In 2020, the use of marijuana has been decriminalized, if not fully legalized in many parts of the United States. In some states, such as California and Colorado, weed is now legal for recreational use. This has led many entrepreneurs to start delivery services to cash in on the boom in the marijuana industry.
Now is the time to start
There has never been a bigger opportunity to make money in cannabis delivery. In addition to the increasing number of states legalizing cannabis, the COVID-19 pandemic has created many uncertain conditions for marijuana brick-and-mortar retailers. Sales of marijuana boomed earlier this year as patients and customers stock-piled products in fear of potential closures. In some states, social distancing restrictions have been set into place forcing potential consumers to stay home.
For these reasons, cannabis suppliers need delivery sales to offset the revenue lost from decreasing foot traffic in their stores. Some experts predict online ordering and delivery services will continue long after the pandemic as consumers’ buying habits permanently shift.
The secret to growing your marijuana delivery business
If you are starting a marijuana delivery service, you need to learn about route optimization software. Using the right route planning app can streamline your operation and give you the advantage over competitors in the marijuana delivery market.
What is the best route planner for my marijuana delivery service?
With so many different route planning apps out there, it may seem hard to choose one for your business. Which app has the fastest route planner? Which one is easiest to use? Which has the most features? Are any of the good ones affordable? No need to worry. We have already done the research for you, and our choice will give you the competitive edge in marijuana delivery.
The basics: Starting your marijuana delivery service
So you want to make money in the marijuana industry? We don’t blame you. The revenues from marijuana sales keep climbing higher and higher, reaching $845 million California alone in 2019. By 2022, that figure will increase to over $1 billion.
Before you go making business cards and putting weed branding all over your delivery vehicle, there are pros and cons to consider for this type of business. You also need to know the process for establishing your company legally.
Understanding the pros and cons
Though there is money to be made in cannabis delivery, there are risks that come with starting any business in the marijuana field. You need to make sure the pros outweigh the cons in your mind before starting your delivery service. Here are a few things to consider:
Pro: The delivery sector of the marijuana industry is stable
While brick-and-mortar dispensaries have to comply with their state’s COVID-19 restrictions on retailers, the cannabis industry as a whole has been deemed “essential” by most states in the country. This means the sale of marijuana will continue throughout the duration of the pandemic, providing a stable supply for carriers to deliver to customers.
Pro: Delivery services cater to changing consumer preferences
According to a 2019 trends analysis by BDSA, a marijuana market research firm, consumer preferences were favoring online purchasing. Now with COVID-19 restrictions in place in many areas, most consumers’ only choice will be obtaining cannabis via delivery. This will further enforce the habit of using delivery services going forward indefinitely.
Con: The startup costs
A delivery service is an expensive venture to start. You need vehicles, drivers, software, and equipment. You also need to cover the costs of becoming licensed, which is around eight thousand dollars in a state like California. Not only does a new delivery business require a lot of capital, it costs time. You may have the initial funds necessary to obtain vehicles and your cannabis business license, but the timetable could involve waiting for months, even years for approval.
Con: The market will be increasingly competitive
In areas where marijuana delivery is popular, more and more businesses will start up. Over time, many competitors will challenge you for a larger share of the carrier market. To operate a successful marijuana delivery service, you will constantly need to innovate and improve your business strategy to stand out from the rest of the carriers in your market.
The business of buds
To start a marijuana delivery service, you need to map out your business plan. You will likely need to acquire startup capital and certain licenses. Additionally, while some states have passed legalization laws, new business owners should be aware that some cities and counties have their own rules for starting a marijuana-related business.
The levels to licensing
For many states, there are certain stages to obtaining a license to deal in cannabis products. We will use California as our example.
In California there are 4 stages to obtaining a marijuana license, and each stage costs money. Here’s the breakdown:
In Stage 1, the police department needs to run a criminal background check on you. The process is slow, and you are responsible for an additional $78 cost . At most, only six applicants have a background check processed per day.
You also need to take into account your business location. You must acquire a “Zoning Verification Letter” from your local Public Works department, and the letter has to be submitted to the local city hall’s Planning Division. The fee for this is an additional $250 and has a two week turnaround.
Stages 2 and 3 consist of business audits from various California state agencies. Whereas Stage 1 was a criminal background check, 2 and 3 are feasibility and compliance checks to make sure your business is financially viable and legitimate.
The fourth and final stage consists of a public meeting between you and the community members in your local California city council chambers. Here, your location, business plans, safety regulations, and employment standards will be audited before a final approval is handed down.
Due to the finances, required licensing, vetting of suppliers, and other requests of your city, the timeline for this process can easily exceed a year. Be sure to have a backup financial plan in case anything happens and you are denied the business license.
Next Steps with a New License
You’ve gone through all the hoops, and now are licensed to deliver marijuana in your area. Thanks to your business plan, you know the costs of procuring delivery vehicles, hiring personnel, and creating relationships with local dispensaries.
But how are you organizing your deliveries? To make your business run smoothly, you need the best delivery route planner on the market.
That’s where Straightaway Route Planner comes in.
Straightaway: The #1 Route Planner
The Straightaway delivery route planner optimizes your shipping schedule to reach as many customers as possible in the least amount of time. Drivers of major carriers like UPS, FedEx, DHL, Amazon, and onTrac rely on Straightaway for the app’s ease of use and seamless integration of critical tools.
- Schedule your stops with the snap of a photo: simply take a picture of the drop-off locations with your mobile device and Straightaway instantly maps the route on your screen.
- Optimize the most stops in the quickest order: Straightaway’s industry-leading route optimization algorithms can organize up to 250 stops in the shortest route in just seconds, all while accounting for traffic, road closures, speed limits, and weather conditions in real-time.
- Navigation made easy: Straightaway incorporates turn-by-turn navigation within the app, keeping your driver’s attention on the road and not on switching app screens for delivery information.
Make more green
The benefits of having a superb route optimization app in Straightaway are more than just the ease of use in routing marijuana deliveries. The average delivery driver cuts more than one hour off their schedule when using Straightaway over other competing route planning apps.
Think of all the things an extra hour of time could do for your business, especially in the beginning when you are starting out:
- Increased volume with more stops made per hour
- Completing orders while avoiding traffic congestion
- Save money by using less gas while traveling and idling
- Serve more customers without having to hire more employees
- Allow employees to enjoy more time with their families and avoid overtime pay
With Straightaway, you will put more green in your pocket.
Be a leader in the marijuana market
It is easy to get caught in the allure of the booming marijuana industry. Everyone wants to make a buck off of buds these days. But to succeed in this new frontier, marijuana carriers need to be professional and reliable, and route optimization is crucial to financial success.
Optimize your business today and smoke the competition. Get Straightaway.