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Alcohol and Cannabis Delivery During COVID-19 Pandemic

Many states have relaxed their rules, but checking IDs is still key to compliance

Read Time:  3 Min

Many states have seen a sudden shift in laws regarding alcohol purchases. These laws have eased state regulation by allowing restaurants to deliver alcohol or to sell through drive through.These changes are designed to provide relief for restaurants, bars, and small businesses who are limited to offering takeout and delivery. These changes can also increase the liability for delivery to underage patrons. 

How relaxed are delivery laws? 

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced most of the country to stay at home, states differed in laws that allowed home delivery of age restricted products. Almost all states prohibited alcohol drive-thru sales. Delivery was permitted with a licensed alcohol delivery permit, but only for a small number of cases of wine or beer at a time. Now, states like Virginia are expediting the process of applying and receiving that license by accepting requests for a permit via email from a licensee or an attorney.

Emergency waivers likewise differ by state. Alcohol delivery is now permitted in California, New York, New Hampshire, Illinois, Nebraska, Vermont, Texas, Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland and Washington DC. The majority of these states require that alcohol is delivered along with food. 

Some states have further restrictions. Vermont, for example, allows delivery of wine and beer only between the hours of 10am through 11pm. All restaurants must also keep a log of the employee who delivered the alcohol, what was delivered, the names and locations of recipients, and recipients’ signatures. 

Find out How to create alcohol delivery app?

How are businesses verifying age when delivering alcohol? 

Most delivery services including GrubHub, DoorDash, and Postmates, it is the courier’s responsibility to verify the customer’s ID. The courier must collect the customer’s signature, but no ID verification is required beyond a human’s eye. Specialized alcohol retailer, Drizly, has ID verification technology built into their app that verifies age and identity prior to purchase and again upon delivery. 

However, for restaurants unaccustomed to delivering alcohol under these new circumstances and without a custom app to verify a customer’s age, maintaining legal compliance on all orders may present a challenge. In the Vermont example above, there is a burden on both the delivery driver and the business to collect and store the information in a way that meets the state’s requirements. 

What about cannabis delivery?

Medical marijuana dispensaries have been deemed essential services by most states where medical marijuana was previously legal. Delivery regulations for medical cannabis purchases continue to be in effect on a state by state basis. Customers receiving medical marijuana deliveries must be 21 and show a valid ID. 

Delivery for recreational cannabis, on the other hand, is not widely permitted. Recreational purchases are limited to curbside pickup in some states, such as Colorado. Other states like Alaska do not allow more than 10 people including employees into a store at one time. For state-specific information, please reference this list.’s solution verifies IDs with complete accuracy and keeps a record of every scan offers an a mobile age verification solution that verifies age, checks for fake IDs, and keeps that record on file available to all businesses. Delivery couriers can scan every ID to quickly check the ID of any customer who orders alcohol. The ID  can be scanned without exchanging hands.  Click here to learn more about’s age verification solutions, or click here to shop the mobile solution. Or call to 888-430-8936 speak with a team member.