Cannabis Delivery Apps Spark Niche Market
The internet is a wonderful place. Not only can you buy almost anything online, but for entrepreneurs and investors, there is no shortage of economic opportunity. With the march of legalization pressing on, more marijuana markets are opening up. While some investors are clamoring for the next big thing, others have already found it.
Utilizing the power of the internet and the precision of pizza delivery, some herbal entrepreneurs are carving out a niche in the app-based marijuana delivery service.
Former food blogger turned entrepreneur David Hua is the founder of the marijuana startup Meadow. Based in California, Meadow is primarily an app-based service where you can order medical marijuana from your smartphone. All you have to do is register with Meadow, upload your patient information to their HIPAA compliant database to verify your credentials, and then you are ready to go. Meadow promises under one hour delivery and most pizza chains can’t even do that.
The realist inside you is probably wondering how in the world this company can even exist. Medical marijuana laws are a mess in California, and it would be easy to see how transporting and selling marijuana within the state could be a bit problematic. However, Hua is able to avoid many of the steep licensing fees by partnering with dispensaries.
Technically speaking, Meadow is not selling you marijuana as much as they are selling you the delivery service. The marijuana is provided by the dispensary, a Meadow employee delivers it and Meadow collects a $3 delivery fee from the dispensary. This distinction prevents Hua from being subject to many of the regulations other marijuana businesses are forced to comply with.
While there are a lot of fly-by-night marijuana operations sprouting up right now, Meadow is for real and David Hua has long term plans in mind. Speaking with Tech Crunch, Hua said, “This is not some get-rich-quick scheme; we’re playing the long game … . Our overarching goal is to implement and publicize a lawful marketplace.” As Meadow grows larger, Hua plans on expanding to other medical marijuana states.
Now don’t get too excited, Meadow isn’t the only kid on the block. There are actually quite a few competitors out there that provide services comparable to Meadow. There’s Eaze, MediDrops, Grassp and Speed Weed, just to name a few. Speed Weed stands out from the crowd because unlike other services, which are usually limited to a specific area, Speed Weed actually offers statewide overnight delivery in California. For the forward thinking cannabis user, that is a nice service to have.
As a marijuana investor, it may be tempting to go with what you know—dispensaries, cultivation or edibles; however, the greatest reward always goes to those that are willing to take a risk. Right now, Florida is flirting with the idea of medical marijuana. Sure, Oregon and Alaska are considering outright legalization, but if voters approve Amendment 2 in November, there is going to be a brand new marijuana market.
This will be a market untouched by the entrenched interests of the West Coast; a state with millions of seniors that hate driving, have chronic pain and will qualify for medical marijuana. Can you see the possibilities? The state will be ripe for a medical marijuana delivery service.
As we have seen, marijuana delivery can be a viable business. If you are looking to invest, a medical marijuana delivery service could be right for you. While companies like Meadow and Eaze seem to be doing fine, a windfall of capital is just what these companies need to expand on a national scale. If you are feeling more ambitious, places like Florida offer a tantalizing opportunity to claim an untapped market.