SideCar Launching Medical Marijuana Delivery Service In San Francisco

Call it whatever you want, but SideCar probably won’t be calling its new medical marijuana delivery service in California the “Uber” of pot delivery. In a bid to compete against its rivals in the ride-sharing business as well as take advantage of state marijuana laws, SideCar is launching its service in San Francisco to bring medicinal weed from dispensaries to patients.

The ride-hailing app already ferries food, groceries and other packages in many cities including Los Angeles, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Boston and Brooklyn, and now it’s promising it can bring up to an ounce of weed to customers (though not in the same car as the other stuff), the company announced today.

The marijuana will come from local dispensaries and will arrive within an hour of ordering, with drivers carrying as many as four orders at a time using a “safe lock box during transit” for the drugs, the company says. It’s unclear what the delivery charge will be for customers, but drivers will receive 80% of that.

“SideCar is able to power the on-demand economy, and medical marijuana is an example of all kinds of products we can deliver,” SideCar CEO Sunil Paul told CNET. “The motivation is also that it’s high profile.”

And then there’s the fact that it could give the company a leg up on its rivals, who have more cash and are more widely known. Despite the fact that Saul sees Uber trying to be Amazon, SideCar can hold its own in the business, he says.

“In this new world of on-demand services, SideCar wants to be FedEx, and we think we’re very well positioned to grab that position.”

So the company doesn’t run afoul of California law — not to mention the fact that it’s still illegal to grow, carry or sell marijuana federally — SideCar is working with a company called Meadow Care that runs a website for medical marijuana patients to order from its network of licensed, local dispensaries.

SideCar says its drivers, who are also medical marijuana patients licensed to carry medicine, will “always verify that the patient who ordered the medicine is the same person who receives the delivery.”

The weed delivery business is limited to San Francisco for now, though there are other companies out there trying to woo customers with such services in both California and other states where it’s legal in varying degrees. That includes Uber, which partnered with a pot shop in Colorado, CNET notes.

SideCar rolls out medical marijuana delivery in SF [CNET]

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