Cannabis Logistics Is Smokin' Hot

The stories behind how April 20 became known as “weed day” around the world are as varied as the cannabis products now available. According to Time magazine, the most credible story is that a group of teenagers in 1971 used to meet at 4:20 p.m. after school to smoke pot – 420 became their code word for the meetup.

Today, smoking in a lot behind the school is not necessary in many states, with 16 states and Washington, D.C., making marijuana legal for adults over the age of 21. A total of 36 states have medical marijuana laws on the books and three more states – New Mexico, Virginia and South Dakota – have passed legalization laws that have yet to go into effect.

As cannabis has become legal, a natural evolution is occurring for consumers – they increasingly are looking online for products. During the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, recreational marijuana sales jumped 159% in California in March 2020, 100% in Washington and 46% in Colorado, according to data from Statista. For the full year, cannabis sales reached $20 billion, increasing 50% year-over-year, according to Politico, and could reach $30 billion in sales by 2025. Much of that increase is taking place through e-commerce, with online ordering and fulfillment platform dutchie seeing a 700% surge in online orders between March and August 2020 alone. 

“Our quintessential existence is to make life easier for retailers,” Jon Bond, director of strategic partnerships at dutchie, told Modern Shipper.

Cannabis refers to all products derived from the plant Cannabis sativa, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. In all, the cannabis plant contains about 540 substances: CBD oil is one of those, as is marijuana, which is the part of the plant that contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Delivery Concerns

Even as cannabis sales soared, though, other issues have cropped up. The biggest issues facing the industry involve the inability of cannabis companies to access traditional banks and the varying laws and regulations in each state that prevent economies of scale and require local control of sales and delivery. Dutchie's platform helps address some of these issues, allowing local dispensaries to utilize its technology to create an online marketplace and then leverage dutchie partner Onfleet to handle the logistics of last-mile delivery …

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