Tucked away near the Clinton Dam, Delivered Inc. is in a business that’s located in an industrial area that looks like a place you might have pulled into the parking lot to buy weed in a time when it was still illegal.
Luckily, we now live in the future, where weed is not only legal, but it’s possible to get it delivered right to your own door. As you may have guessed by their name, Delivered, Inc is one of just a handful of cannabis companies operating in the state who is licensed to do just that.
It’s been mentioned in this column before, but despite the fact that the first legal adult-use cannabis delivery happened in Massachusetts over two years ago, a surprising amount of potential customers are still largely unaware that they can purchase weed this way.
The opening of the state’s first retail stores was met with much fanfare back in 2018, but by the time the Cannabis Control Commission drafted delivery regulations and implemented them, the media’s buzz had largely worn off. There were a handful of stories covering these first legal delivery transactions, but many consumers were by this point very used to the idea of driving to a store to make their weed purchases.
It’s been an uphill battle to raise awareness about delivery businesses ever since. State regulations limit the places that cannabis businesses can advertise, leaving Delivered with limited options to raise public awareness that are within the young startup’s budget.
As anyone who’s driven around the state recently knows, billboards are usually a compliant way for cannabis businesses to advertise, but the cost of a single billboard advertisement in Worcester is typically around $60,000, according to Delivered Inc. Founder and CEO Ruben Seyde.
Even when customers do find out about the company and make a leap of faith by making a purchase for the first time, a lot of them remain skeptical until one of the company’s vans actually pulls up to their door.
“Their biggest issue obviously is the lack of confirmation that we’re legit while they’re googling and ordering,” said Seyde. “Even until the point where we’re there, they continue to have doubts as to whether or not they are actually going to get the product or not.”
For many people used to living in the days of marijuana prohibition, the concept that they can have legal weed delivered right to their home simply seems too good to be true.
There’s also still a lot of illicit weed dealers out there who are disguising their operations as legitimate, adding further confusion to the situation. Seyde says he’s hopeful that the state will do more to help consumers separate licensed companies from unlicensed ones, and generally make the public aware that buying weed via delivery is an option.
One possibility would be adding a link to easily find delivery companies on the commission’s website, similar to an already existing tool that’s available to help consumers find brick and mortar dispensaries.
“Maybe [the commission will] have to pay a software developer to do a day of work, but it’s really something that hampers our ability to get out there,” he said.
Despite Seyde’s perception that the CCC isn’t doing enough to raise awareness about delivery, he did give the agency credit for helping him find his way into the cannabis space in the first place.
Growing up in a rough neighborhood, his focus was more on finding any opportunities available rather than following a specific career path. But suddenly one day, that changed.
“I was doing this nine to five job when I saw an ad for the social equity program,” said Seyde, referencing the commission’s program designed to help prospective cannabis business owners from areas impacted by the War on Drugs. “I saw that I qualified for the program. I figured why not throw my hat into the ring?”
While the Social Equity Program provides participants with training, Seyde said that the most valuable part of his time there was the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals. This mindset allowed him to help form a small, diverse team where every member has equity and is truly invested in the company’s success.
Another reflection of the values of Delivered’s founders is the actual cannabis products they sell. While the cheapest option for the company would be to buy from some of the state’s largest cannabis companies, many of these businesses are large, publicly-traded corporations who have their hearts sought out on dominating the entire industry.
Many of these companies also tried to prevent the state from offering this specific delivery in the first place. A group representing some existing dispensaries testified against the concept and attempted to take legal action to block the state from implementing any system that would allow delivery companies to buy their products directly from growers.
They preferred to see the state stick to their original plan, which was to only offer delivery licenses that only allowed companies to pick up weed from existing brick and mortar dispensaries, similar to how UberEats works. This would have left little actual revenue for these businesses and led to higher prices for consumers looking to buy weed from home.
Luckily, local activists prevailed and the wholesale delivery license type was established, allowing Delivered, Inc to become a reality.
So when they finally got open, Seyde said it was pretty easy for him to figure out that he wanted to support local businesses and community members who had supported his company from the start in various ways. In response, they only carry products from like minded companies that started right here in Massachusetts.
Items available through Delivered right now include products like Good Feels cannabis seltzers (made in Medway), edibles from Coast Cannabis (based in East Wareham), and flower from Bailey’s Buds (located in Dracut).
Listed prices include the state’s cannabis taxes, and thanks to the ability to buy products directly from growers and producers, the cost is generally around what you see in your typical dispensary.
Current cities and towns that Delivered can provide services to are ??Clinton, Berlin, West Boylston, Leominster, Fitchburg, Shrewsbury, Marlborough, Worcester, and Hudson.
In case there weren’t enough restrictions making things difficult for delivery companies, deliveries to hotels, dorms, and public housing are also sadly forbidden. The state also allowed individual municipalities to ban cannabis deliveries within their borders, so towns such as Northborough remain off-limits.
Delivered encourages potential customers in towns that have banned deliveries to write to their local political leaders in an attempt to encourage them to reconsider their position. This ‘never give up’ attitude is apparent throughout the business.
Instead of being intimidated by all of the regulatory hurdles and difficulties of owning a small business, the Delivered Inc. crew has decided to try to go the extra mile to build a loyal customer base. While their website makes placing an order as straightforward as ordering a pizza, they are also able to take orders by phone, or even in the way many of us bought our weed back in the day: via text message.
They are happy to walk confused customers through the process or answer any questions anyone might have. The diversity of their team is also an asset when it comes to taking orders, as they are also able to take orders in Spanish and Portuguese.
You can place a delivery or find out more about Delivered Inc. at their website, www.thedeliveredinc.com.