossible.

Earlier this year, lawmakers in the state attempted to legalize the delivery of medical cannabis products using a system based on one that had just come online in Oregon.

However, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, fearing potential ire from the Trump Administration, used his veto powers to block it — calling it a dangerous attempt “to carve off new turf and expand markets and make dramatic statements about marijuana.”

For a state that’s already raking in the tax dollars, this bill looked like yet another step in the right direction — but fear of a federal crackdown continues to derail the legal cannabis industry.

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