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Start an Online Marijuana Dispensary in North America With Cannabis Delivery App in 2023: Cannabis App Development

  • The government of Canada reported – for the September 2022 reporting period – that more than 17,414,887 packaged units of cannabis were sold across Canada.
  • The country has been experiencing a 10% increase each month in the number of patients signed up to receive medical cannabis.
  • After the legalization of recreational cannabis, the sales at cannabis stores in the first half of 2019 reached more than $420 million.
  • In 2021, Canadians bought CA$3.83 billion worth of recreational cannabis from licensed stores.

Are you getting closer to finding a business opportunity in an online marijuana dispensary? If not, please bear a few more seconds with me.

  • 28% of Canadians aged 15 and older reported using cannabis in the past year.
  • According to a forecast by CIBC, the Cannabis industry will be larger than the hard liquor market and as big as the wine market.
  • According to Statistics Canada, Cannabis sales across Canada in May 2021 increased 68% to $313 million which was the highest ever.

We are sure, you must now have successfully found the opportunity to jump into the flourishing online cannabis industry in a most rewarding way.

How can you sell medical cannabis online?

Needless to say that you would need proper infrastructure such as a shop to sell anything to customers.

However, selling products in a legacy way requires a huge investment in property or brick-mortar stores, resources, and time. It also facilitates you to serve only a limited locality.

Here is where an online cannabis mobile app and web app come to the rescue.

A cannabis mobile app and web app cost significantly less than owning a brick-mortar store.

It also speeds up the time-to-market and provides business visibility to understand how it is performing.

Selling cannabis online does not limit the business terrain as you can offer your services to a large area or multiple locations.

Cannabis order process

How can you verify the age of online buyers?

The cannabis industry is highly restricted by age. The government allows cannabis stores to sell cannabis and its by-products to only adults.

In a physical store, you can easily verify the age of the customers. But on the app, it is a tricky part to verify the age of customers in real-time.

You can ask them to upload their IDs to verify their age. But this is a very slow process and customers have to wait hours to first verify the age and then place the order.

The most convenient way of verifying age on the app is by using some third-party age verification software such as BlueCheck.

Such software verifies the age of the customers in real time and with 100% accuracy. So, you don’t have to worry about the policy violation on your app.

Who can sell medical cannabis online?

1. Cannabis Growers

If cannabis growers have the resources to handle rapid deliveries, they can directly sell cannabis and its by-products to customers.

They can also leverage the mobile app or web portal to find & collaborate with nationwide retailers easily and grow their business.

2. Cannabis Retailers

Cannabis retailers can expand their customer base and enable their customers to order cannabis from the comfort of their home using a cannabis mobile app.

3. Cannabis Startups

Cannabis retailers can expand their customer base and enable their customers to order cannabis from the comfort of their homes using a cannabis mobile app.

They can either create a marketplace for cannabis retailers the same as UberEats for restaurants or start an app-based cannabis business for themselves only.

How does a mobile app solve the supply-chain challenge of the cannabis industry?

We discussed 3 cannabis app ideas this week with Ontario and British Columbia-based entrepreneurs.

They told us that the major reason why they are aiming to conquer the cannabis industry with the mobile app is the ability mobile app provides them to focus on core business rather than managing ‘things’ associated with brick-mortar store management.

One such ‘thing’ is the supply chain of cannabis.

Supply shortages and shipping delays are very common in the Canadian cannabis industry.

A much less sophisticated supply-chain network for cannabis struggles most with large distances between top Canadian cities, very small package sizes, different regulations in different provinces, and poor coordination between different stakeholders.

If we dig deep inside, lack of knowledge about customer behavior, poor or zero predictive analysis, and no proper channel for communication and coordination between stakeholders are the top culprits here.

A simple mobile app eliminates all these culprits in a single shot. It brings growers, retailers, consumers, transport companies, and even delivery drivers for end-users under one single roof.

It enables real-time package tracking, real-time communication, location sharing, knowledge sharing, easy order, payments, reviews, etc.

It even ensures that you adhere to all regulations as the app works in a firm manner, and not in a fragile manner like a human!

How long does it take to develop a cannabis app? What would be the cost of cannabis delivery app development?

In the case of app development, the required time to develop the app influences the development cost while the app features and technologies influence the development time.

