San Francisco, CA. 13 May, 2015 – With Tuesday’s announcement that same-day medical marijuana delivery could cost as little as $4.99, SideCar officially threw down the gauntlet to rival companies in the lucrative weed-on-demand market.
For the past three months, Sidecar users in San Francisco have been ride-sharing with medical marijuana deliveries. Now in its third year, Sidecar is generating more than half it San Francisco revenue from its cannabis-related sideline. To improve delivery times, Sidecar has just partnered up with Meadow Care, a company that accepts online orders from medical marijuana patients. Meadow users can select their preferred cannabis from menus linked to a network of licensed local dispensaries. The dispensaries pay Meadow a referral fee, then use their own drivers to make the delivery. Under the new partnership, partnering dispensaries can choose Sidecar.
Customers can have their order delivered within an hour for as little as $7.49 under the new pricing plan announced this week. Like competitor Eaze, Sidecar describes itself as an “Uber for pot”. The company says patients will be able to order up to one ounce per customer and drivers will secure all orders in a lock box during transit. Sidecar drivers involved in cannabis delivery are all registered medical marijuana patients, themselves, making it lawful for them to have cannabis in their possession, and always use the app. to verify customer IDs. Medical marijuana can only be delivered into the hands of the patient who legally ordered the medicine.
Sidecar raised $15 million in funding last September, with British tycoon Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Air ) taking a stake, bringing its total for the year to $35 million. To differentiate itself from competitors like Uber and Lyft, the company gives drivers more flexibility in pricing while allowing passengers more choice as to the drivers or cars they prefer. A year ago, Sidecar launched its “Shared Rides” service in San Francisco, allowing customers to save on the cost of their trips by getting matched with other riders who share the car and split the price of the trip.
Sidecar is still offering rides to people as per its original business model, and they have been transporting goods like flowers and groceries in Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and other cities. SideCar CEO Sunil Paul explains his company’s decision to add marijuana to the list of products they can deliver as a “High profile” move. “SideCar is able to power the on-demand economy, and medical marijuana is an example of all kinds of products we can deliver,” he said in an interview with Geekwire, adding. “There is tremendous power in combining people and packages.”
Small-scale delivery operations are sprouting almost as fast as grow operations in Washington’s Kush Valley, some patients have noted. “The local pizza delivery guy has figured out he can earn more delivering pot,” a Seattle patient known as “Jim the GreenMeister” told Potcha a month ago in the context of another article. “When the feds legalize, that’s where the competition will come from – some kid doing deliveries to pay for college.”