It’s February 2021 and no one really knows where we are in the COVID-19 pandemic life cycle right now, as infections and deaths continue to skyrocket. But there have been adaptations and momentum in the cannabis industry that are changing the way the industry operates amid the pandemic that may become the new normal in a post-pandemic world.
With cannabis deemed an “essential” business – this was an incredibly positive result that gave the industry some needed respect.
Several states that have legalized medical and recreational cannabis have been allowing deliveries since they legalization. Since the onset of COVID-19 protocols, dispensaries are now offering curbside or drive-thru sales in an effort to adapt to the new contactless, social distancing way of conducting business.
California licenses over 150 legal cannabis delivery companies, the most of any state. The scaling back of larger delivery companies may be just a temporary setback during the pandemic, or it may represent a harbinger of things to come, leaving the door open for more of these newly adapted dispensary type curbside/drive-thru opportunities.
In some states, dispensaries are operating under temporary rule changes about how to efficiently and safely sell cannabis products that consumers hope will stay after the pandemic passes. Or it may, in fact, prove to be a temporary windfall for local delivery services, Uber drivers and food delivery drivers to create added income streams.
It also seems like it could be a quick transition for giants like Amazon, Uber and Walmart to deliver cannabis, if and when that becomes feasible.
The reality is that chances are still slim for those mainstream delivery services to deliver either medical or recreational cannabis as long as federal prohibition continues. A mainstream delivery company would be opening a can of worms and courting business disaster if it began delivering a substance still listed as a Schedule 1 worst-drug-on-the-planet. But with the new administration coming into office, this may change rather quickly. We can dream, right? After all, cannabis reform on many levels is long overdue.
There are hints that cannabis delivery using mainstream widespread delivery services could still happen someday in the same way that alcohol or food is delivered. Time will tell. This year has had so much uncertainty, and so much change with regard to both business and society. It might be sooner than later when that Amazon package at your front door contains a new green Amazon logo, representing something different and revolutionary inside. Or maybe we will see Uber Weed and/or Walmart/UPS/GrubHub do the same.
In all cases, a green delivery future is upon us.