In a first for the budding New York cannabis market, Albany is welcoming the state’s first delivery-only cannabis business. In a process that promises to be almost as easy as ordering pizza, Albany residents can have cannabis delivered to them. No more leaving the house or waiting in line to get the cannabis products you crave.
While the Albany location may be the state’s first delivery-only dispensary, it won’t be the last. New York has outlined specific guidelines to help foster the growth and expansion of cannabis delivery business models across the state. Both customers and retail owners alike seem excited by the prospect of a new line of business.
Albany’s First Delivery-Only Cannabis Retailer Is Open for Business
The history surrounding Albany’s first delivery-only cannabis business is unique. Company owner Matthew Robinson remembers when he delivered marijuana under no-so-ideal or legal conditions. As a high schooler, Matthew would make extra cash by breaking marijuana into dime bags and delivering them to customers while attempting to evade New York police.
Today, he is excited to be spearheading the first regulated cannabis delivery business in New York and to see how the times have changed. Fittingly enough, Robinson opened his one-of-a-kind marijuana delivery business on 4/20, a date synonymous with cannabis and cannabis culture. Robinson says it’s a “full circle” moment for him because he still remembers when authorities targeted black men for cannabis possession. He says he is proud to witness the shift in cannabis culture and safely provide the substance to his friends and neighbors in the Albany area.
So far, deliveries are allowed to residents in Albany County and nearby jurisdictions. Cannabis prices vary depending on the distance a driver must travel to reach the customer. With safety and security in mind, delivery drivers are required to check in to the company warehouse area through a window to verify their identities. Next, drivers can progress to the supply area. Two employees will also be in an unmarked vehicle to make deliveries. A secure lock box in the trunk keeps the products safe during transport. When the drivers arrive at the customer’s location, one employee remains in the car while the other unlocks the secure box and completes the delivery. Delivery must be accepted in person, and the customer must provide identification before signing for the cannabis.
The new delivery service will operate between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday. For convenience and security, customers can order cannabis for delivery directly through the company’s website. Due to safety concerns, cash is prohibited. However, federal restrictions on cannabis companies gaining access to certain banking perks and protections mean electronic bank-to-bank payments are necessary. Essential Flowers, Legacy Dispensers will require routing and banking numbers to deliver their products to their customers.
Products Available for Delivery in Albany
In preparation for the launch of the delivery arm of his cannabis business, Robinson worked with several popular local cannabis cultivators and producers. He says he stocked his warehouse with pre-rolled joints, dime bags, cannabis flower, vapes, edibles, drinks, and concentrates. There is no shortage of unique products to satisfy Albany marijuana enthusiasts who are excited to try cannabis delivery for the first time. Familiar cannabis industry names like Sugarhouse Farms, Adirondack Hemp Company, Juniper Jill, and Canna Cure Farms are only a few of the high-quality producers that have helped him line his warehouse shelves in anticipation of rolling out cannabis delivery in the area.
The First but Not the Last
There is hope that the cannabis delivery business will continue to grow in New York. After all, where else can you get just about anything you want to be delivered directly to your door? The New York Office of Cannabis Management released information to the public outlining how cannabis delivery works in New York as more businesses prepare to expand into the cannabis-delivery marketplace.
Since customers can only legally purchase cannabis from approved and licensed vendors, the Office of Cannabis Management provides a verified cannabis dispensary location verification page. This resource helps residents find licensed cannabis retailers in their area.
New York stipulates that those purchasing cannabis for delivery must be at least 21. Additionally, customers can only purchase up to three ounces of cannabis flower, or up to 24 grams of concentrated cannabis in a single day for delivery. You must have a physical address in New York to complete a delivery order. Deliveries to public buildings, community centers, schools, day-care centers, and motor vehicles are strictly prohibited. The state also requires you to provide a valid ID when accepting any cannabis delivery.
Although Robinson’s dispensary is the first to open marijuana delivery to Albany residents, it won’t be the last. Other New York retailers are cashing in on the delivery phenomenon. Housing Works quietly started delivering cannabis to customers near its Greenwich Village storefront. It is now attempting to expand its reach into the Brooklyn area since no dispensaries have been licensed due to pending litigation.
Customers and retailers are excited about expanding into cannabis delivery because only a few of the state’s newly licensed dispensaries have storefronts. The frustratingly slow rollout to earning a dispensary license, the glut of so-called “gray market,” and pending lawsuits attempting to block retail locations in some boroughs have made setting up shop for some retailers challenging. For some businesses, the hope is that cannabis delivery can keep them afloat until storefronts open and legal issues are resolved.
To help struggling businesses, New York opened a one-year window for proprietors to begin delivery services before opening a retail business. Currently, there are still licenses available in New York for delivery-only shops.
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