“I’m grateful for these companies who have helped change legislation, but it meant they were first to open and it took nearly two years for economic empowerment businesses to launch.”
“In partnership with [the state-licensed delivery service] Doobie,” Ericca Kennedy recently hit the milestone of becoming one of the first “economic empowerment applicants to launch a cannabis delivery service with a delivery operator license in the state of Massachusetts.”
That’s a major feat and notch for the Wareham resident, and it didn’t come overnight. “Along with her husband Justin Kennedy,” Ericca has “been working with the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commision to obtain a license since 2018.”
“It’s been a long road, but we’ve finally made it,” Ericca said. The company further explained, “The Kennedys partnered with Doobie in early 2020 to become Doobie Massachusetts co-founders. Doobie is one of the first businesses to launch through the Cannabis Control Commision’s social equity program, designed to support individuals and communities who have been disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs.”
We asked Ericca, whose team is now up and running, about their road to delivery in Mass.
We’re sure it’s been a long journey to this point. Can you tell us about some of the rockiest points in the approval process?
It has been the journey of a lifetime. Some of the rockiest points were when we were initially looking for potential investors or companies to partner with. As a Black woman, many people doubted me or told me that I don’t look like a business owner. These comments only fueled me to get to where I am today.
Why did you decide to go for this class of license in particular?
This license is just the beginning for Doobie. Ultimately we decided to focus on delivery because of the ease of it all. When COVID first started in early 2020, we decided we wanted to find ways to ensure customers could receive products without ever having to leave their home.
Are there any operations you have been following, whether in Mass or elsewhere, to get ideas for best practices from?
As the first economic empowerment delivery operator licensee we look forward to blazing our own trail. There are so many different ways to approach the industry. Cannabis is a new industry and we had an opportunity to partner with several well funded, well established cannabis companies. We instead decided to partner with a small start up who has helped bring our vision to life. As a founder of Doobie, I knew I could create a positive impact on my community and support other minority and women owned businesses.
What are some aspects of the cannabis industry in Mass right now that you feel could use some correction?
The licensing process is incredibly difficult for social equity or economic empowerment licensees. Large operators came into Massachusetts in early 2016 and had secured properly zoned locations for cannabis businesses before economic empowerment applicants could get in. These large corporations had lobbyists who worked to change Massachusetts cannabis laws, so they had insight into where the market was headed. I’m grateful for these companies who have helped change legislation, but it meant they were first to open and it took nearly two years for economic empowerment businesses to launch. With limited legal and financial resources, it becomes increasingly difficult for businesses like ours to get off the ground.
Please tell us a bit about the Doobie brand and what you’re striving for.
Doobie is a feel-good brand and we strive to make people smile—this can be seen across our marketing, branding, customer service, and even in our tagline, “happiness delivered.” We want to find ways to make cannabis more approachable and accessible. In many ways, cannabis can feel intimidating, so we wanted to make sure that we’re focused on education and catering to customers individually.
What do you see as the role of the delivery operator, if any, besides getting the product from point A to point B?
Our license in many ways can be seen as a non-storefront dispensary. We have a staff of customer service representatives who can offer recommendations, answer questions, and even place orders on behalf of customers. Customer service is the backbone of our business and we’re committed to making each delivery extraordinary. We think through meaningful ways to engage with our customers. We also have a carefully curated menu that provides something for everyone, whether you’re a new or experienced consumer.
Where can people find out about upcoming deals and opportunities with Doobie?
To learn more about upcoming deals and opportunities with Doobie you can visit trydoobie.com, or by emailing [email protected]. We also encourage you to connect with Doobie across our social media platforms, @trydoobie, we would love for you to say hi.