The movement of cannabis product is no ordinary industry. Now legal for recreational and medicinal use in California since January 2019 (but still illegal at the federal level), the industry is in its infancy and distributors are navigating a steep learning curve to meet all the requirements of what has become a highly regulated industry.
Among the slew of requirements that must be met are those related to how the cannabis product is transported. The California Code of Regulations states:
- Cannabis goods shall only be transported inside of a vehicle or trailer and shall not be visible or identifiable from outside of the vehicle or trailer.
- Cannabis goods shall be locked in a box, container, or cage that is secured to the inside of the vehicle or trailer.
- At a minimum, a distributor shall have a vehicle alarm system on all transport vehicles and trailers. Motion detectors, pressure switches, duress, panic, and hold-up alarms may also be used.
- A retailer’s delivery employee shall not leave cannabis goods in an unattended motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle is locked and equipped with an active vehicle alarm system.
- A vehicle used for the delivery of cannabis goods shall be outfitted with a dedicated Global Positioning System (GPS) device for identifying the geographic location of the delivery vehicle.
For distributors and transporters, all the requirements can make it seem like an armored car is the only option. However, van conversion companies are bringing in new business by finding ways to meet these new requirements. Currently, the vehicles of choice are unmarked cargo vans that have come to be known as “cannavans.”
A Business Fleet article describes how one Northern California van conversion company designed a custom solution to meet the transportation needs of the Cannabis industry:
The “aha” moment for Todd LaPant, COO of Nor-Cal Vans, came after a friend with a soil business that supplies cannabis farms tipped him off to the pending passage of Prop. 64.
After researching the market with his wife, LaPant concluded that many cannabis deliveries could be satisfied with a more basic solution. “Not every delivery needs to be with an armored car,” he says.
LaPant guided Nor-Cal Vans, known for its shuttle bus and paratransit conversions, in the creation of a line of industry-compliant and factory-warrantied conversions for Ford Transit and Transit Connects starting at $6,000.
The Nor-Cal upfit is constructed with a rear steel double-door partition, a disabled and sealed side sliding door, and a non-accessible partition between the cab and cargo area. Instead of a single lockbox, the solution turns the entire cargo area of the van into secure locked storage.
Telematics and alarm systems can be added, though the conversions don’t come with armoring. One of Nor-Cal’s customers uses an armored car service for cash deliveries, according to LaPant.
Read full article: Hauling Cannabis and Cash: New Fleets Serve Exploding Industry
Even though the mainstream cannabis industry is in its beginning stages, companies like Nor Cal Vans have been in the van conversion industry for decades, and are using their knowledge and expertise to develop conversion packages for both new and used Ford Transit and Transit Connect vans that meet cannabis industry requirements, helping companies that transport cannabis product do it safely and legally.
Nor Cal Vans designs and builds transportation solutions that change people’s lives. We offer new and used secure transport van conversion options for the safe and legal transport of your product. We’ve been solving transportation needs for nearly four decades and strive to hold true to our values of teamwork, trust, accountability, growth and a positive attitude.