Cannabis delivery is not only the fastest growing segment of the supply chain, it is also the most drastically changing.
For the Cannabis Chamber of Commerce’s recent webinar, “Cannabis Thought Leaders: The Future of Delivery,” we sat down with 4 leaders at the forefront of this change:
Christopher Dell’olio, CEO of WebJoint
Stephanie Uy, Director of Government Affairs and Licensing at Amuse
Attorney Joe Rogoway, founder of Rogoway Law Group
Alana Joyce, Chief Compliance Counsel at Eaze
This panel discussed cannabis delivery post-COVID-19: a time wherein changes in regulations, consumer buying behaviors, and the emergence of new technologies set the stage for the future of this market segment for years to come.
This article will highlight the three main takeaways from our webinar:
Policy changes and localized bans on cannabis delivery
Changes in consumer buying behaviors post-COVID-19
Using emerging technologies as a key to your delivery service
Webinar Recording - Cannabis Thought Leaders: The Future of Delivery
Policy Changes and Localized Bans on Delivery
Prior to the pandemic, the narratives surrounding cannabis delivery were unsettled from a policy standpoint. Though permitted under California law, the legality of cannabis delivery was threatened by a collection of 25 localities looking to ban delivery in their jurisdictions.
“Local bans is one area we can improve upon,” says Joe Rogoway, who argues that cannabis deliveries and consumers need assurance from the State that enforcement actions won’t be taken against them for delivering cannabis in these jurisdictions.
The consensus is that the residents of these jurisdictions have the right, bestowed to them by the State, to have access to cannabis for medicinal or recreational use; and that the actions of these localities are infringing upon those rights.
The State has assured operators multiple times that cannabis delivery is legal statewide and that localized bans may not take effect. Banning delivery only creates more problems: it’s a win for the illicit market that accounts for 75% of the state’s deliveries, it limits operators trying to play by the rules, and costly to taxpayers in these jurisdictions looking to enforce these rules. These assurances are crucial to maintaining safe and legal access to cannabis products statewide.
Another policy discussion point was Assembly Bill 1014, which seeks to increase the monetary value of cannabis products permitted in a vehicle from $5,000 to up to $25,000, while also adding new classifications for vehicles used for cannabis delivery. More importantly, the bill raises the safety standards for these vehicles based on the value of their cargo and is designed to tackle the illicit market, whose operators do not abide by the current $5,000 limit licensed operators have to abide by.
“This would unlock a lot of efficiencies for delivery operators,” says Stephanie Uy, who argues that the passage of this bill would allow delivery drivers to stay out longer and cover a larger geographic area for cannabis delivery.
Christopher Dell'Olio emphasized the benefits this bill would deliver to operators as well, citing driver efficiency with the ability to carry more cannabis, especially when paired with WebJoint’s Geofencing and Kit Template features.
Consumers love Cannabis Delivery
It is no surprise that after stay-at-home orders were mandated nationwide due to COVID-19, cannabis delivery exploded. Consumers were ordering cannabis at record highs and, for some, experiencing the convenience of cannabis delivery for the first time.
This created a paradigm shift in how consumers interact with cannabis: they want it delivered. The State estimates that 54% of consumers now order cannabis exclusively through delivery.
Moreover, at the peak of quarantine, delivery demand surged as high as 300%. Now that consumers have grown accustomed to ordering cannabis as easily as they order food, there’s no going back. As uncertain the future may be, one thing we know for sure is: cannabis delivery is here to stay.
Using emerging technologies as a key to success for cannabis delivery
In order to stay competitive in the cannabis delivery market is to leverage technology to help your operation scale and succeed. Moreover, it’s important to use technology to keep you and your employees safe.
Alana stated that a combination of using “safety procedures and utilizing technology” can help delivery operators minimize their incident rates for theft, robbery, and crime targeting cannabis deliveries. To support this point, Chris noted the importance of keeping driver risk in mind when building safeguards into cannabis technology.
Preventing consumers from tracking the live location of their delivery drivers and allowing drivers to report bad actors are just a few examples of safeguards WebJoint cannabis delivery software has developed into their own technologies to mitigate the risk delivery services have to deal with on a daily basis.
The key to success for cannabis delivery operators, especially as the space continues to develop as the fastest growing segment of the market, is to take advantage of the emerging technologies that are being built to solve their problems.
A lot of the mundane daily tasks, as well as the complex ones tied to compliance with state and local cannabis regulations, can be simplified and easily automated with the right cannabis delivery technology.
In doing so, operators can better use that time to focus on more important things, like growing their business and increasing their bottom line.