Uber wants to ride the wave of success of the hemp industry. The company’s first steps are in Canada – where marijuana use has been legal since 2018 – specifically in Ontario. In addition to food, locals can now order cannabis products through the Uber Eats platform.
But in order for customers to “enjoy” their order, they have to come for it in person. Although marijuana use is legal in Canada, the distribution of cannabis products is no longer allowed, the BBC reported.
Four billion in cannabis
Uber currently only works with the Tokyo Smoke store network. Customers can order their products through the app and pick them up within an hour at one of the chain’s 50 locations in Ontario. In Canada, Uber has decided to benefit primarily from the fact that financial institutions and payment service providers can legally accept marijuana transactions.
From a consumer perspective, product payments will work the same whether they order a shoulder soup bowl or a vaporizing pen, with payment information stored in their profile, a company spokeswoman told Forbes.
According to Forbes, the Canadian hemp market is worth about four billion dollars, in terms of about 90 billion crowns.
Uber is aware of the opportunity and is also following the development of the cannabis situation in the United States. Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber Technologies, said during an interview with CNBC in April that the company was awaiting federal legalization in order to enter the US market. “When federal law comes into play and the path for cannabis is clear, we will definitely look into it,” Khosrowshahi said.
Uber is following developments in other countries
And the “cannabis path” may soon open up soon. At least that’s what Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace, who introduced a bill to end the federal cannabis ban last week.
Uber may soon have a chance to start distributing cannabis products in the United States, where adult marijuana use is currently legal in 18 states. In 36 states, it is then possible to use marijuana for health reasons.
Lola Kassim, CEO of Uber Eats Canada, said the partnership was about offering “safe and convenient opportunities for people in Ontario to buy legal cannabis.” According to the cannabis data company BDSA, the illicit marijuana market accounts for about 40 percent of all cannabis sales in the country.
According to a Uber spokesman, it is currently uncertain whether the company will expand its online ordering program throughout Canada and possibly in the United States.
“Through our Ontario partnership, we are learning to closely monitor regulations and market opportunities. We will continue to explore opportunities for traders from other regions. But it all depends on the development of local and federal laws, “a Uber spokesman told Forbes.