Uber wants to be able to deliver a joint with your pizza. But don’t expect Uber to be competing with Eaze, Emjay, or other cannabis delivery companies this weekend.
In an interview with CNBC last week, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that they won’t risk it in the state-legal markets. “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.
Although legalization is inevitable, ordering weed via Uber is going to take a while. And when the coast is clear for a publicly traded U.S.-based company like Uber to enter the industry, they’ll encounter a highly restricted market with serious competition, says Khaled Naim, the CEO and co-founder of Onfleet, a San Francisco-based delivery management software company.
grew out of the illicit market, where the buyer-seller interaction was more intimate than a food delivery transaction. “It’s a more nuanced space,” says Naim. “It’s not just pick-up and drop off.”
Delivery is big business for Uber. Uber Eats is a goldmine for the company, bringing in more than $1 billion in annual revenue. The company has big plans for alcohol delivery as it announced a deal to acquire Drizly for approximately $1.1 billion in stock and cash in February. Drizly, based in Boston, is the leading on-demand alcohol marketplace in the United States.
And cannabis could be huge, too. By 2025, Cowen estimates the legal cannabis industry will generate $40.1 billion in annual sales and by 2030 the market will reach $100 billion. If Uber can bogart a slice of the weed delivery market, it could be another substantial business vertical for the tech giant.
Perhaps the best signal that Uber is not ready for the cannabis industry just yet is the