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Discover the Vehicle of Choice for Transporters of Cannabis in California

By Nor Cal Vans Team | October 16, 2019

Ford Transit for secure transportYour goal is to get cannabis product safely and legally from Point A to Point B. Since oftentimes you might be carrying large amounts of both cannabis and cash, you may feel as though hiring an armored car is your only real option – which could make it hard to stay anonymous!

Which makes you wonder…as long as I’m properly licensed, could I use my own vehicle or someone else’s to transport the product and not draw attention to myself? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. With the new California regulations in place, instead you should be asking whether the type of vehicle is outfitted properly and if you’re meeting requirements with how you’re transporting the cannabis product.

A quick note about licensing

It’s important to emphasize that being properly licensed is crucial!

Anyone transporting cannabis for sale must hold a distributor license or be an employee or contractor of a licensed distributor. You must also have a motor carrier permit.

The licensee, anyone employed by the licensee or acting on behalf of the licensee, must wear a laminated or plastic-coated identification badge whenever they are engaging in commercial cannabis activity. The ID badge must include the licensee’s “doing business as” name and license number, employee’s first name, assigned employee number, and a color photograph of the employee.

If you’re properly licensed, with new California regulations in place you can use your own or someone else’s vehicle to transport cannabis product if it’s in compliance with regulations.

And it doesn’t mean you have to use an armored car.

Here’s how to keep your vehicle compliant when transporting cannabis product

The transport vehicle must:

  • Be locked at all times
  • Store the cannabis goods in a locked box inside
  • Have a way to secure the container or cage to the inside
  • Keep the locked container separate from the body of the vehicle or trailer
  • Not be visible or identifiable from outside of the vehicle or trailer
  • Have an active vehicle alarm system
  • Have a Global Positioning System (GPS) device so the geographical location of the delivery can be identified at all times.

What's the industry’s vehicle of choice?

Quartz.com explains Why the legal cannabis industry loves the Ford Transit van:

Since pot is still illegal under federal law, the industry is largely shut out of the federally regulated banking system. This means most legal cannabis businesses often have thousands, sometimes millions, of dollars in cash and product on hand. Cannabis needs to get from warehouse to retail store. Cash needs to be transported from stores to private vaults, to the handful of state-chartered credit unions that will work with cannabis businesses, and to local IRS offices. (Yes, marijuana businesses pay taxes).

The big armored trucks that service banks generally weigh more than 10,000 lbs, the threshold at which federal law requires registration as a commercial vehicle with the US Department of Transportation (DOT). But DOT-licensed vehicles are prohibited by the feds from hauling marijuana.

In order to transport both pot and cash, a new niche of the armored car industry has emerged. It largely uses Ford Transits and similar models—the nearly identical Dodge Sprinter, for instance—that weigh under five tons, thereby avoiding federal oversight so long as they do not cross state lines.

Many cannabis deliveries can be satisfied with an already-designed custom of the Ford Transit Van or Ford Connect, to meet the transportation needs of the Cannabis industry.

At Nor Cal Vans, a custom van conversion for businesses that need to securely transport cannabis might look like this: 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.

Other features include:

  • Locking Security Box
  • Rear Loading Deposit Safe
  • Rear Cargo Air Conditioner
  • Refrigeration
  • Insulated Interiors
  • Side Container Door Access
  • Back-Up Alarm
  • Vehicle Alarm System with GPS and Remote Start
  • Steps and Running Boards
  • Solid Double Locking Rear Door

So, while you can use your own vehicle or someone else’s to transport cannabis product ONLY IF it meets California regulations, it can still be done discreetly, safely and legally – without an armored car bringing attention to yourself.

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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.

Posted in Secure Transport