As popular as cannabis is right now, it is surprising that more companies haven’t lined up to start delivery services. But then again, home delivery is not necessarily legal in every state that recognizes medical and/or recreational cannabis. It goes without saying that state regulations impact how a delivery company would operate its business.
This is not to say that running a successful delivery service is impossible. It’s not. An entrepreneur just needs to be willing to go the extra mile to make it happen. If starting a cannabis delivery service is an idea you have entertained, here are five things you will need to get any such service off the ground:
1. A State License
Nearly every state that has legalized cannabis, in any form, requires business operators to be licensed. Growers need to be licensed to produce cannabis plants. Processors and testers need to be licensed to do what they do. States even license pharmacies and dispensaries.
Do not expect anything different for a delivery service. As long as cannabis remains a controlled substance under federal law, states have no other choice but to license delivery services. Even if Washington decriminalizes cannabis, licensing requirements will probably remain.
2. Solid Insurance
In addition to a state license, plan on obtaining a solid insurance policy that protects against just about everything you could possibly imagine. A business insurance policy starts with liability, which is coverage designed to protect you in case you are ever sued. You will also need insurance on any vehicles you decide to purchase for the business. You’ll even want to ensure yourself financially in the event that an accident or robbery results in the loss of cannabis product.
3. Startup Capital
Next up is capital. In simple terms, starting a cannabis delivery service requires a fair amount of money up front. You need to pay for that license and insurance. You will have to pay for office space and supplies. And if you decide to invest in your own vehicles, you are going to either need to buy them outright or lease them from a dealer.
Be aware that some states, like Utah, require that cannabis delivery vehicles be equipped with certain types of safety and security equipment. That represents an additional investment for you.
4. Business Connections
Next up, you’re going to need some business connections. Why? Because the last thing you want to do is invest a ton of money up front without any guarantee that you’ll have product to deliver. Make sure you have pharmacies and dispensaries ready to work with you the minute you have your license and vehicles ready to go.
If you are located in Utah, you might contact the Beehive Farmacy locations in Salt Lake City and Brigham City. Just delivering for those two locations could be enough to keep one delivery driver occupied full-time. Obviously, more connections mean more business.
5. A Willingness to Take Risks
Last but not least, starting a cannabis delivery service requires a willingness to take risks. Federal regulation is such that cannabis is still a cash-on-the-barrel business for the most part. Every driver who works for your company will be carrying around large amounts of cash. And of course, delivery vehicles will be loaded with cannabis. Both conditions create a certain amount of risk for both your drivers and your company.
Needless to say, there is money to be made in cannabis home delivery. Currently, delivery is in its infancy in most states. No doubt it will mature over time. The only real question is who will ultimately dominate the sector when home delivery becomes mainstream.