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Cannabis Delivery- An Insider’s View

Claudia Post


Scarlet Express


Claudia Post


Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor

CEOCFO Magazine

Published – May 2, 2022

CEOCFO: Ms. Post, what is the concept behind Scarlet Express? 

Ms. Post: Scarlet Express is a routed delivery service for dispensaries, both medical and recreation. 

CEOCFO: Routed meaning what? 

Ms. Post: Meaning rather than on-demand, in other words, one at a time, this is multiple deliveries going out from either place at a time. That is a route. Think of a FedEx, like a route. 

CEOCFO: What is the industry like today for cannabis or for medical deliveries? 

Ms. Post: I will answer that differently. You basically asked me 2 questions here, and one is, “What is the industry like.” I have been in the industry now for 12 years. I would say that in the beginning, it was a lot of legacies, meaning what I would say is a “Cheech and Chong-y” kind of environment. Now, it has, as we all know, grown into a mega business sector, with many traditional businesses now entering this space. 

As far as delivery is concerned, we live in a delivery world. Because my background is in transportation, supply chain, and logistics, and I have been in cannabis for 12 years, I said, “Why not go back to my roots and do a delivery service.” That is why Scarlet Express was born. The idea is about 2 years old, but I raised money in the last year, so I have been out pushing along for sales and so on since July. 

CEOCFO: What is your geographic reach? 

Ms. Post: The United States. 

CEOCFO: Why do we need a separate delivery company for cannabis in medical or recreational? 

Ms. Post: That is because cannabis is a controlled substance, and because many patients cannot make it to the dispensary because of physical limitations, or they just want it delivered for their convenience. Therefore, there is that. On the recreational side, very wealthy or famous people are not going to go stand in line at a recreational dispensary and get marijuana, so that is why you need the delivery for their convenience.

CEOCFO: Have many dispensaries tried doing deliveries the old-fashioned way, just from the store out, or are they staring with a delivery, hopefully with Scarlet Express? 

Ms. Post: Do you mean are they doing it in-house?  

CEOCFO: Have they started in-house and are migrating, or are dispensaries starting with outside services?

Ms. Post: I can only say that many people tried to do it, but the delivery business is really a stand-alone business, and so is the dispensary, whether it is recreational or medical. They are 2 distinct businesses. It is as if you tried to do deliveries on your own, that is all the staffing, all the vetting of the drivers, all the insurances, all the routing. It seems simple, but it is not! Therefore, I always say that when you outsource, you eliminate a lot of headaches.  

CEOCFO: What have you learned over the years that allowed you to put together a superior offering? 

Ms. Post: I started a delivery service I the way-back machine, about 100 years ago. I opened up a business called Diamond, and I started with 4 people, and I grew to 12 locations. I have a very deep background in the delivery business. What have I learned personally? Running a business is not easy. 

Running a business takes a lot of courage, time, effort, and energy. There are so many demands put on the leader. As the owner, you are accountable for EVERYTHING. You are dealing with issues and you really need to be able to girdle yourself to face the bumps and get up again. That is what I have learned, to get up again. Just keep getting up.  

CEOCFO: What are some of the challenges? Is it because it is a controlled substance, because gas is sky high, because personnel are hard to get, as well as personnel that perhaps need a little bit more stringent background review? How do you handle all the challenges of today?  

Ms. Post: I think that handling the challenges is part of being a good leader. I cannot control gasoline prices; I have lived through that before. Traditionally, the delivery business puts on, what they call, a gas surcharge, which is dictated by the Department of Transportation Fuel Index, which tells people, “Hey, if your gasoline is $3 a gallon, you can charge “X” for a gas surcharge. So many things to consider: employees, clients, sales, financials, HR. As the owner, you need to understand how all these things play together, all while keeping your eyes focused on building the business. Best advice: surround yourself with people who can assist you in areas where you’re not strong. Park your ego at the door. 

I am not saying that I am a virgin, but I run a clean ship, and I think that is the difference. You asked me about delivering a controlled substance. Each state has rules and regulations. We call that compliance, and you must be compliant with all of those rules and regulations within each state. Therefore, it is challenging, but if you understand the business, then you know what you have to do. I am not saying that it is easy, I am just saying that you do have a road map. 

CEOCFO: Are the drivers employed by Scarlet Express? Are they independent contractors? 

Ms. Post: They are independent contractors. 

CEOCFO: Does it go deeper than perhaps the standard background check? Are drivers eager to provide services?  

Ms. Post: Yes. It is a business, and it is like having their own business. Drivers like to be independent. I liken them to cowboys and cowgirls. They want to ride the plains, and they want to go do whatever they want to do. I cannot fault them for that. It is like people now, in this new, new world that we live in; people do not want to go back to the office! They want to work out of their house! It is just adjusting and understanding what to do. Incentives, we drivers’ incentives, of course. They are the backbone of the company. Some people look at the drivers as a necessary evil. To me, they are part of the face of who we are, so there you go. I have a reverence for drivers.  

