The creation of new state licenses for recreational marijuana companies has opened the door to home delivery in Massachusetts.
Freshly Baked is a Taunton-based, veteran-owned cannabis brand that is credited with making the first inaugural delivery under the new licensing process last month.
Your Green Package, majority-owned by women and people of color, has drivers on the road in the western end of the state. Lantern, the sister company of alcohol delivery service Drizly, is serving the Boston area along with We Can Deliver.
Aaron Goines, president of the advocacy group Massachusetts Cannabis Association for Delivery, has said the new licenses are critical to making the local cannabis industry more equitable. He and others have argued the financial investment and regulatory approvals needed to open a traditional brick-and-mortar retail operation are sometimes too great for minority entrepreneurs to overcome.
State regulations also outline stringent rules for the delivery process. Delivery vehicles must be staffed by at least two employees and equipped with a GPS tracker, a secure storage area, and other safeguards. Customers also have to provide a photo ID for verification and the door transaction is recorded on an employee body camera.
The licensing process creates two new kinds of marijuana companies: “couriers” that transport orders from an established retail store, and “delivery operators” that can purchase products from manufacturers and sell them to customers. There’s also a third “delivery endorsement” that permits existing marijuana operators to make deliveries. Cannabis accessories may be delivered as well.
Marijuana advocates have for years called on the state to allow for marijuana delivery businesses, which are already permitted in some form in many of the 19 states that have legalized recreational cannabis.