First Marijuana Delivery Starts In Colorado, Just In Time
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Timing is everything in business. For one Colorado cannabis company, their timing has been just about perfect.
The Native Roots-owned dispensary in Boulder called The Dandelion is the first in the state to get a license that allows them to deliver marijuana to customers. Has there ever been a better time to offer that service, with stay-at-home order in place across the country?
While the awarding of the license had nothing to do with the COVID-19 outbreak, it just so happens that delivery service began at The Dandelion in late March. Coloradans have been under a stay-at-home order since March 26.
For now, the dispensary is the only one that can provide cannabis delivery services. The dispensary delivers to a relatively small town radius which includes Boulder and Superior, a community about seven miles south of Boulder.
In offering delivery, Colorado is joining with states such as California and Nevada, where one local dispensary is offering free delivery for orders of $65 or more to customers within 10 miles in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Colorado program focuses on medical marijuana patients.
For medical marijuana patients, simply getting cannabis is difficult under the stay-at-home order. While cities in the state are allowing marijuana dispensaries to stay open, most require patients to come to the store for curbside pickup.
For Boulder residents, that has now changed. The Dandelion will deliver to anyone within the city limits. Customers can place their orders by calling or through an online ordering system. Deliveries are made Friday through Sunday.
The first three delivery orders are free, with a $5 fee for every order afterward. Other features of the program include:
- Customers must first sign up to be a medical patient at The Dandelion
- Customers must reside in Boulder or Superior
- A $100 minimum order is required
- Deliveries typically arrive between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
- Multiple patients can order from the same address, but deliveries to that address will be limited to one per day
Deliveries for recreational cannabis users can begin in January 2021.
Due to the health crisis, some states have lifted delivery bans for medical marijuana. However, The Dandelion is currently the only Colorado dispensary offering deliveries. That could change as dispensary owners across the state have argued that COVID-19 and the statewide stay-at-home order have made the case for allowing more dispensaries to deliver.
Delivery options are growing as entrepreneurs seek to expand services.
The Dandelion’s operation offers insight into how an entrepreneur can approach handling cannabis deliveries. More dispensaries want the delivery option to expand their business and meet customer demand.
While the timing of the Colorado decision is perfect for residents of Boulder, delivery has been slow to materialize across the country because of government reluctance. It took the Colorado legislature over 6 years to enact delivery services, an option medical cannabis advocates in the state have pushed for since adult-use legalization in 2014. While Las Vegas embraces 24/7 delivery options, states such as Massachusetts have been slow to allow delivery, especially of recreational marijuana.
The debate over delivery in California illuminates many of the issues. Businesses want to meet customer demand. They also want to move into a part of the weed industry now dominated by black market operations.
However, law enforcement leaders have voiced concerns about potential criminal activity involving deliveries (including the potential risk for the drivers themselves). And in California, the League of Cities opposed delivery because it would allow customers in cities that banned marijuana sales to still purchase cannabis.
Still, new delivery laws will open up a business opportunity for cannabis entrepreneurs across the country.