Imagine placing an order and having it delivered right to your front door: an order for cannabis.
That is something that will be a reality in Connecticut as part of the legalization law passed last year. The deadline for the delivery license lottery closes next Wednesday, May 18.
Contactless delivery of medical cannabis to patients and their caregivers became a reality in Connecticut due to COVID-19.
Now with recreational sales on the horizon, home delivery to adult consumers is the next step in the legalization process.
“It was a licensed type that we thought certainly would be in high demand,” DeVaughn Ward, senior legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project, said.
A bill passed last year enables dispensaries, hybrid retailers or micro-cultivators to apply to provide delivery. If they are approved by the Department of Consumer Protection, they will be able to deliver their inventory starting on the same date DCP allows the first recreational sales.
“We anticipate that those licenses will be issued sometime either this fall or this winter,” Ward said. “So there aren’t any adult use delivery companies here in the state, but there should be within the next year or two.”
While individual cities and towns can prohibit retailers and manufacturers from operating, they cannot ban delivery.
“For folks who may not have a dispensary located very close to them, to still be able to receive their medicine or their cannabis in a safe and efficient way,” Ward said.
Ward said more than 300 applications were submitted for delivery licenses.
There are two lotteries: one is open to all cannabis businesses in the state and the other is a separate social equity lottery. 130 of the applications submitted have gone to that pot.
“It’s specifically for folks who have been disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs in their communities, and it’s a separate lottery to make sure those folks have some availability for positions within the new market,” Ward said.
Fine Fettle, a dispensary licensed for medical and recreational sales, sees delivery as a major opportunity to address social equity, which the legalization law states must be done.
In a statement, they said:
“While we are assessing the opportunity for delivery, we believe that delivery licenses are an excellent business and license option for social equity entrepreneurs and applicants. It is a license and business that requires lower capital needs for people to get involved in this legal industry and economy. We applaud Massachusetts for prioritizing delivery licenses for social equity operators only and would like to partner in that vein with budding entrepreneurs from disproportionate impact areas that truly meet the social equity criteria, as set by Connecticut’s legislation. Cannabis is an industry that rights the wrongs of the past and we think delivery is a place where that should happen.”
Ward said cannabis delivery will create jobs related to the product as well as ancillary jobs, like security.
“It remains to be seen how Connecticut’s licensing scheme, what effects it will have on diversifying the cannabis market here in Connecticut,” he said. “But we’re all hopeful that it does, that those efforts do result in a more diverse market with a number of players, specifically folks from communities that have been strongly disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs.
At least a dozen states that have legalized cannabis allow for some form of home-delivery, including two of Connecticut’s neighbors, New York and Massachusetts.