Uber for Weed Just Uber

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Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, speaks at the 2018 NOAH conference on June 6, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, speaks at the 2018 NOAH conference on June 6, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.
Photo: Michele Tantussi (Getty Images)

The future of doing drugs is starting to look a lot like the future of everything else: suspiciously cheap and easy.

Amid a new wave of cannabis legalization around the U.S., Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC on Monday that his company may eventually roll its way into the weed business.

“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 of Uber potentially adding weed to the list of things it currently delivers, like groceries. That means you may one day be able to order sour cream and onion chips, a family-size box of Nutter Butters, and an eighth of sour kush all in one place.

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Recreational weed use for adults has been legalized in some form in 16 states and Washington, DC. This most recently includes New York and Virginia, and New Mexico’s governor is poised to sign a bill legalizing weed in her state on Monday. Four other states—Delaware, Minnesota, Connecticut, and Rhode Island—are considering their own legalization legislation. As the Marijuana Moment reports, if all those states legalize this year, 2021 would see the most states legalize than in any other year.

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Weed delivery is also expanding. Like California, Michigan, Nevada, and Oregon, New York will allow weed delivery for anyone 21 years old and up once it’s cleared the rule-making process. New Jersey and Massachusetts will also eventually allow delivery of recreational pot.

Of course, that still leaves cannabis illegal at the federal level, but that too may soon change. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer recently vowed to get a federal legalization bill up for a vote as soon as possible.

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As for Uber, the company recently acquired alcohol-delivery service Drizly (pending regulatory approval) for $1.1 billion, and this is where Khosrowshahi sees the potential to jump into cannabis delivery after that pesky federal ban is lifted. For now, however, Uber is going to “focus on the opportunity at hand,” he said.

Given that recreational weed has been legal in California since 2016, Uber will have a number of San Francisco neighbors to compete with. This includes OnFleet, which manages last-mile delivery operations for a wide variety of companies and reportedly saw cannabis and alcohol deliveries rise 300% in 2020, and Sava, which specializes in high-end cannabis around the Bay Area. Then there are the unnumbered other local weed delivery services around the U.S.

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Now, even if Uber does get into weed delivery doesn’t mean that you should use this company to get your goods. Uber was one of the primary companies that pushed the passage of Prop 22 in California, which undid worker rights in the state and created a blueprint to whittle away at them elsewhere in the U.S. So if you want to be an ethical weed user, your best bet may simply be to grow the plant yourself and cut out the middle man entirely.