As more states legalize recreational marijuana, we can pretty much guarantee the cannabis delivery industry is about to explode. Opportunity is growing across the country. However, states are only just beginning to realize the business potential in the marijuana industry and allowing delivery services to operate a logical next step to help these businesses grow.
The delivery of marijuana products is legal in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Notably, California was the first state to legalize home delivery fully.
For anyone looking to enter the emerging market of cannabis delivery services, existing California cannabis delivery businesses can teach us all a thing or two. Read on for some of the biggest lessons we can take from LA cannabis delivery services, where the business has been booming.
Know the Local Laws
The most important first step is understanding all of the laws surrounding cannabis delivery in your area. You’ll obviously need to comply with any state or local regulations, like checking IDs and delivering to towns that don’t allow cannabis sales.
You may also need to follow certain rules for safety and security on your delivery vehicles. For example, some states require specific alarms and locks, similar to those of a physical store. You might need to install video surveillance and GPS trackers, too.
If customers are paying with cash at the time of delivery, you might also need to follow the rules for properly storing the cash on your delivery vehicles.
All in all, it’s likely not going to be as easy as having staff hop in a car to drive products to customers. There are several steps you’ll have to take to equip your delivery vehicles first.
Have a Clear Expansion Strategy
When you decide to start delivering, your main goals should boost revenue and serve your customers better. However, you can only know if these two things are possible if you do your research first.
Before you make the jump to delivery, figure out what your sales look like in-store and online. Know how much you’re making and where the money is coming from. You’ll want to build out your delivery service in a way that won’t eat into your in-person sales.
Also, research to understand your customer base. Age, location, and whether they’re medical card holders can all impact how successful delivery will be for your business. You’ll also want to decide whether you’ll deliver yourself or work with a delivery service, which we’ll talk about more in a bit.
Set A Delivery Radius
If you are delivering yourself, you’ll have to decide on a delivery distance. Dispensaries eager to please customers and beat out the competition often jump to the decision to deliver as far as possible.
Don’t make the mistake of biting off more than you can chew. When setting your delivery radius, you have to consider the additional costs delivery entails. Gas, insurance, and hiring more staff will all contribute to delivery costs.
There’s a lot to think about before extending your delivery services, too. Consider the possible profit you’ll make compared with the costs of delivering before you commit to sending drivers on longer trips.
One way to help make this decision is checking out how other local businesses are doing things. See how far the restaurant around the corner will deliver to, and work from there. This gives you a good starting point, and you can adjust from there based on your customer demographics.
Once you’ve decided how far you’ll deliver, make sure you stick to it. Making exceptions once or twice can lead down a slippery slope. You don’t want to find yourself suddenly spread too thin and need to backtrack.
Decide If A Delivery Service Could Help
Several marijuana delivery partners are popping up, just like we’ve seen for restaurants. When you factor in the various costs for delivering yourself, it’s no wonder many dispensaries are opting to partner with a service like this instead.
There are pros and cons to working with a delivery service, of course. On the plus side, you won’t have to pay for your own fleet of delivery vehicles, hire more staff, or put the extra time and effort into managing delivery services. But, on the other hand, you’ll have to pay delivery service fees that could eat into potential profits.
Make Ordering Online Easy
No matter how great marijuana delivery may sound in theory, customers won’t take advantage of it unless it’s easy and accessible. So make sure that you have your online storefront set up in a way that makes the ordering process straightforward.
This might mean changing up your existing ordering platform a bit or creating a space on your website specifically for putting in delivery orders. You might also consider using a menu hosting platform that lets customers easily save their information and track their order status.
Have a Plan for Success
If you’re ready to jump into cannabis delivery services, the above tips will help you expand successfully. Throughout the planning process, keep track of sales data and pay attention to what your customers need.
Being able to deliver to your customers might be a great move for your business. But if we can learn anything from LA cannabis delivery services, it takes careful planning and execution to do it right.
Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness.