Cannabis Delivery Wars to Ensue?
Food and alcohol deliveries rose amidst the pandemic. With federal legalization just on horizon, cannabis delivery endeavors are likely next to take off.
According to Cali-based delivery app Eaze, every eight seconds, someone placed a marijuana order. But now the delivery operators are targeting cannabis dispensaries.
Over the last year, Eaze observed new customer sign ups increase by more than 70 percent. The company, backed by Snoop Dogg, now has 800,000 customers, who have encouraged it to make over 7 million deliveries since 2014. But other players are operating in this space.
The entire state has numerous cannabis delivery services. Even High Times has gotten in on this idea.
Adult and recreational adult-use cannabis delivery might be legal in some places. However, different states have different laws for employment and product hand-off protocol for delivery drivers. For instance, in Cali, drivers need to be W2 employees of dispensaries to deliver legally. The delivery vehicles in Cali cannot be open, such as a scooter or motorcycle.
Even with the regulatory demands in place, Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi has hinted that the company will begin delivering cannabis. “When the road is clear for cannabis, when federal laws come into play, we’re absolutely going to take a look at it,” Khosrowshahi explained to CNBC during a “Tech Check” interview.
Uber is already delivering food, and with its recent Drizly acquisition, it’s now delivering alcohol.
Drizly’s sister company, Lantern, is a cannabis delivery operation. Incubated from Drizly, Lantern is set to become an independent subsidiary once the Uber-Drizly deal closes.
Lantern president Meredith Mahoney wrote to CNBC in an email, “We’re excited that the march toward federal legalization is accelerating, and that big delivery players like Uber are taking notice.”
While Uber’s M&A was its entryway into alcohol delivery, consolidation could be in the playbook for cannabis delivery. However, the laws might limit the delivery of cannabis with alcohol or food. At this point, Cali does not allow cannabis delivery with food or alcohol.
The big question on everyone’s minds is, “How will cannabis delivery wars play out once we have federal legalization?”