- Free Consultations / No Fees Until We Win
- (213) 927-3700
Personal Injury Firm
Alcohol and food delivery app companies did a lot of business during the pandemic. And now, as CNBC noted in a recent article, the delivery wars could be headed to cannabis dispensaries next, now that the hopes for federal legalization are high.
Much was reported on how food orders surged for companies like DoorDash, Postmates, and Grubhub, and sales for the alcohol delivery app Drizly — which was acquired by Uber — didn’t lag. Even the California-based cannabis delivery app Eaze reportedly saw new customer sign ups increase by over 70%. Last year, a marijuana order was placed every eight seconds in California, per the company’s calculations. And in the U.S., more than $17 billion in sales was generated from the U.S. legal market — led by California.
Backed by the Long Beach rapper Snoop Dogg, Eaze has reportedly made over 7 million deliveries in California since its launch in 2014. Though a handful, there are other cannabis delivery options that serve the entire state, like MedMen and Caliva.
But even where adult and recreational adult-use marijuana delivery is legal, there’s red tape tied to employment laws and delivery protocol. In California, drivers must be W2 employees of dispensaries and not independent contractors like their food delivery counterparts. Also, the vehicle must not be open, like a scooter or bike.
Despite these hurdles, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi reportedly said that the company could further evolve from ride-hailing to cannabis delivery. “When the road is clear for cannabis, when federal laws come into play, we’re absolutely going to take a look at it,” Khosrowshahi said in a recent CNBC “Tech Check” interview.
In fact, Drizly has a sibling company, Lantern, which handles cannabis delivery. When Uber acquired Drizly, Lantern, which was incubated within the alcohol delivery company, became an independent subsidiary. Lantern was the first to launch adult-use cannabis delivery in Colorado in Mar.
As written by CNCB, “If M&A was Uber’s answer to a booming alcohol delivery market, could consolidation be on the cannabis menu?” Eaze spokesman David Mack told the publication it’s possible, though regulation will still prove to be a significant challenge for them. An example of this could be laws that limit delivery of cannabis alongside alcohol or food — the law in California.
Moreover, because the U.S. cannabis economy’s being tied to a drug steeped in racial inequality, delivery apps could potentially eliminate costs associated with setting up storefronts and simultaneously offer exposure for women- and minority-owned brands. Eaze, for example, offers a “social equity” menu for Black-owned local stores and dispensaries, and claims the feature helps boost interest and revenue for brands that appear there. In the U.S., Black Americans are 3.6 times more likely to get arrested for marijuana-related offenses than their white counterparts, making the playing field for legal cannabis unequal.