In San Francisco, marijuana has become just another item to be dispersed in the on-demand economy. Since its launch last summer, Eaze–a so-called Uber for pot–has exploded in popularity, sending out 30,000 on-demand marijuana deliveries from local dispensaries. With $10 million in new funding acquired earlier this month, it’s poised to grow even further.
Eaze isn’t involved in the messy business of actually growing or selling marijuana. Instead, it teams up with dispensaries, which pay the drivers. Eaze provides the infrastructure, including a website that allows patients to select strains, inventory tracking, logistics for drivers (they are automatically assigned to orders based on their location and what strains they happen to be carrying at the moment), and an estimate for delivery.
Customers can get marijuana in minutes. They upload a photo of their marijuana patient certification, select a strain, and wait approximately 15 minutes or so for a driver to arrive with a paper bag full of product. For now, Eaze is cash-only. That’s typical of delivery services from dispensaries, but not terribly convenient for those who plan on shelling out hundreds of dollars for an ounce of weed.
The new funding, says McCarty, will allow Eaze to optimize its technology and build out new features (hopefully including an online payment system). The company plans to expand within California–a state that can reasonably expect full marijuana legalization in the next handful of years–and then elsewhere. “As we start to expand, navigating the different regulatory landscapes is important, as well as investing heavily to work with local regulators and policymakers,” says McCarty.
Eaze is also investing in its driver logistics system, which enables ultra-fast deliveries. McCarty believes that delivery times will only get faster as volume goes up, creating more density and shorter delivery distances for drivers, who will be able to make more deliveries per hour.
Another marijuana delivery service, Flow Kana, has similar offerings in San Francisco, but eschews the dispensary model to work with individual farmers. In Flow Kana’s model, patients get to know where their marijuana come from while selecting strains, down to the farm level.
But with Eaze, patients don’t know which dispensary their weed was sourced from until the product is in their hands. On Eaze’s website, only the strain names are listed. “We’re focusing on the products as opposed to the dispensaries. It’s kind of like Uber. Your first choice [of driver] isn’t about what car driving service they comes from. Uber has done that for you, they’ve set the bar of qualifications with an Uber driver,” says McCarty.
On 4/20, a celebration of epic proportions in San Francisco’s parks, Eaze ambassadors handed out promo codes that offer a free eighth of an ounce to new patients. As for actual marijuana deliveries? McCarty isn’t sure if that’s legal in public parks–at least, not yet.