Uber Is Ready to Deliver Weed, Once Cannabis Is Fully Legal

Cannabis industry profits in America’s green rush states have been staggeringly high. Each year deeper into the spread of regulated marijuana marketing, legal marijuana sales have shattered cannabis revenue markers from the previous year.

Current legal marijuana profits are high enough to turn anyone who wants to become rich on cannabis commerce into a marijuana millionaire.

Even wannabe millionaires who are already basic billionaires, such as Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, are peering at the legal marijuana supply chain as a quick and easy route to obscene wealth.

How Uber’s Future May Include Cannabis Delivery

The Consumer News and Business channel (CNBC) caught Uber’s Khosrowshahi in a candid moment on April 12, 2021. Interviewing Khosrowshahi about Uber’s $1.1 billion acquisition of Boston-based alcohol delivery service Drizly, CNBC asked if delivery of legal cannabis products was on Uber’s roadmap.

“When the road is clear for cannabis,” replied the CEO, “when federal laws come into play, we’re absolutely going to take a look at it.”

Uber CEO Khosrowshahi spoke with the informed confidence of a cutthroat executive who has already taken a long, in-depth, acutely analyzed look at adding a cannabis delivery vertical in the Uber task silos, positioning cannabis deliveries right between the groceries and alcohol.

“When the road is clear for cannabis [and] federal laws come into play” are figures of speech that allow Uber CEO Dana Khosrowshahi to refrain from saying, “When the originators of the green economy, the activists who took the risks and pushed the legalization process to where it is today, when those pioneers complete the struggle to remove all statutory barriers to regulated cannabis industry entry, Uber will swoop in and pluck the low hanging bud.”

Uber, Khosrowshahi explained to CNBC, is interested in the “types of deliveries that a high percentage of consumers are going to want delivered fast into their home and are quite frequent,” which is a clear way to express Uber’s absolute interest in legal cannabis deliveries.

The Uber business development team surely believes that cannabis delivery customers place frequent orders for cannabis products and place high value on fast delivery of those cannabis products. The Uber business development team is probably correct in this presumption about the cannabis delivery consumer demographic.

How Soon Will Uber Be Able To Deliver Cannabis?

Cannabis news and culture site The Growth Op responded to Khosrowshahi’s absolute intention to take a look at cannabis delivery with: “Uber’s interest is a sign of the cannabis industry’s capability for growth.”

A clearer sign of the cannabis industry’s capability for growth might be the March 3, 2021, Forbes headline “U.S. Cannabis Sales Hit Record $17.5 Billion as Americans Consume More Marijuana than Ever Before.”

Another clear sign of the cannabis industry’s capability for growth might be the “Legal Marijuana Market Size | Industry Report, 2021-2028” from Grand View Research. In summary: “The global legal marijuana market size was valued at USD 24.6 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 14.3 percent from 2021 to 2028.”

Rather than a sign of the cannabis industry’s potential, Uber’s interest in eventually delivering legal cannabis products is a sign that the commodification of the cannabis economy is taking place now while federal cannabis legalization is still in the planning phases.

Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) vowed earlier this year to advance cannabis reform legislation in Congress. If hell cools down, and Booker, Wyden and Schumer succeed in bringing marijuana marketing into the legal, regulated mainstream of commerce, consider being leery of outside opportunists leaping into the cannabis economy.

Give a thought to showing loyalty with your marijuana dollars to the cannabis industry’s originators.

Currently, New York’s newly minted, not yet enacted, cannabis legalization promises to permit residential delivery of regulated cannabis products. As of yet, only California, Nevada and Oregon have functioning, state approved cannabis delivery service for marijuana consumers aged twenty-one and over.

Three Cannabis Delivery Services Who Were Here Before Uber

Eaze

Launched in 2014, Eaze seven years later claims to be California’s largest legal cannabis marketplace. Eaze defines its business model as providing safe, legal access to quality marijuana products via delivery to adult cannabis consumers across the state. Aligned with the enlightened capitalism that is a brand attribute of many capitalist activists at the legal cannabis forefront, Eaze’s commitment to social equity and community impact is expressed in $50,000 grants and twelve week training courses to underrepresented founders. Eaze’s cannabis delivery numbers—more than 7 million legal deliveries, 800,000 registered customers, 1,200 jobs created, more than 100 brands represented—add up to a cannabis business that any industry could be proud of.

Planet 13

Planet 13 offers in-store marijuana shopping, curbside pickup and the coveted cannabis product delivery service, all emanating from the Planet 13 Superstore, a regulated marijuana mothership set down on West Desert Inn Road, just off the Las Vegas Strip. The Planet 13 mission is “to provide the best quality recreational cannabis, cannabis extracts, and infused products at competitive prices and with compassion that can only come from those who are knowledgeable in the field.” An indicator of how fully the Planet 13 legal cannabis marketplace has embodied its mission is being designated “the world’s largest cannabis dispensary” by TechCrunch in January 2020. The Planet 13 world recently crossed state lines into California, hiring 250 employees to staff a superstore in the orbit of Orange County’s Santa Ana.

Kush Cart

Portland, Oregon’s Kush Cart was one of the initial cannabis delivery services that sprouted up in Portland when city officials reversed a prohibition on “weed couriers” in 2017. Kush Cart’s homepage motto reads: “Get Weed at Home. Avoid the Hassle. Live Free.” Living free includes no cost delivery on all $30 to $40 minimum pretax medical or recreational cannabis product purchases. In an April 2020 interview with Willamette Week, Kush Cart co-founder Eddy Martinez Montes said that the then three-year-old cannabis delivery service had jumped from 30 daily deliveries to around 120, allowing the company to pay its crew above minimum wage and implement paid sick leave. With its stated commitment “to raising the standards of Portland cannabis delivery for both the recreational and medical cannabis consumer,” Kush Cart has a limited window of opportunity to cement its foothold in the business of taxiing marijuana products to the people before Uber crashes in and upends the entire cannabis delivery mission.

The continued success of today’s cannabis delivery pioneers may depend on how cannabis consumers react to Uber’s entry to the fray a few years from now.

Written by
Allan MacDonell
Allan MacDonell

Leafwell's Editorial Director, Allan MacDonell’s work has been featured in publications ranging from Dazed and Confused UK to the New York Times and Washington Post. He is the author of Prisoner of X, Punk Elegies and Now That I Am Gone, and was a founding editorial director at online outlets including Buzznet, TakePart and Kindland. MacDonell views teaming with Leafwell as an opportunity to encourage the emerging role of legal cannabis as a highly effective medical treatment.

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