Demonstrating that anything can be improved by dubbing it “the Uber of” something, a San Francisco startup called Eaze is offering medical cannabis deliveries via a smartphone app — which makes it the “Uber of marijuana,” multiple news outlets are reporting today.
The brainchild of an early Yammer employee, Keith McCarty, who is funding the whole thing himself and running the operation out of his Chestnut Street apartment, Eaze is not a medical cannabis dispensary per se: it is instead a network of “caregivers” who essentially go to the dispensary for you and then deliver you your weed, in some cases in 10 minutes, McCarty claims.
Which means, like Uber (and like other apps, launched last month, that also claim to be the “Uber of marijuana), Eaze is able to dodge all those pesky regulations that
cost money stifle innovation.
As of this writing, there are about 30 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco. Most offer delivery. Some, like Vapor Room, are delivery-only because their storefront was shut down by the Justice Department. There is also an unknown amount of unlicensed delivery services which, since they have no brick-and-mortar location, have been able to avoid paying close to $10,000 for a Department of Public Health medical cannabis dispensary license.
Eaze has arrived!Revolutionizing medical marijuana delivery.Order now on mobile web.http://t.co/hEfLaKpIAI#gotitwitheaze
— Eaze (@Eaze_Team) July 29, 2014
All of that junk, of course, is Stone Age, taxi-like nonsense. Eaze is neither a dispensary nor a delivery company, rather it's a technology company, McCarty told the Chronicle, “that automates connections between patients and dispensers.”
McCarty claims to have relationships with existing dispensaries who promise to have the strains of marijuana flowers on the app in stock. A user decides what he or she wants, a driver brings them around, and the driver is then paid in cash.
There's no credit card ease of use available now due to federal banking regulations that bar medical cannabis companies from using credit cards; some SF dispensaries do take debit or credit but guard that information zealously as to not lose their privileges.
Right now, the service appears mostly Web-based. McCarty says he's hoping Apple approves his iPhone app; an Android app is “pending,” the Chronicle reported.
We haven't used Eaze yet ourselves but plan to do so today. We'll update when our buds arrive.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated Keith McCarty's name. SF Weekly regrets the error.