One ride-share giant looks poised to take a big step into the burgeoning weed delivery space.
In a recent appearance on CNBC, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi hinted that he is interested in adding cannabis delivery to his company’s offerings. If the federal government legalizes adult cannabis, Khosrowshahi said he would “absolutely… investigate” supplying weed to customers.
Most likely, Uber would offer this weed delivery service as part of its popular Uber Eats platform. Uber also owns food delivery service Postmates and alcohol delivery platform Drizly.
Cannabis delivery has become increasingly popular for Americans in weed-friendly states. For example, cannabis delivery platform Sana posted a 60 percent increase in sales in 2020. Recent reports published in PR Newswire also suggest cannabis deliveries will increase in the coming years.
Unsurprisingly, the main driver behind the recent surge in cannabis shipments has been COVID-19. As more states introduced home orders, patients and recreational users turned to delivery services for their cannabis needs. Even during the height of lockdown orders, most states recognized pharmacies as “essential businesses.”
Although cannabis is still a Schedule I drug federally, many states have legalized this herb in recent years. As of April 2021, 16 U.S. states and the District of Columbia allow residents to buy, sell, and use recreational marijuana. Dozens of other states also allow medical marijuana with varying restrictions.
Currently, only hemp is legal under US federal law. Unlike marijuana, hemp contains 0.3 percent of the cannabinoid delta 9 THC. The most popular hemp products contain heavy traces of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD. It is not yet known whether Uber Eats will deliver CBD edibles to customers.
Although the House of Representatives passed the MORE law in late 2020, it is unclear whether President Biden would approve the legalization of cannabis. According to recent reports, President Biden would only support decriminalization reforms rather than outright legalization.
Until Capitol Hill changes its stance on recreational cannabis, Khosrowshahi says he will remain committed to Uber’s ride-share and Eats divisions. In fact, Uber recently spent $250 million in bonuses to lure drivers back to its platform. The company has also introduced many new safety policies, including the “No Mask, No Ride” initiative.