Over the past few years, we’ve seen Uber evolve from a ride-hailing company into a full-blown delivery empire that schleps people’s groceries, cosmetics, prescriptions, and more. And now, it looks like we can add people’s canna-hauls to that delivery list: Reuters was first to report on Monday that the company is officially letting users in the Ontario, Canada region place their orders for vapes, edibles, and more right in the Uber Eats app.
Starting this week, Uber Eats users in the Ontario province will see Tokyo Smoke—a local retailer selling all means of cannabis and canna-related accessories—listed alongside the grocery stores and local restaurants populating the app. According to an announcement from the company, these Canadians will be able to place their orders through the app, and then head out to their nearest Tokyo Smoke store to pick it up. So, yes, it’d be fair to say that Uber is dipping the tiniest of toes possible into the weed business.
While this might be Uber’s first foray into the cannabis market, it almost certainly won’t be the last. Back in April, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC that the company had eyes on delivering weed products within the United States as soon as “the road is clear,” and when local regulations allow.
This sentiment was echoed by an Uber spokesperson, who when asked by Reuters about expanding these delivers beyond Ontario replied that it “will continue to watch regulations and opportunities closely market by market.”
“As local and federal laws evolve, we will explore opportunities with merchants who operate in other regions,” the spokesperson said.
Starting in Ontario makes sense for a few reasons. For one, the weed market there is fairly mature—in the roughly three years since the green stuff was legalized province-wide, clusters of head shops and dispensaries have been popping up just about everywhere, often within blocks of each other. Just for reference, there were a mere five pot shops across Ontario when cannabis first became legalized. As of this year, there are more than 1,000.
That boom in stores, meanwhile, has translated into a boom in sales. Cannabis sales across Canada last year totaled $2.6 billion according to one analysis, while another report put out by Brightfield Group earlier this year projected that those sales could climb to $8.6 billion (roughly $6.8 billion USD).