Having gone through a few days as a courier for cannabis products, I realized that some people may not even know this job exists in the industry, especially when budtenders don't understand who you really work for. So, let me give you a glimpse into what my day is like, as I drop off herbal goodness to dispensaries around Colorado Springs.
WHO I WORK FOR
Now, if you want to get literal, I work for Mountain High Distribution, which is a courier service for MMJ deliveries all over Colorado. No, I don't work for a dispensary, a concentrate manufacturer, or an edible manufacturer... but they do pay us to deliver their products for them. Why? Well, there are a TON of MMJ businesses up in Denver and Boulder, and if it weren't for couriers like myself they'd have to hire extra staff to ensure their products make it to all four corners of Colorado. And this industry is full of a lot of companies that specialize in certain areas, like how even though a dispensary might grow their own cannabis, they ship it to another company to have their concentrates made for them. So, dispensaries and all the different manufacturers in the industry specialize in their area of work, and couriers like us specialize in transporting products to meet the demand of everyone within the borders of Colorado.
WHAT I DELIVER
But we don't usually transport cannabis (the "flower") itself, since dispensaries are required to grow a lot of the cannabis they sell to customers. They would already have close access to a steady supply of cannabis, so there's no need for us to transport that for them, but there are plenty of other products that need to make it on the shelves. And since dispensaries usually don't make their own concentrates, edibles, or vaporizers, that's where I come in; the majority of the deliciously-scented packages I've delivered have been mainly in these three categories. But there are occasions where I do pick up trim, or full buds, from dispensaries to be delivered to concentrate or edible makers, and I also transport a lot of paperwork and funds for paid bills.
HOW MY DAY BEGINS
Now, my day usually starts around 1 PM and ends around 7 PM, which are awesome hours, but you really have to stay steady on the grind or you might not make all your deliveries before the dispensaries close. And since the company I work for is mainly based out of Denver, I only do delivery runs two times a week, whenever another courier meets me and splits up all the packages to be delivered in Colorado Springs.
So, I wake up, log into our tracking system, see what packages are assigned to me, and wait for a call from the fellow courier I'm about to meet up with. And once we meet, I'm given all the packages and paperwork I'll need for the day, and then we both head toward the closest dispensary on our list. Which means our first real task for the day, is to input all the addresses into Google Maps to see which locations are clustered close together, so that we can knock out a bunch of deliveries in the shortest amount of time, before heading to another part of the city. Yes, even though I'm only delivering to dispensaries in one city, and I have 6 hours to make the deliveries, with traffic, the distance between dispensaries, bad directions, paperwork issues, and waiting for orders to be checked, you can really be cutting it close sometimes.
MAKING A DELIVERY
But whenever I make it to my first location, I'll be ushered into the dispensary or a back room, where we'll start going over the paperwork. I usually have an invoice from the manufacturer (which says what's in the package and how much is owed), a waybill from the company I work for (which keeps track of who made the deliveries), and a manifest (which is the paperwork that makes it legal for me to transport the packages I have). And since each piece of paperwork is really for a different entity, I end up writing the same information over and over again, especially since my company and the dispensary will both need copies of the invoice and manifest.
So first, we usually just check to make sure everything on the invoice is actually in the package I delivered, and then I ask to be paid the full amount on the invoice, so I can deliver that to the manufacturer. And since we're dealing with so much money, we both count out the money in front of each other, then it's sealed in an envelope, and then I write all the order information on the outside of the envelope, and we both initial it to confirm the amount is correct. But wait... we're not done yet! Then I need to write the payment information on both the waybill and the invoice, so that my company and the manufacturer paying for the delivery has it on record that the bill was paid. And then we finish things off by signing the manifest to have official documentation that the transaction was completed, and who took part in the transaction.
LET'S CALL IT A NIGHT
But once I have delivered everything I possibly could before the dispensaries started closing their doors, I get in contact with the other courier in the area, so that I can send my paperwork back to headquarters with him. My boss can easily track how things are going, through the online system we all use, so he'll usually check in from time to time, but thanks to technology I'm not required to transport myself up to Denver too often.
So, as you can see, my day just consists of a lot of zipping around town and filling out paperwork, but it's great to get to meet so many different people in the industry, and to learn about what products are available. It's a fast-paced industry, and you can learn a lot if you're paying attention, since you get to see so many sides of it. Even though we're not exactly messengers, if something new and exciting is going on in the industry, you can bet that a courier will have heard about it during their travels. And luckily for you, I'll gladly pass that information onto you... until the next Wookwok Wakening! 😉