New delivery services pop up amid social distancing era

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

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Getty Images

Related tags Cbd delivery systems Drone delivery coronavirus

As many people practice social distancing by substituting activities with safer alternatives, businesses are also challenged to evaluate their options during the coronavirus pandemic.

These are not times for ‘business as usual.' Companies, at least those who are considered essential, are being forced to rethink how they operate. 

“It’s been a hurdle trying to figure out what qualifies you as a shop to be able to stay open. But thankfully, I’m categorized as a health-providing business here in Texas and that’s what I see myself doing,”​ said John Elmore, owner of Green Cross CBD in Austin. 

For many businesses, they are now thinking outside the box in order to adhere to social-distancing rules per CDC standards. 

NUTRISHOP franchisees said they are working diligently to provide additional services during the coronavirus crisis because they feel a sense of responsibility to help people maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle.

In an effort to foster a greater sense of community and "togetherness" while everyone is practicing social distancing, NUTRISHOP franchisees are increasing their social media presence to provide workouts, wellness tips, nutrition advice and more. 

A different kind of delivery system 

Although NUTRISHOP brick and mortar stores have shut down many of their in-store services across the country, many are now offering curbside pickup and home deliveries of dietary supplements, vitamins and food items. 

Initially, Elmore was also offering curbside pickup. But then the drone pilot recalled an idea he once had: “I’ve been flying drones for several years and delivery was always on my mind. It was never really feasible to figure out the whole system and logistics. But in times like this, I think people are taking no-contact very seriously, so it just popped up in my mind again.”

Elmore NutraIngredients-USA​ he still offers curbside pickup around town, but he’s also offering the free no-contact drone delivery​ for people that are trying to be extra careful. 

The Green Cross CBD owner said he was able to develop a contraption that allowed him to drive the drone to a customer's home, drop off up to 2 lbs of product in their yard and take off.

“It definitely is an eye-catcher when you see a drone flying with a big green cross CBD bag on it.”

In order to be compliant with the Federal Aviation Administration, Elmore had to get creative. “Because of legalities with the FAA, I pull down their road and pop it up right there and drop it in their yard. That way I'm in compliance with the FAA.”

From FAA to CDC

As stores work to maintain CDC standards and practice social-distancing rules, Madison Avedikian, who owns the Brea, California, NUTRISHOP store, said they’re doing everything they can to support their communities. "We're coming up with new services and new ways to help our customers and we're striving to be a light and a positive resource in these unprecedented times." 

And that positivity seems to be the sentiment for many businesses just trying to make ends meet. Despite the challenging times, Elmore told us he’s grateful to be able to continue to provide CBD products, no matter how it’s delivered. 

“I’m taking extra steps to make sure that my people here and nationwide are taken care of.” 

However, don’t expect a drone to fly over and  drop off CBD at your Chicago stoop. 

“I do 50 states plus free shipping to everyone. I don’t think my batteries would last quite that long of a flight,”​ laughed Elmore.

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