How to Start a Cannabis Delivery Service: 5 Steps You Must Know

In today’s day and age, cannabis retail and a cannabis delivery service go hand-in-hand. Customers have come to expect the option for delivery over the last few years, and that trend isn’t going anywhere. While it can take some set-up and hard work to get your cannabis delivery business off the ground, it will ultimately pay dividends. So how do you get started? Let’s get into it!

Creating a Cannabis Delivery Service Strategy

Cannabis Delivery

Creating a delivery strategy can seem overwhelming at first. To help with this, we’ve broken down a few steps to get you started.

Step 1:

Determining the local laws, fees, and regulations is crucial before you get started. Each state, county, and city or town is different. Make sure you know what is required of you completely before anything else. Failing to understand what is cannabis compliance can be devastating to your business.

Step 2:

Review your data. Where do most of your customers make their purchase? At your store or online? Online customers are more likely to utilize delivery. So if much of your business is already online, then you’re bound to have strong sales via delivery as well.

Step 3:

Narrow down your demographics. Younger customers use delivery services more frequently. If your base trends younger, then delivery is definitely something they’d be interested in. Don’t count out older customers though. For those with disabilities, delivery is a game-changer, allowing them to get their medical products from the comfort of their own home.

Step 4:

Can your business handle delivery? If you’re struggling to make ends meet, cannabis delivery may not be your best option. Setting up a delivery service requires time, money, and resources. You’ll need to dedicate inventory and staff to make sure your delivery operations run smoothly. 

Step 5:

Plan your delivery service. That means creating business plans, dedicating resources and creating workflows. Spending time in the beginning to make sure that everything is running smoothly will pay off big in the future.

Determining Your Delivery Radius

cannabis Delivery

A successful delivery service knows their community and their limitations. Being able to service all the nearby cities, towns, and even counties right from the get go is not realistic. Narrow down where the majority of your customers are coming from. Choosing those neighborhoods will ensure repeat business, while not putting your delivery service under undo stress right from the start. As your delivery services gain traction and secures more repeat customers, then you should start scaling up where you deliver to as you add new delivery drivers as well.

Selecting Cannabis Delivery Service Partners

Running a cannabis delivery service is hard and you can’t do it alone. Choosing the right delivery partners can make or break your business. There are many software out there, but you want to look for one that will minimize your workload while integrating with a wide-range of other software to provide you a complete platform to work from and the perfect tech stack.

A cannabis POS (point of sale) system will help you with everything from deliveries and operations to taxes and compliance. BLAZE is a cannabis delivery POS software built for all of that. Built from the ground up by tech people who have operated large scale deliveries, BLAZE Cannabis Delivery software will take your business to the next level with tools and essential features not found anywhere else. With dozens of industry leading partner integrations, BLAZE offers a delivery platform unlike any other on the market.

Planning Your Dispatching Hub

Organized dispensary for cannabis delivery

 

Delivery services need to run smoothly. Doing so requires that your retailer or hub is ready for delivery to run through it. Designating an area dedicated to delivery and specific inventory set aside will make sure that even at your most crowded, your delivery operations won’t suffer.

The same is true for your dispatchers, designating an area where dispatchers can accept and assign orders ensures that you keep both aspects of your business operational. Your staff will also be able to perform more efficiently when the can focus on fulfilling orders with right products and giving them to the correct driver.

Choosing the Right Cannabis Delivery Model

Cannabis delivery retail models

There are many different delivery model types. Picking the right one is important for maximizing your strengths as a business. Make sure you look to see if there are any restrictions to delivery in your area as these might restrict the methods you can choose. Once you’re ready, there are three main types of delivery models: Ice Cream Truck, Pizza Delivery, and Hybrid.

Ice Cream Truck

First things first, the ice-cream model is only currently legal in California. For more California cannabis compliance information, click here. In this method, the delivery driver carries all of their inventory in their vehicle, just like how an ice cream truck carries all of its products. 

The cannabis delivery driver has more autonomy with this system. They can deliver, process payments, and manage inventory while on the road. This maximizes time-usage. 

Pizza Delivery

The pizza delivery model is just like your local pizza shop. Drivers come into the store, pick up the order, and deliver to the customer’s residence. This method gives you a central location to run your business and manage operations. It decreases the chance for user error as they’ll be reporting back to home-base for deliveries and orders and packaging can be checked and approved before it ever reaches the customer. 

With this model, deliveries are processed an order at a time (some states allow for multiple orders to be processed at once). All orders need to be processed and packaged before they ever leave the store. This can cause slower service, but also minimizes compliance problems as well.

Hybrid Model

The hybrid model combines aspects of the two other models. Many states only allow so much product to be carried at one time, therefore slowing down your operations and limiting your reach. This method allows you to extend the reach somewhat by carrying more product in your vehicles. 

You will need to keep a look out for compliance issues and legality. Additionally, make sure you review what vehicles can be used to make deliveries and any brand restrictions that your area of service might have.

Conclusion

Delivery is a growing part of the cannabis retail space. Before you dive in, it’s important to review whether your business is ready to take on delivery services and check the data on your local market. Taking the time to make sure your customer base is there, your inventory and staff can keep up, and you’re meeting state and local laws while staying compliant, is crucial before you get off the ground. 

When you’re ready to go, cannabis delivery is a great way to increase your reach and revenue. BLAZE POS software can help prepare your business for delivery or help your shop scale its operations. Book a demo with our team today and see what BLAZE can do for you.