Marijuana has received mixed responses across the world, and several states in the USA had been the first ones to legalize it on the state level. Marijuana has found its uses in two of the very lucrative industries, both the healthcare industry and the recreational industry. For instance, you can compare marijuana to alcohol and think about planning a marijuana delivery app.
Now we won’t even start scraping the surface of how marijuana is different from food or alcohol in terms of consumption, but that doesn’t really affect a delivery app’s purpose. If you own a dispensary or not, marijuana delivery can be a very lucrative business due to rising demands and the need for someone delivering it directly to the users.
Why Develop a Marijuana Delivery App?
Like we said in the introduction, marijuana finds its uses in both healthcare and recreational industries, which are two of the most popular industries to target as a delivery aggregator or provider. The world is full of alcohol delivery apps and medicine delivery apps, as marijuana could essentially replace both in many cases. Planning a delivery app for the cannabis industry can prove to be an excellent investment.
According to this Statista report, the legal worldwide cannabis spending is expected to be over $20.6 billion in 2020 and grow to more than double at $42.7 billion by 2024.
The above stats are very lucrative for planning a cannabis delivery app, and now is just the beginning of the legalization of marijuana. We can practically expect much greater spendings than what’s predicted over the coming years. All this is due to the fact that only a few states and countries for that matter have legalized marijuana till now, and it is as a ballpark, consumed all around the world to some extent.
How to Develop a Marijuana Delivery App?
Now that we know why it may be a good idea to develop a marijuana delivery app, there are 3 basic steps to successfully develop a marijuana delivery application, after which you can start hiring and actually building your project.
- Research and Plan
- Panels Required
- Development Path
Let’s begin with a brief description of each of the above points for how to develop a marijuana delivery application.
Research and Plan
Planning and research are essential in the cannabis industry due to the sheer fact of its legal status, changing for a lot of places. Also, targeting the US would be tricky as marijuana is legal in many states through legal legislation, but it is illegal on the federal level. For the delivery business, to plan for the app, you will need it along with making a list of dispensaries in the particular area you are planning to target.
Plan with expansion in mind too, this will save you tons of time and money as soon as the legal status change. Ask your developers or mobile app development company to make the app components this way. If you plan in phases, all it would take is a version release and a bit more money to put this in your plan. There are a lot more ways like this, for which is you plan ahead, you can expect far better outcomes.
Plan and research for the following well in advance for every state or country you are planning the marijuana delivery app for.
- Type and grouping of the potential user
- Number of dispensaries in the target area
- The legality of running a delivery business
- If dispensaries permit purchase without in-person ID
- If you can directly deliver form mass producers
- Amounts of marijuana the delivery person can carry
The list is generalized but can help you save a lot of money, time, and resources if you can plan for all the above.
Now, this comes down to how you are actually going to establish yourself in the industry. But in a general scenario, you will be needing 4 different panels, even if you are planning the marijuana delivery solution for your own dispensary. Each panel would require special features to ensure the app can handle on-demand marijuana delivery and make most of the marijuana app. We went through a list and working of top marijuana delivery apps, to compile this list of features and panels.
Adding features like fast delivery and in-store or drive through pick up depends on your project, but we have seen and suggest these can be USPs for your application. An excellent mobile app development company will keep every feature customizable through the admin panel they create to manage the app, but you will also have to take care of these when getting your app developed through developers.
Below is a brief overview of each panel we talked about above.
The user panel or the user app is the application which the end-user would use. The typical inclusions are chat support, live tracking of the driver, and the order status, but this is the place where you can innovate per your business idea. Mobile app developers will include every feature you want and will integrate it with other panels accordingly. We recommend you hire the top developers for this, to avoid bugs and errors.
Features of the User app
- Live order tracking
- Order status
- Store selection
- Item sorting/filtering
- Upload ID
- Special order instructions
- Payment options
- Reviews and ratings(for store and driver)
2. Store/Dispensary panel
The dispensary panel is where the dispensaries or store would be able to update their stocks and the places where the user can see a listing of all strains available. The panel comes equipped with various inventory management software, which can help maintain a personal online portfolio of dispensaries. In case you are starting the marijuana app delivery business for your own dispensary, you can get it customized with one/multiple stores accordingly.
Features of the dispensary panel
- Strains upload (with pictures)
- Stock availability
- Driver location
- User ID download
- Driver ID download
- In-app Customer contact
- Order specific requests
- Order history
3. Driver Panel
The driver panel helps you allocate the driver for the order and allows the driver to see complete details of the order and delivery address. The typical features would include maps, parking locations, store contact information, and more. The panel would be made as a self capable application which can be used to upload identification and send in those IDs for verification. A simpler driving version can also be made to simplify the process.
Features of the driver app
- Documents upload
- Profile verification status
- Upload invoice
- Navigation to store and user
- In-App calling/texting
- Phone number masking for security
- Order history
4. Admin Panel
The admin panel is where you would be able to allocate tasks to drivers, and one place with every information about every order. The Admin panel also should be equipped with customer support handling, which is mostly the case if you get the app developed from any of the top on-demand app development companies. Equip the app with multiple algorithms so the allocation and user requests can be fulfilled at top priority while saving you the operational cost.
