Bumps in the road for cannabis delivery

Even before Chris Fevry launched Your Green Package, one of the first licensed marijuana courier companies in Massachusetts, he was worried about whether the business model was financially viable. Could a company act as an Uber Eats for marijuana, delivering products from a retailer to a customer, and earn enough from delivery fees to profit?

“We thought there was a way to actually make it work. And after a year of operating and about 40,000 deliveries under our belt, we find that with the two-driver rule it is literally impossible,” Fevry said on the Codcast this week.

Fevry and Julia Germaine, operating partner at marijuana delivery company KindRun, appeared on the Codcast to discuss their efforts to lobby the Cannabis Control Commission to loosen the regulations governing marijuana delivery businesses. They circulated a petition, which has been signed online by 400 people, urging regulators to eliminate a rule requiring two drivers in each car, get rid of limits on which municipalities delivery companies can operate in, and make other changes to delivery rules as they launch their next regulatory review this fall.

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The second driver is an added layer of complexity that certainly we don’t need,” Germaine said. “We have certain instances where I would want a second driver, in case we can’t park if we’re at a multi-tenant building in Boston. But that’s a business decision.

The first marijuana delivery companies were licensed a little more than a year ago. For the first three years of operations, only social equity applicants – those from communities disproportionately affected by prior enforcement of drug laws – could obtain licenses. 

Fevry said he had to shut down locations in Worcester and Western Massachusetts because there was insufficient customer interest to justify the cost. He said the region has a lot of dispensaries, so most people can travel only a few minutes to reach one, and many residents have cars. Due to the fixed costs of operating the business, including the two drivers, Fevry said he had to set a minimum order size of $100 – but the average amount a recreational marijuana customer spends is closer to $50.