Opening a Marijuana Delivery Service

The licensing process for an adult-use or a medical marijuana delivery license varies depending on state and local laws. While some states only ask for a retailer business license, others require more steps like background checks to ensure you qualify. Therefore, you should carefully study local laws and ordinances to ensure you comply.

The cannabis industry has significantly evolved over the years. If you are a new cannabis business owner who wants to get into this booming industry, starting a home delivery service business may be a good option.

Cannabis delivery laws vary significantly among states. For instance, to deliver recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, you must apply for a Marijuana Courier or Marijuana Delivery Operator License. In some states, the pandemic pushed the legalization of marijuana delivery and curbside pickup. The following states offer medical cannabis delivery:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts (unless the town voted against the delivery)
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon (unless the county voted against it)
  • Rhode Island (reciprocation with medical cannabis legalization states up to 2.5 ounces as long as the individual requesting delivery is a medical patient with an established medical professional)
  • Vermont
  • Utah

These states offer both medical and recreational cannabis delivery:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • Oregon

Get a Cannabis Delivery Business Plan

The marijuana delivery industry is complex. A solid business plan is essential to ensure you remain profitable.

There are several factors to consider before opening a cannabis delivery business.

  1. Hire delivery drivers with valid driver's licenses, and do background checks.
  2. Purchase delivery motor vehicles and liability insurance.
  3. Will you have a storefront or be delivery only? Some cannabis delivery businesses don't have a storefront. That could keep your startup costs down.
  4. Will you work with medical marijuana dispensaries, recreational dispensaries, or both?
  5. Find dispensaries that will allow you to handle their delivery. Many cannabis retail locations have their own delivery services. They deliver cannabis products to their customers, so they do not need your company.

Get Proper Licenses

All states allowing the delivery of cannabis require business owners to get a license from the proper state authority. So, you first need to gather the paperwork and apply for a delivery license.

Advertise Your Cannabis Delivery Service

The rules for advertising a delivery business are generally complicated. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Traditional advertising methods like network television and certain digital platforms are unavailable for cannabis delivery services. On top of that, states might also add restrictions. Check your state's advertisement laws when creating an advertising plan.

Consider Transportation Concerns

Your state's laws will determine the legal implications of transporting marijuana products. In states where marijuana is illegal, delivery and transportation are also illegal. States that have legalized cannabis have their own transportation laws. In Washington, you need to have a retailer license and comply with the requirements outlined in the law.

Don't Transport Cannabis Across State Lines

Cannabis is still illegal under federal law. This means taking marijuana across state lines may result in federal prosecution. The Constitution's Supremacy Clause also allows federal agencies to prosecute cannabis delivery businesses. This is true even though the act is legal under state law. It is essential to know the enforcement priorities of federal agencies to better understand the risks associated with this business.

More Resources

Do you need an attorney to help you start a cannabis delivery business?

Cannabis delivery laws are tricky to navigate, especially since federal laws classify marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug. If you have concerns about starting a delivery business, consider speaking with a business attorney with experience in the cannabis industry.

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DIY Forms for Cannabis Business

Restrictive federal laws and ever-changing state laws make the marijuana industry a dynamic environment for cannabis business owners. Before you open a cannabis business, make sure it is legal in your state, and follow your state laws. Once you decide on an LLC, S-corp, or C-corp business, you can register your business entity online using DIY business formation forms.

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