San Francisco's Sidecar company is offering its clientele a new service — the delivery of medical marijuana to customers' doors an hour after it is ordered.
The ride-hailing startup has partnered with Meadow, an on-demand marijuana delivery company, to provide the service, providing customers have a medical marijuana card prescribing cannabis use from their doctors. Only marijuana for medical purposes is legal in the state of California.
Asked by CNET if a link to marijuana might tarnish the reputation of his brand, Sidecar company CEO Sunil Paul said: "If it's legal and fits in the car, we can deliver. The same things we do for medical marijuana we can do for alcohol delivery."
Sidecar usually transports people but it needed to expand its services to boost its bottom line. The car company was born before rivals Uber and Lyft but has been struggling to keep up, so it started deliveries earlier in 2015. Now drivers are "hyper-efficient logistic experts", says Paul.
Meadow had been delivering directly to a few customers from some medical marijuana dispensaries, but it needed a broader base of clients, so it joined in.
All drivers delivering marijuana must be card-carrying users as well for the operation to be legal. They have to be part of a collective that is growing and selling the drug, so they all joined a marijuana dispensary near San Francisco's Castro District, which is the first in the partnership, reports Forbes.
Customers order through the Meadow app or website, not through Sidecar. Payments depend on distance and speed of delivery, with the fastest (within an hour) the most expensive. Drivers carry the packages in "smell-proof" lock-boxes and double check recipients' identification and medical marijuana cards.