Features of the admin app
- Driver management
- Dispensary management
- Profile verification
- Complete order history for users, dispensaries, drivers
- Support channeling
- Manual order allocation
- Emergency push notifications
- Contacts of every user, restaurant, driver
Choosing the development path is one of the most important steps when it comes to developing a cannabis delivery app. For an on-demand cannabis delivery app, the dynamics are very different when compared to portfolio apps or other business applications. While 1 option provides you with something, it takes away something too.
In the most obvious case where you wouldn’t want to lose users based on the phones they use, you will have to get an app made for both iOS and Android operating systems. Developing both applications natively is the most time consuming and high costing methods, while developing neither and building a common PWA would be the least costly, below we will be discussing all possibilities.
Read More: How To Develop A Mobile App?
We will be discussing the 4 available development paths for creating an on-demand marijuana delivery application. The list is sorted with the most capable application development path at the top to the least at the bottom.
1. Native App Development
These are the most performance-oriented apps ones can create for Android and iOS operating systems. One would have to invest double the amount to create separate mobile apps for both platforms in case they want to go the purely native way. Both Swift and Kotlin are very capable development languages and can be used to build high-performance iOS and Android marijuana delivery applications.
Choosing the Native marijuana app development at a glance:
- Maximum optimization possibilities
- Future proof
- Suited to their particular user types
- Two very different apps to work upon
- Costly and time-consuming to build
- High maintenance and upgrade cost
- Assembling the app might take more time
2. Cross-Platform App Development
Using cross-platform app development technologies, you will be able to reuse a lot of source code (over 90%) for creating applications for both iOS and Android. The two most popular cross-platform development technologies at this time are React Native and Flutter. You can choose from either if you plan to create cross-platform marijuana delivery applications. Even though they will be a bit less performance-oriented than Native apps, they can prove to be just good enough.
Choosing Cross-platform marijuana app development at a glance:
- Low development time
- Low development cost
- Less team size requirements
- Suited to particular user types
- Customized apps for each platform
- Low maintenance and upgrade cost
- Limited scope for optimization
- Low performance compared to Native apps
3. Hybrid App Development
Hybrid apps are those which can be run on multiple platforms on their native browser engine. Unlike cross-platform apps, Hybrid apps don’t come wrapped in native packets and are closer to web applications in that sense. Hybrid apps are built separately for both popular platforms and can be downloaded the same way as to Cross and Native apps from the respective application stores of iOS and Android.
Choosing Hybrid marijuana app development at a glance:
- Costs much lesser than Cross-platform apps
- Can use required device sensors
- Lesser team size required than even Cross-platform path
- Appstore and PlayStore presence through individual apps
- Low performance
- Less optimized
- Not very future proof
- Limited capabilities
- Not very good on the UI/UX front
4. Progressive Web Applications
Progressive web applications are directly downloaded from the browser and are capable single page applications which open directly on the browser. Even though the technology offers limited functionality, it can be a top choice for creating basic MVPs to present the idea. PWAs majorly loses on the audience reach on application stores of iOS and Android, but are very lite to download on the other hand.
Choosing the PWA path for your marijuana app at a glance:
- Offers much lesser functionality
- Can be downloaded from the website
- Requires much lesser testing
- Will cost much lower than any of the ways above
- No separate UI/UX for different platforms
- Cannot use the device sensors
- Low maintenance and future proof
Hiring Mobile App Developers
Coming to the most important thing, you require to build your marijuana delivery app, hiring marijuana app developers.
The final step of how to build a marijuana delivery app is choosing the way you want to hire. Would you want an in-house team, or would you want to hire a professional on-demand app development company? Both have their advantages and disadvantages and would likely majorly determine your project cost and timeline. We will be discussing very briefly about both of them below. Choose based on what suits you, rather than choosing based on what’s best.
Build an In-house Team
What would be the best way to build your own house? Some say putting brick by brick, some say hiring professionals to do it, some say under your own supervision. The truth is if you choose to build an in-house team for your project, it would be best for your project in the long term, but on the flip side, it would require much more investment, especially if your average per hour hire cost exceeds $60.
There are more options like hiring a project manager and letting them hire freelancers to get components built. Or partly insourcing from on-demand app development companies for their hiring their developers dedicatedly. While you may save more cost, finding professionals can get really tiring and put a big dent in your budget, and since all there is right now is remote work, this would simply be spending more money when you could have saved.
Hire a Mobile App Development Company
Hiring an on-demand mobile app development company for your marijuana app development can turn out to be a fair deal. The things with a top mobile app development company are, they are the ones holding the best developers, and they would sometimes cost even lesser than hiring developers remotely. The biggest advantage is finding professionals for all tasks, from testing to development to maintenance, working under one company.
There are various on-demand app development companies for hire across the USA. Choose wisely when it comes to hiring, and compare prices and experience of their developers before finalizing. We are a top mobile application development company and can help you with your marijuana delivery app endeavour to every extent. We have a low per hour price and can help you with the best technology to develop your app.