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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

VC: Legal Marijuana Market Is "Surging" Towards $100 Billion

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 10:30 AM

David Chao is looking at billions. - DCM VENTURES
  • DCM Ventures
  • David Chao is looking at billions.
Once you're dealing with lots of zeroes, what's a few zeroes more? The legal marijuana market in America is on its way to being worth $100 billion, according to one sanguine venture capitalist (who just so happens to be investing in legal cannabis).

DCM Ventures, which has invested in such known quantities as anonymous social media platform Yik Yak, is the main firm behind a recently-announced $10 million investment in San Francisco-based Eaze. Called the "Uber of weed" many times over, Eaze is a "technology platform" that facilitates medical marijuana deliveries.

And it's also a great investment, according to DCM general partner David Chao. Chao's firm also supported Eaze's $1 million seed round in November — and why not? Legal weed is "surging towards $100 billion," Chao said in a release this week.

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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Get Your Free Marijuana: Delivery Startup Eaze Offering Free Eighths

Posted By on Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 12:35 PM

And free! - EAZEUP.COM
  • And free!
Today is a good day for marijuana smokers. And it's not even Friday.

Cannabis delivery facilitator Eaze — the San Francisco-based startup that's been described as "the Uber of marijuana" —  is offering a free bag of pot for any first-time user.

Yes, a free eighth for doing nothing in particular aside from being a legal California medical cannabis patient and picking up the phone and placing an order online.

How or why are they doing this? Does it matter? For some people, sure, so allow us to explain.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Y Combinator Makes First Marijuana Investment In Delivery Startup Meadow

Posted By on Wed, Feb 4, 2015 at 9:39 AM

This is the future. - GETMEADOW.COM
  • This is the future.
Last week, Y Cominbator partner Justin Kan — from the livestreamed life Justin.TV — told a group of investors that now is the time to bet on "crazy ideas" in the California cannabis industry. And Kan and his crew at the famed accelerator are putting their money where the marijuana is, making web-based marijuana delivery startup Meadow one of their winter investments.

And the idea is not all that crazy. For starters, there are at least two other competitors — all of which have been described as "the Uber of marijuana" — who also use mobile Web to connect dispensaries with cannabis patients (there's no cannabis delivery app yet; Meadow had an app but both Google and Apple banned it from their app stores).

Meadow has an additional service, though — they're also offering "on-demand," mobile-hailed consultations and recommendations from medical marijuana physicians, founder David Hua said Tuesday.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

City-Owned Drone Stolen

Posted By on Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 9:59 AM

Something like this, perhaps?
  • Something like this, perhaps?
Guess what? San Francisco owns a drone. And, guess what? Last week, someone stole it. 

The city's Recreation and Park Department confirmed to SF Weekly that a "quadcopter" equipped-with a Go-Pro camera and valued at upward of $3,000 was lifted from a city vehicle. 

Recovering the purloined hardware has been left to the police — who do not have camera-equipped drones at their disposal and are likely envious of Rec and Park. 

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Instagram Deletes Marijuana-Themed Accounts, Inspires "Instagram of Marijuana"

Posted By on Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 11:11 AM

The weed is unfree. - CORAL REEFER
  • Coral Reefer
  • The weed is unfree.
Instagram is full of marijuana. There's no way to know exactly how many of the Facebook-owned photo-sharing utility's 200 million users freely share pictures of buds, blunts, and joints — aside from counting, we suppose — but enough of them do for police to make real-life arrests based off of Instagram posts.

But, these days, Instagram has less marijuana on it than usual. Beginning sometime in the last month, the social network started deactivating cannabis-centric users' accounts. Bay Area-based favorite Coral Reefer saw her account turned off. So did San Francisco-based rapper Berner (though he's back on).

This is an odd move from a Bay Area-based tech darling, and not a welcome development for the burgeoning California marijuana industry.

But the upshot is a Silicon Valley opportunity: A new "Instagram for marijuana" is launching this week in response. Will the #marijuana #nofilter set take to the new social network?

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Now There Are Crime-Stopping Jeans to Stop Crooks From Stealing Your Personal Information

Posted By on Tue, Dec 30, 2014 at 8:00 AM

  • Betabrand
If you're a happy SkyMall shopper, here's something you'll probably like.

