How To Start A Marijuana Delivery Service: Explained (2024)

Custom Image - How to Start a Marijuana Delivery Servce

As many states in the US have started legalizing cannabis, it’s about time to start a delivery service to make it convenient for customers to access dispensaries.

Offering delivery is ideal for business startups with low capital or to increase profit since the marijuana industry is expected to grow.

If you want to know how to start a marijuana delivery service, read on and find out!

10 Steps To Start Marijuana Delivery Business (The Right Way)

1. Read & Comply With Legal Laws About Marijuana Delivery

Over 34 states in the US legalized the cannabis delivery service business. Before you start, you should understand legal laws on cannabis delivery compliance.

You should also check the tax code and local laws of each state you plan to conduct a marijuana delivery business.

As per tax code 280E, state-legal cannabis businesses are prohibited from claiming the entire business expenses from taxes if not related to direct production costs.

2. Secure Cannabis Delivery Service License

Before starting a cannabis delivery business, process the necessary paperwork and apply for a business license.

You should also prepare the payment for licensing fees and other expenses you may need to settle throughout the process.

Furthermore, check cannabis delivery laws at the state or local government you will conduct business.

Since the process and laws differ per state, whether securing a license for recreational or medical marijuana delivery.


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Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!


3. Determine & Develop Your Delivery Strategy

Apart from all the legalities and paperwork, your strategy can make or break your cannabis business.

Thus, developing an efficient strategy is essential. For instance, determine how many delivery drivers you need and create a route management strategy to maximize your business potential.

Note that buying and selling cannabis products is limited to QR codes and cash payments per tax code 280E. So ensure to add it to the delivery process!

Custom Image - Top 5 Tips for Delivery Drivers

4. Set Boundaries On the Delivery Radius

On the other hand, there are limitations to consider for cannabis businesses, such as setting a delivery boundary because federal law still prohibits its usage.

Federal agencies also have the authority to prosecute workers of cannabis deliveries as per the Constitution supremacy clause.

Thus, you need to set boundaries on the delivery radius, as transferring marijuana to some states can lead to federal prosecution. Also, take note of federal laws to better understand the risk of business.

5. Choose The Right Cannabis Delivery Partners

Considering the cannabis delivery business is quite challenging and rife with risks, choosing the right partner is vital to success.

With that said, you should choose the best possible partners that meet the needs of your business.

In addition, good delivery partners help lessen manual work and maximize profits. You can also find partners to help you develop a cannabis delivery app as your business grows.

6. Configure Your Store Layout & Inventory

If you’re planning to add delivery to your business model, you may also consider modifying your in-store layout.

You can follow the bank model, where you designate different lines for pick-up customers and delivery orders.

By doing so, you’ll have a smooth operation, and performing inventory management will be much easier.

Additionally, you should note other configurations, such as staffing and automation, necessary to achieve accuracy and efficiency.

7. Select The Right Delivery Model

Before you start collecting orders, make sure to choose a delivery business model to match your operation, such as:

Hybrid Delivery

Featuring the combined methods of pizza and ice cream shops, the hybrid model is perfect for a cannabis business to cover the needs of a dispensary.

Pizza-Style Delivery

The pizza-style delivery features the same appearance and setup as a typical pizza shop.

Under this method, you operate in a central region and perform all the work from obtaining and packing to labeling and delivering cannabis products.

Ice-Cream Truck Delivery

The ice cream truck is another excellent alternative to pizza-style delivery. This method involves a driver carrying an inventory and performing multiple daily deliveries.

8. Secure A Delivery Car

Whether you want to set up an e-commerce or already have a dispensary storefront, securing a delivery vehicle based on your preferred business model helps maximize profit.

Thus, get a delivery car equipped for a cannabis delivery business.

Remember, company cars shouldn’t be branded since most customers don’t want others to know they’re purchasing cannabis.

Also, don’t forget to install security measures to ensure the safety of products while in transit.

