Cannabis Delivered: Tech Solutions for Patients & Collectives
In the nearly two years since cannabis home delivery began, there are already over a dozen services and new ones starting up all the time, with some catered to patients and others geared more towards helping collectives. The following list should make it a little easier for patients and collectives to select which delivery service will work best for them. Many of these services have clear parallels to the tech world, services like Uber, GrubHub, and Netflix.
It has been previously reported that Eaze, the first cannabis delivery service on the scene, is aiming to be the “Uber for pot,” but unlike Uber, Eaze does not employ their own drivers. Instead, drivers work for the medical cannabis collectives that Eaze partners with. Eaze also does not have their own inventory of medical cannabis to sell, that too belongs to the collectives they partner with. So what does Eaze actually do if they don’t sell cannabis or provide delivery drivers? They have an extremely accurate algorithm for figuring out which delivery driver can get you the medicine you want in the quickest amount of time. Eaze works with dozens of cannabis delivery services around California, providing them with access to their Uber-like algorithm to expedite the delivery of medicine. “Safety is an area that we really are taking seriously,” says Keith McCarty, the CEO of Eaze. To show how serious they are, Eaze has partnered with the security firm KROLL to find ways to improve driver safety.
The biggest downside to Eaze is that there is no way of knowing where the medicine is coming from, all that patients know is the test results, price and other specifics of their order. A major thing that sets Eaze apart from their competition is that they are taking an active role in legislation that affects the industry, and even “helped shape AB 266,” a piece of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA). Eaze is “not just building technology to protect drivers and patients, but working with regulators to move it forward in a responsible way.” To further their abilities to push legislation forward, Eaze has lobbyists and “very strong legal council” to support their efforts.
Do They Provide Doctors?: Eaze, like many other delivery services, can connect would-be patients to cannabis doctors to get their recommendations. While rival companies, like Meadow, have doctors that do housecalls, Eaze provides recommendations online using their HIPAA-compliant telecommunications software, EazeMD. One handy part of EazeMD is that once a patient is verified through it, they are verified with all of Eaze’s partner dispensaries and able to get medicine through them directly.
Plans for Adult Use: It was announced last April that Eaze had plans to expand into the Colorado recreational market, but that state regulations banning cannabis delivery have stymied their attempts. Currently, Eaze is available in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California, and is only for medical customers, at least until next year’s election, when voters may have the chance to legalize the adult use of cannabis in California. When asked about plans to expand into Colorado, McCarty said that while they’ve begun looking into it, their focus remains on California. Eaze has also partnered with a collective in Nevada that supplies 24-hour delivery. With over $10 million in Series A funding raised earlier this year, there are few doubts that Eaze is poised to dominate markets around the country, whenever they opt to expand.
Green Rush (GrubHub)
If Eaze is looking to become the “Uber for pot” then Green Rush is seeking to be the GrubHub of the cannabis space. Just like Eaze, Green Rush doesn’t touch the product or the money, they only provide technology to assist the more than 150 cannabis collectives they are already serving, verify new patients and provide their patients with medicine. Unlike Eaze, Green Rush also provides their clients with marketing services, which can be a huge benefit to small collectives who otherwise cannot afford marketing. While with Eaze, patients and collectives both did not know where the medicine was coming from or going to, with Green Rush patients have access to full dispensary menus and know exactly where their medicine is coming from. Currently, Green Rush has over 6,000 products listed on their website.
Do They Provide Doctors?: Like Eaze, Green Rush provides recommendations through HIPAA-compliant telemedicine.
Plans for Adult Use: While Eaze is looking into expanding into the Colorado recreational market, Green Rush is planning to focus on dominating the medical delivery market in California. Paul Warshaw, the CEO of Green Rush, made it clear that their focus is “staying legal” and added that Green Rush entering the adult use market “depends on the rules and regulations.”
WoahStork is unlike the other two services reviewed so far, in that it aims to be more than just a cannabis delivery service. While, on the surface, WoahStork is a delivery service that partners with local dispensaries using their inventories and drivers; at its heart, the site is run by a powerful learning algorithm that can make custom tailored strain suggestions based off of a user’s past preferences, just like Netflix. WoahStork is the brainchild of Nicco Reggente, a UCLA PhD graduate student researching machine learning and memory, and this site was birthed from that research and Nicco’s experiences as a cannabis patient in LA and the difficulty he found consistently getting quality medicine. According to Nicco, WoahStork is “the only cannabis website using machine learning to optimize the user experience and minimize their bad experiences.” This is done through their Strain Genie, an interactive part of the site that asks you questions about your preferences to learn what you like.
Do They Provide Doctors?: Unlike Eaze and Green Rush, WoahStork does not provide doctor recommendations to patients. Instead, WoahStork is the only delivery service that is “partnered with a financial processing service, which will allow customers to buy cannabis with credit and debit cards.” While some collectives are still able to take cards, most are not and are cash-only. WoahStork being able to offer a way to take cards again is a huge bonus to this service for both patients and collectives.
Plans for Adult Use: The Strain Genie is equipped with a toggle from medical to recreational, which makes WoahStork the only delivery service I am profiling that already exists within both the medical and adult use markets.
Meadow is the first cannabis business to go through the Y Combinator business incubator, and in the words of David Hua, Meadow’s CEO, they served to “bring up the conversation on cannabis which many big institution funds aren’t ready for yet.” Hua, like Nicco, has been a patient for a few years and was motivated to create Meadow based off of his experiences as a patient. Meadow aims to “influence the delivery experience through the patient perspective.” While Meadow offers amazing services to patients, they have an expansive toolbox of offerings to collectives, including HIPAA-compliant secure storage of documents and the newly launched Meadow Platform.
The Meadow Platform includes intake and onboarding software, ways to scan medical ID cards to check people in and will soon include inventory management and point of sales software, forming an all-inclusive package for cannabis collective software needs. Moving forward, Meadow’s goal is to build a seed-to-sale platform. Currently, they help their more than 30 partner dispensaries to streamline their operations and prepare for the impending MMRSA and potential passage of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.
Do They Provide Doctors?: Meadow was one of the first cannabis delivery services to begin offering doctors recommendations, first by home visit (by skateboard), and now online as well using their own telemedicine software.
Plans for Adult Use: Everything Meadow designs works with either the medical or adult use market, but their focus currently is on medical cannabis. Hua wants to “bring the patient experience into the center of the conversation” and added that he thinks “medical is crucial to the future of cannabis legalization.”
Have you tried a cannabis delivery service? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.