The more complex features you wish to add to your mobile app, the more time it requires, increasing the development cost.

It generally costs as minimum as $40000 with all necessary features working on the latest technologies.

This is the reason why the MVP approach is becoming more popular in the startup or even in an enterprise community.

The MVP app includes only basic features which reduce time-to-market and development costs.

Once familiar with the exact market needs, you can scale up the operations by integrating advanced features into the app.

Talking about development time, it is not feasible to estimate it without knowing the exact requirements.

What are the regulatory considerations to start an online marijuana dispensary in Canada?

The Cannabis Act which is imposed by the federal government of Canada consists of many regulations to which you should adhere to avoid hefty fines.

We accommodate the compliance experts who can accompany you on your most crucial journey toward addressing regulations.

With the help of one of the compliance experts, we are here listing out some of the cannabis laws in Canada.

  • You need to acquire a license from government authorities in order to cultivate & process cannabis, sell cannabis for medical purposes, and test & research cannabis.
  • A permit is also required for the import and export of cannabis.
  • The cannabis package should have uniform plain colour and texture and should not have any branding or promotional elements on it as you must follow plain packaging.
  • You must label the cannabis product with a mandatory health warning, cannabis symbol, and specific information about the product.
  • You must sell cannabis to buyers aged 19 and older in Ontario.

Here, it is worth mentioning that the government of Ontario has eliminated the lottery system to give licenses for selling cannabis and begun issuing around 20 licenses a month.

The following is the complete regulation guide published by the government. Download the PDF version by clicking here.

Cannabis rules

Top 3 cannabis apps you should analyze before developing your own

After the federal government legalized the use of cannabis in Canada, a sudden surge of cannabis mobile apps has been observed.

However, the market is still not intensified as many are still finding their way out of complex technologies and compliance requirements.

1. Leafly

leafly app

Leafly is the most popular cannabis app and website in the world with over 15 million monthly visits and 40 million page views.

Leafly app and website educate users about appropriate cannabis products for their medical conditions and direct them to the nearest cannabis store. It is headquartered in Seattle, USA.


Leafly app assists everyone in finding out what will suit them the best.


  • Locate marijuana pot shops closest to you using the incorporated Leafly chart
  • Use the menu choices for your required marijuana
  • Use customer reviews to know the symptoms when choosing recreational marijuana for you and your disease.

Leafty going public (updated Aug 2021):

World’s largest and most popular marketplace for cannabis – Leafty – announced recently that it is entered into a definitive agreement with Merida Merger Corp.

Once it will complete the transaction, Merida will adopt the Leafly name and their common share will be listed on NASDAQ under the symbol LFLY.

Their combined enterprise value is around $385 million and their equity value is around $532 million.

2. Weedmaps


Launched in 2008, the Weedmaps app is often referred to as the “King of marijuana”.

Millions of individuals use this app for finding the most effective available medical marijuana strains.


This app enables the users to expand their knowledge, as well as, search for new and upcoming strains.


  • Straightforward user interface. Find your position with the map and learn about the legalized marijuana market in your area.
  • It offers discounts, deals, bargains, and suggestions across verified outlets that have legalized medical marijuana in the United States.

3. Eaze


Launched in 2014, Eaze is a cannabis shipping service CBD app in California. It is nicknamed the ‘Uber for Weed’ as it connects users with cannabis dispensaries, but does not grow or sell marijuana itself.

It performs around 120,000 deliveries per month to 250,000 users.

It delivers both marijuana-obtained items and organic CBD.


In California, it is a perfect app for cannabis shipping


  • Clean, authorized, and safe marijuana products in your state.
  • For purchase or delivery, one would need an eaze medical card.

Looking for an app development company, business consultants, and compliance experts in one place?

We’re one of the most versatile IT companies based in Ontario.

With our in-house app developers, app designers, business experts, and even compliance consultants, we help you start the online marijuana dispensary from scratch.

Talking about the app, we develop any type of cannabis app you want for your business with the most useful yet affordable technologies.

We have been very active and successful in the healthcare industry and helped many organizations with mobile apps and compliance. We also build back-office software to manage your business operations as well as vendors, customers and team members. 

You only share your requirements, we share a complete roadmap followed by execution and support!

The following is our app development and delivery approach.

Cannabis app development approach