Will Uber be your new weed guy?
As recently as this Monday, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC that the on-demand driving company was considering joining the cannabis delivery cake “when the road is clear” soon.
“When federal laws come into play, we will definitely see that,” he said. These comments were made when talks about the acquisition of Drizly, a Boston-based liquor delivery company, in February of this year. However, the $ 1.1 billion acquisition didn’t include Lantern, a pot cannabis delivery business that Drizly founded in May 2020. Currently, Lantern will be in business independently.
The problem is, cannabis remains illegal at the federal level even after over 3 dozen states have already decriminalized the drug.
“Wherever you want to go and whatever you need, our goal at Uber is to make people’s lives a little easier. So we branched out into new categories like groceries, recipes and now alcohol, ”he said. “By adding Drizly to the Uber family, we can accelerate this journey by introducing Drizly to the Uber audience and by expanding its geographic footprint to our global footprint in the years to come.”
Uber hasn’t commented on what Khosrowshahi said, but Uber will continue to focus on their shipments for the near future. “Right now we see so many opportunities in shopping, eating, drinking, etc., and we will focus on the opportunities that arise.”
“When the way for cannabis is clear when federal laws go into effect, we will definitely be looking at this,” he told TechCheck in a separate interview.
Cannabis consumers are a lucrative demographic
Nowadays, companies of all kinds seem to want to target cannabis companies. It’s a big change as in the past stoners have been categorized into stereotypes corresponding to the lazy sofa potatoes with no class.
That changes a lot. In fact, cannabis consumers have become such an attractive demographic that technology and consumer goods companies are wooing them. These comments from Uber’s CEO are not the first attempt to attract them. Late last year, they hired Fyllo, a cannabis advertiser, to attract cannabis users to market Uber Eats.
“A cannabis user is younger than the normal user and has more disposable income. They are busier than most of the others, they work all the time, they train all the time, they have adventures all the time, ”said Uber’s global media director Travis Freeman in an interview. And they were right; When reaching out to cannabis users, they found that they are actually more likely to see video ads than the average consumer.
Cannabis makes sense
For Uber, it just makes perfect sense to ship cannabis at some point. Aside from skyrocketing demand, their drivers also spend time delivering weeds.
For most of the past year, drivers employed by Uber and Lyft had fewer jobs due to the pandemic that kept people at home. However, more people went out because of the vaccine this year, and these on-demand companies are already seeing a return to business soon.
The problem is, a lot of the drivers that work for them are no longer active or even checked into the app platforms. Apptopia, an app analytics company, shared data that the number of daily active users on Uber and Lyft for the driver-only page were down 37.5% and 42.3%, respectively, from last year. Interestingly, in California, at least, in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, it was discussed that Uber and Lyft drivers in the state cut their working hours supplying cannabis.
There was a cannabis company in the Bay Area that even said it could pirate 100 drivers with the ridesharing.
So why the change of heart? Well, drivers who supply cannabis are required to work full time according to California regulations approved in January. For this reason, drivers not only receive an automatic hourly rate, but also vacation and overtime pay. There are also some pharmacies that offer 401k health coverage as well as vacation days to attract more drivers.
However, if they work for ridesharing, they don’t get any of these benefits.
Delivery is the hottest source of income
There is no doubt that the pandemic has highlighted the importance of cannabis delivery, and this is reflected in corporate revenue streams. But even before the pandemic, delivery services were generating good revenues.
Earlier this year, a report by ArcView Market Research, along with BDS Analytics, stated, “The cannabis industry continues to skyrocket as it is legalized across the country and other parts of the world. As the industry advances, new laws are helping to change the way cannabis companies serve their customers. Cannabis delivery, for example, is heating up across California for the canna companies that took the next big step early and obtained a delivery license. After California legalized the nationwide supply of cannabis, the previous regulations that prevented legal access to cannabis supply across California were removed by the state. “
California and other states that have legalized the pot are already seeing a significant surge in business thanks to the convenience of getting cannabis to people’s doorsteps. There is no doubt that this is the next big thing in the cannabis business, and delivery can also help existing retailers who are opening more channels for customers to order their products through delivery.
Additionally, starting a cannabis delivery service is a great way for entrepreneurs to get into the business. Starting a delivery service can be affordable, and it is an excellent opportunity to provide great one-to-one service to your customers.
Even so, for ridesharing services like Uber, it makes perfect sense to join in on cannabis delivery sooner rather than later.
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