Massachusetts cannabis delivery companies are seeing demand, but say one issue is getting in the way of profitability

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For Christopher Fevry, the CEO and co-founder of cannabis delivery company Your Green Package, October has brought a milestone of crossing 2,500 deliveries.

After starting delivery with NETA over the summer, Your Green Package is also working with Garden Remedies now, and is doing 30-plus deliveries per day, Fevry said.
 
While Fevry and other cannabis delivery companies are glad to be out on the road, they say one thing is standing in the way of true success and equity: the two driver rule.
 
 
That rule is the biggest challenge to reaching profitability, Fevry said.
 
“My hope is that there are some changes that are made that make the industry a bit more balanced, a bit more equitable,” Fevry said. “There needs to be a balance between regulations and actual business operations and things that are happening on the ground.”
 
 
“It’s not equitable for us as a delivery company but it’s also not equitable for the drivers,” Salazar said. “If one driver calls out that means another can’t work.”
 
The costs of having two drivers in one car add up on top of federal 280E taxes the 3% host community fee, Salazar said.
 
Salazar, who also does alcohol delivery in Greater Boston, agrees with Fevry that reducing the number of drivers for cannabis delivery would help the companies on the path to becoming profitable.
 
Home delivery of recreational cannabis started this year in Massachusetts with two different license types, which are each exclusively available to equity applicants for three years.
 
Commissioner Ava Callender Concepcion, who holds the public safety seat on the CCC, praised Massachusetts for being one of the first states in the U.S. to develop and effectuate regulations for home delivery.
 
“I’m proud of the regulations that we’ve established thus far because they aim to both increase access and equity in the industry while also upholding the Commission’s commitment to public safety. I want to ensure that this part of the industry thrives, especially considering the three-year exclusivity period given to equity applicants for this license type,” Concepcion said in a written statement. “That said, my goal as a Commissioner is to continue to let these regulations breathe and gather important, necessary feedback from our constituents about what they feel is working or where challenges may exist. The Commission has shown in the past that it is open to hearing feedback and revisiting its regulations if needed. I look forward to hearing from our constituents as we continue to watch this part of the industry grow.”
 
 
“Drivers know if I call out, that means I’m taking bread from somebody else, somebody else’s family. That hurts. My team, we’re so bonded, they don’t want to do that to someone else,” Salazar said. “Were a culture. We’re a community. One hand washes the other.”
 
Salazar said he tried talking with commissioners about the issue and has applied for a waiver. Fevry also has talked with commissioners, he said, and they’ve all been receptive to hearing about the issue.
 
Safety is a factor that played into having two drivers in each vehicle.
 
“If they rob us, there’s insurance,” Salazer said, noting that the car also has GPS and drivers wear body cameras. Salazar added that he’s been delivering medical cannabis since March and has had no problems pop up.
 
Fevry said there have been no issues with Your Green Package’s deliveries.
 
 
While there are other challenges, like some towns that have opted to ban cannabis delivery, Fevry said he feels the driver issue is the biggest hurdle.
 
Both Fevry and Salazar said addressing the two driver regulation would also allow them to pay drivers more. Fevry said his drivers make $15 an hour, while Salazar pays $15 to $18 an hour based on experience.
 
“People depend on me. These are my drivers’ full-time jobs,” Salazar said.
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