CEOCFO: Are you surprised that more companies employing drivers do not recognize their value?

Ms. Post: Yes, I am. I am surprised, even if you look at what is going on in the trucking industry, it used to be that over the road trucking was a good job, and people wanted to be truckers. I read a statistic and I posted it on my LinkedIn, that statistically the way we are short 80,000 drivers. I do not know whether that number is correct or not, but I know that we are short drivers. We need to place a very high value on those drivers because, without them, we are nothing. 

CEOCFO: How does it work? Would a customer order from a dispensary, and the dispensary uses your technology?

Ms. Post: With the dispensary, our technology bridges with all of their technologies, and our technology for the routing is the most robust routing software I have ever seen in my entire life, actually. That is how it works. The patient has a standing relationship with a dispensary, and they are part of their database. They order their medicine, and then daily, depending, we can sweep through once or twice a day, and pick up and deliver. Of course, there is all of this scan in, scan out, signature capture at the end, and all of that other stuff, so it is a big deal.    

CEOCFO: How do you reach out to new dispensaries and new geographic areas? 

Ms. Post: I own a marketing agency and I am a salesperson at heart. I love solving problems and interacting with clients. 

CEOCFO: That makes it easier! 

Ms. Post: Well, I am a marketer, I am a salesperson. That is how I built my first business, and that is how I am building these businesses. I own two businesses. One is Scarlet Express, and the other is MOST Consulting Group. With MOST, you can hop on the website and see what we do there. Our focus is cannabis businesses, and we have been in business for 12 years.   

CEOCFO: When you are approaching a dispensary, are they welcoming? Do they take deliveries seriously; do they understand the need, in general? 

Ms. Post: I would say, in general, some of them want to do it themselves. They think that is more control. However, they are going to find out, as they grow, that they are going to have a problem, and hopefully they will come back to me. I would say that people are open to the technology, they are open to the elimination of a lot of headaches, so yes, I would say so. Cannabis is a young industry and unfortunately, the infrastructure within organizations is not necessarily clearly defined. Oft times people that are in certain positions have no knowledge of transportation services nor do they understand what to look for and so it makes it very difficult to get to the right decision-maker. 

CEOCFO: Is it relatively easy to keep up with local regulations?

Ms. Post: Each state has different rules and regulations. They are voted on, they are codified, and we go in, we do that research, and we make sure that we are compliant. It is the law, so it cannot change every five minutes. 

CEOCFO: What surprised you as Scarlet Express has grown and evolved to where you are today? 

Ms. Post: I would say that what surprised me is that delivery has not been as easy a sell as I thought it would be. I come out of the delivery business, where I just call up, let us say Duke University, or here in Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania, and I would be part of a bidding process. The purchasers and other people know what they are doing, but because cannabis is a relatively new business sector, the dispensaries are evolving. Therefore, who is the right person? I have to talk to a decision-maker! I cannot talk to someone in a dispensary. They have no buying authority, and it is very difficult to find the right decision-maker. I would say, that is annoying and surprising but I’m tenacious!

CEOCFO: How do you help dispensaries market new delivery services. How do you work with your customers to do that? 

Ms. Post: If you sign on with us, Scarlet Express, along with that comes MOST, and if you go on the MOST site you will see what we do. We do a full-service marketing agency, anything from a business card to a billboard, and everything in between. Go to marketing strategy, branding strategy, application writing, your identity, PR. Whatever it is, we can do it. We have writers, we have designers, and so again, I am a unicorn, because I come to someone and I say, “Not only do you get the delivery service, but you get the marketing, in the beginning, from us.   

CEOCFO:  Do you find that many dispensaries will take advantage of marketing services, over and above the delivery?  

Ms. Post: Why wouldn’t they?

CEOCFO: Why is Scarlet Express an important company? 

Ms. Post: Because it bridges the gap between the dispensary and the patient. It allows for ease of adoption of getting their medicine. It is discreet, so people like that. Putting it all together, people like the delivery model. We provide an important service for the dispensary and the patients/clients. I’ve been problem-solving in the transportation industry for twenty-something years. I have a sense of urgency and attention to detail and so ScarletEx becomes a valuable part of any recreational or medical dispensaries team.

Scarlet Express | Claudia Post | Cannabis Supply Chain Management | Cannabis delivery service | Cannabis Delivery- An Insider’s View | CEO Interviews 2022 | Cannabis Companies | Cannabis delivery, Dispensary delivery, Outsourced dispensary delivery, How to deliver cannabis, Scarlet Express Press Releases, Linkedin, Instagram

“We provide an important service for the dispensary and the patients/clients. I’ve been problem-solving in the transportation industry for twenty-something years. I have a sense of urgency and attention to detail and so ScarletEx becomes a valuable part of any recreational or medical dispensaries team.”
Claudia Post