What You Need to Know About Marijuana Delivery Services


If you are considering launching a marijuana delivery service or expanding your existing marijuana retail storefront to include delivery operations, it’s crucial that you understand and follow all applicable local and California state regulations. California marijuana regulations shift frequently, so it’s important to keep up with the latest changes to ensure your business is compliant with the law. Here are a few of the nuts and bolts you’ll need to know:

You Need the Right License

To operate a non-storefront, delivery-only cannabis business, you will need to apply for a Type 9 retail license with the California Department of Cannabis Control. With a Type 9 (delivery only) retail license you may sell and deliver marijuana products to customers without a storefront. If you already have or are planning to apply for a Type 10 retail license, that license will allow you to operate a physical retail storefront location as well as deliver cannabis goods directly to customers.

You Must Have a Physical Location

Even after you acquire the correct license, there are still specific regulations that apply to both types of businesses. For a Type 9 retail license this means:

  • You must have a licensed physical, non-retail premise from which to operate.
  • That premise cannot be open to the public.

Marijuana retail businesses operating with a Type 10 license, on the other hand, may operate a physical retail storefront that is open to the public and from which they can also fulfill delivery orders.

All Deliveries Must Comply with the Law

For marijuana retails operating under either a Type 9 or Type 10 license, you must also comply with the following regulations:

  • You may sell and deliver only between 6am-10pm PST.
  • The person receiving the delivery must provide a valid ID showing that they are 21 or older for recreational marijuana and 18 or older for medical marijuana.
  • Cannabis goods must be sold in opaque packaging.
  • Only employees of the business may make deliveries.
  • Delivery drivers must be at least 21 years of age.
  • The delivery vehicle may not have any markings to indicate that it is carrying cannabis goods.
  • All goods must be delivered to a physical address.
  • The retailer must be able to immediately locate all delivery vehicles via GPS.

Current regulations stipulate that a driver may carry up to $5000 worth of cannabis products in their vehicle if those products have already been received and processed before leaving the business’s physical location. If, however, orders have not been placed, received, and processed before the driver leaves, they may carry only up to $3000 worth of cannabis products.

Where Can You Deliver?

In 2018, California authorized licensed retail marijuana businesses to deliver to “any jurisdiction in the state,” with specific exceptions (such as primary and secondary schools and childcare centers), but local governments sued arguing that the regulation violated Proposition 64.

While subsequent judicial decisions have upheld the regulation, it is best to consult a knowledgeable business attorney to discuss your specific business and ensure that you are operating in compliance with local and state law. Marijuana laws can seem murky and new regulations continue to emerge with regularity so it’s important to have the right legal team supporting you as your start or expand your cannabis business.

If you are interested in entering the marijuana delivery market or are looking to grow your existing cannabis retail business in San Diego, our cannabis lawyers are ready to represent your business interests. Call Purdy & Baily, LLP at (858) 360-7080 today.

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