New York’s legal cannabis market has officially entered a new frontier—for the first time, consumers can now get cannabis products delivered directly to their front door.
A New York cannabis delivery license allows for the delivery of cannabis and cannabis products by licensees independent of another adult-use cannabis license. In other words, you're able to deliver cannabis to the consumer with the use of a delivery application. This type of license is extremely profitable in city settings, and New York is no exception.
To better understand the regulatory and compliance requirements associated with delivery, we sat down for a conversation with renowned cannabis compliance expert Tony Gallo, Managing Partner at Sapphire Risk Advisory Group. With over a decade of experience in the legal US cannabis market, Tony has guided countless businesses through the complexities of this rapidly evolving industry.
In this guide, we'll break down:
Cannabis businesses in New York must utilize an age-restriction mechanism or “age-gate” to ensure those under twenty-one cannot view any website or digital application through which an individual can place a delivery order. Customers must attest they are of legal age to consume cannabis (21+) at time of purchase.
An additional identification check must be carried out by the employee making the delivery at the precise time of delivery to complete an order. The dispensary must notify the customer of the identity verification before accepting and fulfilling an order.
Before leaving the dispensary, the delivery employee must have a delivery inventory log of all cannabis product in their possession at any time. For each cannabis product, the delivery inventory log needs to include:
All cannabis products prepped for an order that was received and processed by the dispensary prior to the delivery employee’s departure must be identified on the delivery inventory log. After each customer delivery, the delivery inventory log must be updated to reflect the current inventory in possession of the dispensary's delivery employee.
The delivery employee must maintain a log that includes all stops from the time they leave the dispensary location to the time they return to the dispensary, and the reason for each stop. The log must be turned in to the dispensary when the cannabis delivery employee returns to the licensed location.
The dispensary must maintain the log for a minimum of five years from the date of delivery and make it available upon request by the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM).
New York cannabis dispensaries must implement sufficient security measures to deter diversion, theft or loss of cannabis and cannabis products, theft or loss of cash, prevent unauthorized entrance into areas containing cannabis or cannabis products, and ensure the safety of the dispensary's employees and the general public.
Dispensaries are allowed to hire armed service providers as part of their security measures if they wish, but firearms are strictly prohibited from vehicles and employees performing deliveries. The dispensary must take the following specific security measures:
New York dispensaries are also required to have a security system at the licensed location that utilizes commercial-grade equipment to prevent and detect diversion, theft, or loss.
This security system must include:
In addition to the Training Manual obligations of dispensaries and dispensary employees, delivery employees are required to receive trainings on the topics outlined below.
Trainings must occur during a worker’s normal work hours and workers must be compensated their normal rate of pay while completing required trainings. Training does not need to be completed in one session or one day, nor does it need to be conducted by the dispensary itself; dispensaries are permitted to utilize a third-party trainer to conduct some (or all) of the required training.
Required training of delivery employees must include the following:
Cannabis products must be locked and secured in an area that's only accessible to authorized dispensary workers. Areas and equipment used for on-premises cannabis storage should be kept accessible to the minimum number of employees necessary for efficient operations and locked—except for the time needed to remove products for delivery.
Cannabis can't be accessible to any unauthorized staff or visitors and may not be stored in a vehicle overnight.
Tony's expert guidance and the help of the teams at both Dutchie and Sapphire Risk Advisory Group can help you navigate the challenges of the New York cannabis market with confidence.
If you have questions, please contact Sapphire Risk Advisory Group or Brian Donovan of Dutchie’s New York team.