How To Start A Cannabis Delivery Business In The US

Devise A Water Tight Operations Plan For Delivery

This is a crucial part as it helps you formulate how you will go about the operations.

Things to be considered are:

  • Receiving orders – Do you have an app or website that accepts online orders? Or do you have a method that allows you to create delivery orders.
  • How will you actually deliver? Look up on the laws in your state. There are 2 models of delivery – “ice cream truck” model  – A truck with a full inventory of products drives from one location to the next, returning to a dispensary only at the end of the shift. Second is the “Pizz truck model” – Single delivery.
  • Will you want to deliver the items as soon as you receive the order or will you wait until you have reached a specific number of orders and then deliver them altogether?
  • Vehicles used for delivery – what kind of vehicle will be used and what changes you need to make to them so that they comply with state law?
  • Who will perform the deliveries? Do you need to hire an additional person?
  • How will you ensure the safety and security of the vehicle and of its inventory?
  • Have you outlines the process once a delivery order is received? How do you gather and prepare the products for transport and securely get them out to the car?
  • How do you handle cash transactions? How much change should drivers carry with them?

Obtain Your License

This can best be done by browsing your state or city’s cannabis website and see if they’re accepting applications for cannabis delivery licenses. If they are you need to fill out all the required forms.

The forms you fill out typically include:

  • A business plan
  • A delivery plan (described above) – detailing how you intend to transport cannabis, including the processes you’ll use
    • Details of the vehicles you’ll be using – make and model, year, license plates
  • A tracking plan – detailing how you’ll track and keep records of all deliveries
  • A security plan – how you intend on protecting your products and drivers from theft

Make sure to read your state or city’s laws closely to ensure your plans cover all the required processes and rules. Get some help from a cannabis consultant or lawyer if you need it.

You may or may not have to already have your company vehicles ready for inspection before your delivery licenses can be approved.

Cost Of A License For Online Delivery Of Cannabis

The cost of a state license varies according to the type of license you’re applying for as each city and county has its own licensing fees.

There are two basic types of license fees in general.

Application fee – paid when the application is submitted and covers the cost of having the regulating body assess and process the application.

Actual license fee – paid after the application is granted.

Company Vehicles For Delivery

You cannot use your personal cars to make deliveries, so you’ll need to procure at least one company vehicle if you don’t already have one. It must be clean and professional-looking.

Depending on the state, you may be required to customize your vehicle with:

  • A secure lockbox to store cannabis products
  • A GPS tracker (the one built in to your phone and app may suffice)
  • Cameras pointing both inside and outside the vehicle

You cannot put any company branding or any indication that there are cannabis products in the car as it may become a safety issue. Also this will avoid the likelihood of people robbing cannabis delivery vehicles to resell the product on the street.

Get Delivery Software

Your dispensary’s POS software or app may already have all the delivery features you need. Check if your app software has the delivery features you need. These include:

  • The ability to create delivery orders
  • A mobile app so drivers can track deliveries on the go
  • Integration with the state tracking system such as Metrc.

There are also specialty delivery applications like Eaze and Weedmaps that can integrate with your POS software if you need more delivery features for your your cannabis delivery business in the US.

You May Want To Consider Third-Party Delivery Service

This is a good way to outsource your delivery to a third-party company, like the ones used by restaurants like Doordash and Postmates. Third party will relive you of the burden of having to purchase and customize a company vehicle. Also the onus of timely deliveries will be on them and not you. But this means you have to share your revenue with someone else, which you may not want to do.

Market Your Business Well

Without proper marketing your business will be buried under other competing businesses. Before your start marketing check out the regulations as they are pretty strict. Be sure to read up on them and make sure you’re complying with them whatever you do.

Depending on your target audience, you may consider methods like billboards, social media, Google Ads and other apps like Weedmaps, etc.

Give time to your delivery operations to start and flourish. You might not get delivery requests as soon as you launch your services. You will discover that it will take time and lot of effort to develop a loyal customer base.

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