7 Startups Vying to Become the Uber of Pot
New marijuana laws went into effect in states across the country last week, kicking off another wave of expansion for on-demand delivery startups that cater to users of medicinal and recreational pot.
So-called “Uber for pot” startups are in high demand, not just among consumers but investors, as well. Marijuana-focused private equity firms, like Privateer Holdings, and VC firms like Casa Verde Capital — where Snoop Dogg is a founder — are diving in headfirst, paving the way for growth in the industry.
Here are seven examples of on-demand cannabis vendors serving the market right now.
1. GreenRush: Giving local dispensaries an online platform
This California-based startup offers a way for people to order cannabis from local dispensaries through their computers and mobile devices. People who’ve completed GreenRush’s online verification process can browse products at local dispensaries, select what they want, submit their orders, and get those orders delivered to their doors. GreenRush partners with dispensaries that already have their own delivery people, similar to the way GrubHub partners with restaurants. In exchange, dispensaries pay GreenRush 5% to 10% of any transactions made through the platform. GreenRush is currently available in five California cities.
2. EAZE: Delivering medical marijuana in 20 minutes or less
EAZE is a marijuana delivery service that caters to clients with medical marijuana prescriptions. The California-based on-demand startup has raised more than $25 million as of October. Not only does Eaze deliver medical marijuana to people’s homes and offices in as little as 10 to 20 minutes—thanks in part to a proprietary algorithm that automatically assigns orders to the nearest drivers—but the company also allows people in California to get medical marijuana cards over the phone in around 10 minutes. Eaze is available in more than 100 cities. Eaze partners with dispensaries and charges a set amount per delivery.
3. Meadow: Ancillary services for the marijuana industry
Meadow connects its users with marijuana dispensaries, and then facilitates the delivery of orders through its mobile application. People who don’t currently have medical marijuana cards can get prescriptions immediately over HIPAA-compliant video chat and then browse current menus at dispensaries in their areas. The company has also built specialized marijuana sales software that dispensaries can use in place of standard POS systems (which aren’t typically compliant with strict industry regulations). Meadow charges dispensaries a 10% fee for delivery. The company offers delivery service to almost 40% of the zip codes in California.
4. Grassp: 24/7 deliveries from licensed marijuana dispensaries
Grassp is an on-demand weed delivery startup that stresses the “premium quality” of its medicinal marijuana and the security of its system. People who’ve downloaded Grassp’s mobile app and uploaded their patient IDs are connected with “a network of professional state licensed service providers” that deliver on-demand. Grassp’s patient management platform is HIPAA-compliant, with mobile communication, process automation, and direct feedback tools. Grassp’s platform is able to “curate” users’ product needs based on their desired results. Grassp also has a separate app for drivers. Grassp is available in states where medical marijuana is legal.
5. Nugg: On-demand delivered from trusted dispensaries
Nugg is another online platform that allows users to order medical marijuana from local dispensaries. Qualified patients can browse menus from nearby dispensaries, select the products they want, and then get those products delivered to their homes or offices. Online orders are placed for free. Nugg also helps people get medical marijuana recommendations through live video consultations in as little as 15 minutes. Dispensaries that partner with Nugg have the opportunity to acquire new patients and process more orders using the company’s patient verification, order processing, and delivery logistics technology. Nugg gets around many of the industry’s biggest legal challenges by not processing transactions (those are dealt with by the collective) or employing its own drivers.
6. SpeedWeed: Marijuana delivery in Southern California
SpeedWeed is a medical cannabis delivery service and patient collective. Cannabis orders are shipped overnight throughout California, or delivered on-demand by SpeedWeed drivers in denser areas like Los Angeles County, Orange County, and Long Beach County. People who don’t have marijuana cards can get a doctor’s recommendation via HelloMD—which connects with SpeedWeed—within 20 minutes. Marijuana growers can signup online to join SpeedWeed’s collective and distribute their products to the company’s members.
7. Weedmaps: Connecting community members with local dispensaries
While not technically a delivery service, Weedmaps is a big enough player in the industry to be mentioned here. The online marijuana community, widely known as the “Yelp for pot,” serves as a place where people can post reviews, discuss pot strains, and locate dispensaries in their own neighborhoods through a Google Maps interface. Weedmaps’ proximity feature also makes it possible for dispensaries to target online ads based on visitors’ geographic locations. In 2014, it announced a limited-time partnership with Uber and the Clinic, a large Denver-based dispensary, to raise money for charity. Weedmaps is available throughout the country.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.