With so many regulations, logistical questions, and other unknowns, starting a marijuana delivery service can seem like a daunting enterprise. But if you have a solid gameplan, creating an effective dispensary delivery service is definitely possible.
Should You Start A Marijuana Delivery Service?
A cannabis delivery service can help you to capture more local customers. Customers love the convenience of cannabis delivery. While some in-store customers may switch over to delivery, delivery sales are unlikely to displace in-store and online sales because there are specific types of customers who fall into each demographic.
For example, delivery services tend to cater to customers who are generally unwilling or unable to make in-store visits. Medical marijuana dispensaries may especially benefit from delivery services as some medical cannabis patients are simply unable to regularly travel to dispensaries due to physical ailments or limitations.
Even if you don’t see a bunch of delivery requests right away, stick with it, and give it time. You will likely find that the service will build up a dedicated customer base over time, whether those are new customers or existing customers that choose to take advantage of it more and more.
The Legality of Delivering Cannabis
The most important part of starting a marijuana delivery service is making sure that you are compliant with local and state regulations.
Your first step should be to collect, complete, and submit all of the necessary paperwork required to obtain a license and make your delivery operation legal. Depending on your jurisdiction, this process may vary. Take a look at any and all available state resources that may be able to guide you through this process. If you are having a hard time locating or using these resources, you should get into direct contact with your state cannabis representatives who may be able to guide you through the process.
Once you are approved for a delivery license, its important to remember that every driver must keep a copy of that license in their vehicle when making deliveries.
You should also be aware of any other legal requirements that may exist in your jurisdiction. For instance, state regulations may require vehicle inspections or require your drivers to have cameras in their vehicles.
The second most important aspect of establishing a marijuana delivery service is figuring out how your drivers will operate.
Some dispensaries choose to work with a contractor that specializes in deliveries. Logistics companies can hire, train, and directly employ delivery drivers so that you don’t have to. Of course, these services cost more than just operating your own fleet of drivers. While this may be a good place to start, over time most services choose to transition to an in-house delivery model that gives them greater control and lowers operating costs.
When making the switch, you should consider the costs associated with it such as company-owned vehicles, vehicle and driver insurance, and gas costs. When shopping for an insurance policy, look for a blanket policy that covers each driver for a low monthly cost. Having drivers use their own vehicles is also an option, although it should only be considered if purchasing company cars is an unrealistic scenario for your dispensary.
Drivers can be recruited in-house, as well as from outside of the company. Recruiting from in-house is preferable as there may be employees looking to switch positions. Moreover, in-house employees with good employment records can be more trustworthy and efficient than new hires.
It’s always a good idea to register more drivers than you think you will need. Having backup drivers can be a life-saver should a regular driver be unavailable or unable to work.
Drivers will also have to be properly trained in order for the delivery service to run smoothly. Well written and well-thought-out policies can be used to establish expectations for drivers. Policies should cover topics such as how deliveries are performed, how to be efficient, what is expected of the driver, the legal requirements of cannabis delivery, safety and security protocols, how to handle transactions, how to interact with customers, and how to do it all in a timely and efficient manner. Alongside written policies, you may also want to consider developing training videos for your drivers.
The Delivery Process
Integrating your delivery service with online delivery software can make the whole process more convenient and attractive for both your dispensary and your customers.
Using a service like OnFleet, VerizonConnect, or Tookan can make things easier for everyone. An effective delivery management software will allow you to track your drivers in real-time, provide customers with estimated times of arrival, and accurately store customer and order information.
Additionally, you should make sure that all delivery vehicles are equipped with everything necessary. For example, its a good idea to have lockboxes (and keys!) in each vehicle to protect product and money. You may also want to consider installing GPS systems in each vehicle in order to help your drivers make deliveries.
Before your drivers even get on the road, you should establish an order sorting and processing system that minimizes mistakes and wasted time. Ensuring that each order is packed correctly and that each driver leaves the store with the right order is crucial to running a delivery service. One way to do this is by marking lockboxes with order numbers and having drivers simply pick up their assigned order number before heading out the door. This can minimize order mixups and keep things moving at a quick and orderly pace.
You also may want to consider implementing discounts or special offers for bulk purchases on delivery orders. This will keep customers from ordering small amounts of product every other day and will lessen the load on your drivers. Another strategy is to set purchase limits on delivery orders, but it’s always better to motivate customers with the carrot rather than the stick.
The Importance of Customer Feedback
Having problems with your delivery process? Sometimes it can be hard for you to tell. But rest assured that your customers will be eager to tell you all about it.
Customer feedback can help you to identify any problems or bottlenecks in your cannabis delivery service. Customers will tell you exactly what is working or not working, allowing you to quickly react and make the required changes as soon as possible. If mistakes are happening, offering customers small discounts or promo items can be a great way to make up for them. It can also be a good way to get them to share their experience with you if you are having a hard time obtaining customer feedback.
When you have everything set up, the next big thing is letting everyone know about your delivery service! That’s where we come in. We can help you with everything from a new delivery service website and SEO to display ads and Google Ads! Contact us today to learn more.