MJBizMagazine September 2021 - 70

BestPracticesInRetail | Solomon Israel
all the way to the cart and they see an
additional fee. "
Vehicles and Insurance
Vehicles are a must-have for cannabis
delivery services, and buying and
leasing are both viable options.
Blackbird started out buying
vehicles but switched to leasing to
help reduce maintenance costs. The
company exclusively uses Toyota Yaris
subcompact hatchbacks, which Ballard
described as inconspicuous, safe and
reliable.
" Most of our cars are getting
between 40,000 and 60,000 miles a
year, so there's a lot of wear and tear
on them. Leasing definitely made a lot
of sense as we expanded. "
The cost of insuring those
vehicles for cannabis deliveries is
" astronomical " compared to regular
car-insurance prices, Ballard added.
Proof of driver training helps lower
premiums slightly, he said, but there
hasn't been much competition in
the cannabis insurance space until
recently.
Farris agreed, saying the cost of
insurance for Planet 13's delivery fleet
has been challenging.
" We've gotten more strict with who
we're hiring and what's on their record
and their driver history ... just to try to
mitigate (high insurance premiums) as
much as possible, " he said. " But the
costs are significant either way. "
Nice Guys Delivery uses mostly
hybrid gas-electric vehicles, such as
the Toyota Prius, to help save on
fuel costs.
Cannabis businesses often face
difficulties securing loans and
financing, Gray said, so companies
might have to pay cash upfront for
vehicles.
Back-End Software
For cannabis delivery services,
software helps manage the logistical
complexities of accepting and
processing orders for delivery. Rather
70 MJBizMagazine | September 2021
than developing their
own software, many
dispensaries use platforms
developed by third parties.
Nice Guys Delivery uses
the Meadow point-of-sale
system, which includes
delivery-management
functionality. Gray said she
had considered building
a custom software tool
for her business but
ultimately thought better
of it.
" Why spend hundreds
of thousands of dollars ...
when there's something
existing (for which) I could
pay a monthly fee? "
Blackbird has its own
The software costs
Drea Ballard
retailers $250 per month
and offers tools to manage
and fulfill cannabis orders
in line with regulatory
requirements.
Dutchie co-founder
and Chief Product Officer
Zach Lipson said Dutchie
can also be integrated
with third-party fleet
management software
and offers two-way
communication with
customers and automated
delivery notifications.
" You need a consumer
Zach Lipson
experience that is smooth,
that is enjoyable-and,
frankly, allows you to
software product, which Ballard said
is helpful for tracking and retaining
customers on top of filling regulatory
compliance needs.
" We have geo-fences-areas that are
off-limits, because of a municipality
not offering (cannabis) retail in their
neighborhood or city-that can be
weeded out through Blackbird, and then
someone using that address wouldn't
be able to even place an order. "
Planet 13 uses Dutchie and I Heart
Jane to manage orders, and the
company is transitioning fully to Bend,
Oregon-based Dutchie going forward.
receive these delivery orders ... in a
very simple and easy way, " he said.
" I think it really is critical that retailers
in this space are really meeting their
customers where they want to be, "
Lipson added. " And that, really, in
today's world, is online. "
Solomon Israel is a
reporter for MJBizDaily
and MJBizMagazine.
You can reach him
at solomon.israel@
mjbizdaily.com.
San Rafael, California-based Nice Guys Delivery
serves Marin County and San Francisco.
Courtesy Photo

MJBizMagazine September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBizMagazine September 2021

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