Last year, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Committee voted in favor of marijuana home deliveries called the Marijuana Courier License. A year later, on May 28th, 2021, a separate delivery program was introduced aimed at Certified Economic Empowerment Priority Applicants and/or Social Equity Program Participants (EE/SE Participants). This program is called the Marijuana Delivery Operators license and it grants licensees the power to act as their own entity. There is also a Delivery Endorsement, which is applicable for existing cannabis micro businesses that want to begin delivery. In this article, we will further break down;
- The differences between Massachusetts’s delivery licenses
- What to Expect
- How to Apply
- Rules and Regulations
- Where it’s Allowed
- The Best Cannabis Software for Deliveries
What is the Marijuana Courier License?
The Marijuana Courier License was passed in May 2020. This allows licensees to deliver cannabis and cannabis products directly to consumers and patients only from retail establishments. You must operate their own vehicle, follow delivery regulations, and have two delivery drivers in the vehicle at all times. Moreover, you must also deliver cannabis from a retail location only, acting as a third-party parcel for dispensaries. This means you cannot store their own cannabis overnight.
What is the Marijuana Delivery Operator License?
The Marijuana Delivery Operator License grants licensees access to deliver directly from cultivators and farms to the consumer. This license allows delivery services to wholesale cannabis and store it overnight at their proposed location. This means the need for drivers to visit a dispensary is eliminated. Work with third-party platform providers, like BLAZE, to make transactions, complete orders, and collect payments. Drivers can white-label wholesale cannabis or affix the branding name/logo to sell directly to consumers.
The Marijuana Delivery Operator is only available to EE/SE Participants for a period of 36 months after the first licensee delivery has been made. This delivery was completed in June 2021.
What is the Marijuana Delivery Endorsement License?
The Marijuana Delivery Endorsement is permission to perform deliveries for active license holders. In other words, if you own or operate a dispensary, you could now apply for the license to deliver cannabis in Massachusetts.
The Application Process for Each Delivery License in Massachusetts
The application process for the two main delivery licenses are generally the same, but with a few tweaks. The process is split into two phases: Phase 1 is the pre-certification application; Phase 2 is the provisional license application. For the Delivery Endorsement license, you must already have an active license to sell cannabis and be a EE/SE Participant.
Phase 1: The Pre-Certification Process
The pre-certification process requires the following:
- Business Information
- Legal Business Name
- Tax ID
- Contact Information for each licensee
- Disadvantaged Business Enterprise information for EE/SE Participants
- Personal Information for licensees who would have direct or indirect control of the delivery operation;
- Business interest in other jurisdictions within Massachusetts for participating owners;
- Background check and contact information (the background check will be performed in Phase 2);
- Upload a business plan for obtaining limited liability insurance;
- Upload operating policies and procedures that comply with the Commission’s regulations, such as:
- A security plan.
- Transportation plan.
- Inventory plan.
- Plant to prevent diversion.
- Storage plan.
- Delivery plan.
- Quality control and testing.
- Record-keeping procedures.
- Maintenance of financial records.
- Qualifications and intended training for personnel.
- Plant to obtain marijuana and marijuana products (Courier’s License).
- Personnel policies.
- Dispensing procedures (Delivery Operators License).
After approval, the Commission will send an email to the business email you provided. If you are unsure the Phase 1 process, read through the CCC’s FAQ regarding cannabis delivery in Massachusetts.
Phase 2: The Provisional License
After being notified of a completed license application, you will now begin Phase 2 of the application process. For Phase 2, you will need to complete the following:
- Amend or supplement any outdated information from Phase 1 if anything has changed;
- Submit the location of your business and property interest documentation;
- The location of your delivery business is where you house your vehicles; the location where your delivery orders are received; where vehicles are dispatched and employees monitor deliveries through GPS; and a location where you can safely store your cannabis overnight.
- Plan to remain compliant with local ordinances;
- Positive impact plan;
- Diversity plan;
- Bond or escrow account;
- Background authorization forms
- Certificates of good standing from the Department of Revenue, Secretary of the Commonwealth, and Department of Unemployment Assistance;
- White labeling and wholesale agreements, where applicable for Marijuana Delivery Operators; and
- A proposed timeline to become operational.
Finally, you’ve completed both steps to become a cannabis delivery driver in Massachusetts. Congratulations! Now, read on to learn about the licensing and application fees for each service.
What are the Application and License Fees for Massachusetts Cannabis Delivery?
For businesses controlled by and with majority ownership comprised of EE/SE Participants, the application fee is waived. These fees are typically $1,500.
The annual license fees for both the Marijuana Courier and Delivery Operator are $5,000 and $10,000, respectively. If you are a EE/SE Participant, this fee is $0 for the first year. For the second year and beyond, the fee is $2,500 for a Marijuana Courier and $5,000 for a Delivery Operator license, a 50% reduction.
Delivery Endorsement Application, License, and Fees
To apply for a Delivery Endorsement License, you must submit existing business information along with the following:
- Plan to remain compliant with local ordinances relating to delivery;
- Delivery plan;
- Security plan for delivery; and
- Agreements with Third-Party Technology Platform Providers.
Currently, endorsements are only available to EE/SE Participants during the 36 month exclusivity period, so the application fee is waived. After this period, the fee is $500. The annual license fee is $5,000 but reduced by 50% ($2,500) if you are a EE/SE Participant.
Rules and Regulations You Need to Know About Massachusetts Cannabis Delivery
- Two agents must be in the vehicle at all times.
- Delivery agents must wear body cameras to deliver marijuana in Massachusetts.
- Massachusetts cannabis delivery to public institutions such as hotels and college campuses is prohibited. Private property cannabis delivery in Massachusetts is allowed.
- Vehicles may not have more than $10,000 in cannabis products on board.
- Deliveries may take place between the hours of 8:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Where is Massachusetts Cannabis Delivery Allowed?
In Massachusetts, certain cities can restrict or limit the number of marijuana establishments from operating within their borders. Currently, the Commission allows Massachusetts cannabis delivery the following locations:
- The city and town where the delivery licensee is located;
- Any city or town which allows for retail operations; and
- Any city or town that has notified the commission that delivery is allowed within their borders.
Click here for a full map of where you can deliver cannabis in Massachusetts.
What Software is Available to Massachusetts Cannabis Delivery Drivers?
There is a full breakdown of the regulations and laws surrounding cannabis delivery using third-party platforms. However, investing in cannabis software that has long specialized in POS and delivery can be the smartest step your new business can take. BLAZE ERP is a cannabis software program built for cannabis delivery and compliance. For instance, customers can view your inventory ahead of time, place an order, and schedule a delivery with BLAZE. The easy-to-use interface allows you to add stops, scan items and IDs with mobile phones, and access driver ledgers instantly.
BLAZE Delivery App is committed to Massachusetts’s cannabis delivery compliance. Our app enables drivers to capture ID verification images and signatures digitally. This eliminates an immediate headache new couriers face when getting started. Book a free demo with us here to see how BLAZE propels cannabis delivery businesses to thrive,