A San Francisco-based tech company unveiled a pair of pants for the paranoid commuter recently that boast technologically advanced pockets.

"You could defeat this type of cyber crime by carrying around wads of cash or bartering livestock," said Betabrand founder Chris Lindland. Or you could rock these special pockets "that prevent thieves from stealing your info."

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Files Claim Against His "Stalker"

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 7:32 AM

click image Travis Kalanick, target of credible threats - WIKIMEDIA
  • Wikimedia
  • Travis Kalanick, target of credible threats
Uber's spying scandal proves the Silicon Valley darling is no stranger to shady behavior. Neither is Travis Kalanick, it turns out: The Uber CEO has his very own stalker.

A "deeply disturbed" disbarred San Francisco lawyer with substance abuse problems and "possible military training" has unnerved Kalanick enough for the tycoon to seek a judge's protection, according to court records.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Uber Sued for Allegedly Pocketing Phony Airport Fees

Posted By on Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Where's my $4? - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • Where's my $4?
Last month, Uber inched away from its reputation as a serial rule-breaker when the tech boom's frat bro struck a deal with San Francisco International Airport to act more cab-like.

Starting last month, Uber, Lyft and their ilk started paying a $3.85 per-ride fee for the privilege of bringing passengers to SFO. Not quite the $4 paid for by cabs, but better than nothing, which is what the airport had been getting.

Good on you, Uber, all $40 billion of you. Except all along, Uber was charging its customers a $4 airport surcharge, cash never remitted to the airport, a class-action lawsuit filed last week notes. Similar lawsuits alleging similar chicanery in other cities have also been filed.

So where were all those $4 surcharges going? Travis Kalanick's pockets, according to a new lawsuit filed in San Francisco last week.

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Eric Garner Verdict Reignites Body Camera Debate in San Francisco

Posted By on Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 9:33 AM

  • Rachel Swan
Body-mounted police cameras got a spate of publicity after the March shooting of Alex Nieto in Bernal Heights Park, which inspired Supervisor John Avalos to stump for the devices. At an April Board of Supervisors hearing, he argued that they'd clarify some of the foggy details surrounding Nieto's death. 

Avalos' pitch got more traction after another, higher-profile shooting in Ferguson, Missouri in August, which was also the subject of conflicting witness accounts. By that time the push for body cameras had gone national, and many police departments — including several in the Bay Area — had already implemented them. 

Oddly, innovation-friendly San Francisco has been slower to adopt the technology than other cities. It's received a $250,000 Department of Justice grant for a pilot program that would arm a few dozen plain-clothed officers with cameras some time in the future. During an October hearing before the Neighborhood Safety and Services Committee, representatives from SFPD said the City Attorney's office is still reviewing the program, and that the department is still jumping through bureaucratic hoops to procure the cameras. 

Even then, the devices might be prohibitively expensive. Storage of video footage could cost up to $60 per month per cop, according to Avalos' legislative aide Jeremy Pollock. Asked at a recent press conference whether SFPD ever plans to deploy the cameras on a large scale, Chief Greg Suhr said he'd certainly consider it, "if millions of dollars could be released to do that."

And now that Eric Garner's widely-watched choke hold death has failed to produce an indictment, even Pollock says he's beginning to doubt the cameras' efficacy.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Another "Uber for Marijuana" Hits Bay Area, But Has Legal Troubles in L.A.

Posted By on Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Weed on your phone, and liquor too. - NESTDROP.COM
  • Weed on your phone, and liquor too.
A third service that aims to be the "Uber of marijuana" — or the "Lyft of cannabis," or the "Sidecar of skunk" — has gone live in the Bay Area.

Nestdrop began last summer as a Los Angeles-area alcohol delivery app, but added medical cannabis to its offerings last month. The service took its first orders in San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose last week, company cofounder Michael Pycher said Wednesday.

Unlike Eaze and Meadow, the two "Uber for marijuanas" already in operation in the Bay, Nestdrop actually has an app available for download on Android devices. The other two services are still Web-based. 

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