Twin brothers Jensen and Jackson Mejia are preparing to launch deliveries for their cannabis business with the help of a $25,000 grant from the New England Treatment Access (NETA), Massachusetts’ largest dispensary, reported Boston Business Journal. The additional fund will be used for security equipment for delivery vans.
The Mejia brothers will be entering this delivery market with the help of the money from NETA. Regarding the grant, Jackson said, “We’ve always asked for an opportunity. The gesture means more than just the money… it will help us build a business.”
Financial advisor Jensen came up with the idea of starting a cannabis delivery business with his twin brother Jackson who is a lawyer. The pair have qualified for the state’s two equity programs managed by the Cannabis Control Commission. The programs are designed to help individuals disproportionately affected by the war on drugs enter the cannabis market.
Jensen said, “That three-year exclusivity gives us the chance to get our foot in the door. As retailers get back online, maybe we can go onto something else, or this is big enough to have a market share. But that exclusivity gives us a chance to figure out if we have something here before other people get in.”
While the brothers are yet to go through the licensing process for warehouse delivery certifications, Florencia is set to be one of the first marijuana delivery firms in Massachusetts. However, the company seeks to add a level of security to their deliveries, which will be funded by the NETA grant. With the help of their younger brother Ardwin, who is a US Marine, the twins look forward to implementing safety and security protocols to their services.
“Because we get to bring in his experience, and NETA has given us an opportunity to bring that in, the grant is a huge positive,” said Jensen. Jackson is also optimistic about this endeavor saying, “We are going to make sure we have the best and greatest security. It’s a great start to what’s going to be a very important part of the business.”
This will be a great addition to the delivery service as vans used for this purpose often require heavier security complete with reliable locking mechanisms and storage. Moreover, drivers will be required to wear body cameras for their own protection.
The grant was given to the brothers within days after a lawsuit against the CCC regarding the regulations surrounding the MA marijuana delivery program. The program seeks to aid entrepreneurs to enter the cannabis industry, especially with delivery services. It will provide marijuana delivery licenses to businesses in the state.
The program was criticized by the MA Commonwealth Dispensary Association because of its previous provision that deliveries would only be legal with the use of couriers. The lawsuit was dropped after the Commission added a model that allows licensed businesses to buy wholesale and place it in their warehouse before delivering to customers. The courier and warehouse delivery models are available options for dispensary licensees under Massachusetts’ two social equity programs.
The grant by NETA is expected to be a big help when it comes to pursuing the brothers’ entry into the delivery market. According to MassLive, Jensen has always seen the marijuana industry as an opportunity to create something from scratch. However, Jackson said, “We have all these career ideas, but sometimes money gets in the way, and resources.”
Regarding the decision to choose the brothers, Kim Napoli, senior director of corporate social responsibility and community affairs for Parallel, which covers NETA as a division, said, “The Mejia brothers are impressive entrepreneurs who share NETA’s commitment to promoting social responsibility and inclusion in their workplace and in the cannabis industry.”
Napoli added, “They’re just the picture of intention, of hopefulness, of desire, all of these things, it was just screaming through their application. Their backstory is really enthralling and primarily the desire that they have, the intention and what we perceive as the ability to succeed is really what said to us ‘this is the right team to go with.’”
The Role Marijuana Delivery during the Pandemic
The grant and the upcoming delivery license for Florencia come at an appropriate time, especially as residents look for safe ways to access cannabis. In light of the pandemic, various states have allowed the delivery of cannabis to residents. Massachusetts is only one of the states which issued emergency amendments to their marijuana in order to allow safe access to cannabis for patients and consumers alike.
Aside from delivery being legal for the safety of customers, many states have also imposed safety protocols. Many have set up contactless payment methods through cards and digital applications. In the case of customers choosing to do curbside pickups, the same non-contact methods of payments may be available.
However, different dispensaries impose different rules when it comes to payments. To ensure that your transaction will be efficient, the best thing to do is to call ahead before ordering to ask about the available payment options.
With the security and safety measures employed by the brothers, delivering products to and from their warehouse is expected to be completely safe. Plus, the brothers are determined to “do everything right the first time, with no cutting corners,” remarked MassLive. This ensures that their service will not only be secure but also high-quality and reliable.
Meanwhile, the state is yet to issue its warehouse delivery license as the process remains to be underway. Moreover, the company Florencia might need to sign hosting deals with the town in which this seek to operate in, in the event that the town implements new delivery regulations.
The Bottom Line
The Mejia brothers are soon to enter the delivery market serving Massachusetts residents and medical marijuana patients. With their service, safe access to cannabis is sure to improve, while providing more opportunities for other businesses, as well as generating employment in the state. All this is thanks to the NETA grant which the brothers received.