Cannabis Delivery Services, By Bethan Bee Rose
Something magcial is happening in the world of legal weed.
Something magical is happening in the world of legal weed. Following coronavirus-fueled panic-buying and restrictions on store buying, delivery and curbside pick-up services have emerged as popular options for consumers and sellers alike.
As a direct effect of this, major delivery companies like Uber are seeing an opportunity to broaden their horizons.The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi, has announced that the company may get involved in the cannabis delivery business as soon as federal regulations make the plant legal in the United States.
“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 on Monday, April 12, during a CNBC TechCheck interview.
Currently, despite the fact that cannabis has been legalized for recreational purposes in 16 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, federal law continues to prohibit the drug. Nonetheless, a handful of lawmakers have indicated their desires to change cannabis laws, something that could take a number of years to fully effectuate.
About Uber Technologies, Inc.
American technology company Uber Technologies, Inc., better known as Uber, was founded back in 2009 by the company's former long-standing CEO Travis Kalanick, who has since stepped down from his position (although he still maintains his role in the board). Specializing in package delivery courier services, food delivery, freight transportation and ride hailing, Uber's largest European market is London — where approximately 3.5 million people use the company's services, along with 45,000 drivers. Via a partnership with Lime, the company divulges customers with electric bicycle and motorized scooter rental services.
Khosrowshahi’s announcement that his company is keen to get involved in the legal weed sector comes amid discussions pertaining to Uber's latest acquisition — Drizly.
Headquartered in Boston, this alcohol delivery service was snapped up by Uber back in February for a whopping $1.1 billion. “We see so much opportunity out there, and we’re going to focus on the opportunity at hand,” said Khosrowshahi, who noted that the company's primary focus rests on avenues like alcohol and food delivery, but that cannabis delivery is certainly an option.
What are the benefits of cannabis delivery services?
Introducing cannabis delivery services could make life a lot easier for consumers who want their purchases to tick the boxes for convenience, transparency and privacy. Although it could be a long time before European Uber adopts delivery services for the nascent cannabis market, U.S. communities stand to benefit greatly if the plant is legalized at the federal level.
How, you ask? Let's cover the primary appeals of cannabis delivery services: Cannabis Delivery Services Eliminate the Need for a Storefront Although cannabis storefronts, such as dispensaries and licensed retail stores, may prove useful for those who want to get their hands on lab-tested, quality products, the stringent regulations that come with owning and operating a store can be off-putting.
Since cannabis delivery services can be implemented through registering a non-public office, establishing such a service can be much more straightforward for legal cannabis destinations. That being so, community members benefit because they can access plant-based products without venturing to a different cannabis-friendly location.
Cannabis Delivery Services Ease Traffic Congestion
Perhaps another reason why Uber is considering cannabis delivery is because this type of service eases traffic congestion. Endless queues of customers are a common sight to see at cannabis dispensaries; something that can really take the fun out of purchasing controlled-dose products.
Enter cannabis delivery services, which actually minimize traffic both inside and outside of the store. Home-delivered cannabis eliminates the need to drive to a dispensary, therefore if the vast majority of a store's customers opt for delivery, the roads would be much quieter. Let's not forget about the lack of air pollution, wasted fuel and carbon dioxide emissions, too.
Deters Consumers from Seeking Out Black Market Dealers One of the primary goals of cannabis delivery services is to limit black market activity. In some of the most well-established cannabis markets in the U.S, such as California, the black market continues to pose a problem and still overshadows the legal market; which sometimes creates a burden for business owners due to the expense of license procurement and retail establishment setup.
Numerous risks are associated with black market transactions, including fraud, violence, the likelihood of being sold counterfeit or adulterated goods (including medicine) and, of course, the lack of regulation and lab testing that goes hand-in-hand with legal transactions. Failure to test consumable products in a laboratory setting also increases the risk of pesticide exposure and contamination.
Aside from reducing the health risks, cannabis delivery services can also help individuals residing in underprivileged communities to sidestep illegal sources. After all, many under-served communities lack professional cannabis storefronts, but can still be assisted by delivery services like Uber; should the company introduce this new convenience for customers.
Cannabis Delivery Services are Safe, Convenient and Transparent Unlike the untraceable black market, cannabis delivery services ensure everything is delivered with transparency. Tightly regulated and monitored, these services ensure that each and every buyer's wellbeing and safety is a priority.
Cannabis Delivery Services Have Gained Popularity Amid COVID-19
One major service that is gaining solid ground in the cannabis industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic is delivery. So successful have cannabis delivery services been, that many U.S. states are now considering adopting delivery on a permanent basis.
Drive-thru windows have also become a huge hit in places like Las Vegas and Los Angeles. While Europe still has a long way to go before consumers can top up their stash as easily as buying a Starbucks coffee, things are progressing in the right direction. For example, growing acceptance of cannabidiol (CBD) has led to many online companies offering easy purchases with just a laptop/smartphone and an internet connection.
Note: Before purchasing any cannabis-derived product on the Internet, practice caution. Research the brand and seller, check local laws and refrain from buying high-THC products or synthetic cannabis, which has proven to be dangerous due to lack of regulation and lab testing.
Written and Published By Bethan Bee Rose in Weed World Magazine issue 152