The Best Cars for Delivery Drivers

9. Promote Your Delivery Business

Once you have settled everything, the second to the last step is to promote your cannabis delivery business.

However, some states have laws regarding advertising restrictions. So check them before performing the following advertising tips:

Set Up A Business Website

Although the competition in the cannabis industry isn’t as challenging as others, setting up a website is the fastest way to promote your business. In addition, you can find developers with in-depth knowledge of cannabis to develop a cannabis delivery service app for your business, easing the shopping cart flow.

Contact Local Dispensaries

If you’re not producing cannabis, contacting local dispensaries is the best way to promote your business. This way, your courier will be the go-to delivery service since dispensaries can only deliver locally under the law.

Advertise In Local Papers & Local Digital Ads

You can also advertise in local papers for cannabis and digital ads such as Facebook, Google Ads, and Instagram to reach more customers.

10. Get A Route Planning Software

To ensure a positive customer experience, get a route planning software like Route4Me.

With this route planner, you can get optimized routes in just 60 seconds and an accurate estimated delivery time.

Using our route planner will also benefit your business by getting the most-efficient routes to maximize cannabis deliveries per day and increase profit.


Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Help Make Your Marijuana Delivery Service Business Successful?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!


3 Main Types Of Marijuana Delivery Services

1. Courier Companies For Local Marijuana Dispensaries

One of the most accessible cannabis delivery services is to serve as a courier company. For instance, if you want to get started but don’t have a warehouse or physical store, you can partner with local cannabis dispensaries as their courier.

Under this service, you can deliver cannabis without worrying about where to source the product or how to get customers.

You only need a partnership with dispensaries and a route planner for your drivers.

2. Dispensaries With In-House Delivery Service

For those who already have a storefront dispensary, offering a delivery increases your business potential.

You will also gain more customers with the convenient service you provide. However, your responsibilities will also increase since you need to hire and train drivers for your delivery business.

Furthermore, you must equip your drivers with a delivery and route planner app to ensure efficient business operation. Just take note of laws to prevent legal problems or prosecution.

3. Online-Only Marijuana Shops

Another good thing with cannabis delivery businesses is it doesn’t require a physical store to operate, as you can conduct business online through e-commerce.

This is one of the most recommended cannabis delivery services for low-cost business startups.

So even if you don’t have a place where customers can visit, you can buy and sell cannabis online by setting up a website or app.

Selling marijuana online also means less operational cost but the same or higher profit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Marijuana Delivery Services

Do all states allow marijuana delivery services?

No, not all states allow it. The legality of cannabis delivery service businesses and dispensaries varies from state to state. You should also understand the open and closed market to determine whether or not you can operate cannabis delivery services in a state.

How much capital do you need to start a marijuana delivery service?

You can start a cannabis delivery business with less than $10,000. Despite being legal in some states, financial institutions hesitate to lend credit to businesses and startups related to marijuana. So you can only opt for cannabis funding platforms or seed capital from your family, friends, or savings.

In A Nutshell

The average cost of marijuana is around $319.04 in the U.S. It has a fruity flavor, the aroma of cheese and coffee, and smells of pistachio, mint, lavender, Tabasco, and jasmine.

In summary, starting a cannabis delivery business has many restrictions and challenges.

Thus, before you venture into the cannabis industry, conducting thorough research on legal laws you should comply with to avoid prosecution is ideal.


Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Help Make Your Marijuana Delivery Service Business Successful?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!


About author: Parker Woodward

Parker Woodward has spent more than a thousand hours working directly with customers to understand their challenges and help them successfully implement Route4Me. Leveraging this experience he is a passionate writer and advocate of sharing knowledge and learned lessons that will benefit others. He is a Certified Routing Expert and his work with clients has translated into significant operational efficiency gains for the clients he works with. In addition to implementation he has managed multiple projects and product development cycles for new features and solutions to resolve client challenges; some of which include telematics, advanced optimizations, API integrations, and more.


About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 40,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.