Problems Arise for Cannabis Tech Startups in 2015

Business
Problems Arise for Cannabis Tech Startups in 2015

The fast-spreading, legal cannabis industry may top $10 billion by 2018, and the rush is on to populate it with the same high-quality services found elsewhere.

In San Francisco, leading VC-funded delivery app Eaze announced Thursday their first major new market expansion to San Jose.

Eaze partnered with Cookie Co. in San Jose — a well-known dispensary long-specializing in Girl Scout Cookies-related genetics. Cookies Co. advertises Khalifa Kush (KK), Wiz Khalifa’s branded strain.

In 2014, Eaze partnered with high-profile San Francisco dispensary SPARC to drop off cannabis in under ten minutes with an Uber-like app and fleet of drivers. In tests, Eaze has delivered in as little as four minutes. Eaze just rolled out a version 2.0 of its web app and plans on expanding across the Bay Area, California and beyond.

Meanwhile, San Francisco startup Marvina — a web-powered weed-of-the-month club — caught a tidal wave of press in December only to announce Jan. 18 a delay in deliveries due to a dropped supplier. Mission District resident and Marvina founder Dane Pieri said the San Francisco Dept of Public Health wrote Marvina a letter stating that only permitted brick and mortar dispensaries may deliver in San Francisco.

But that rule is regularly flouted, multiple sources state. The DPH lacks the resources to police the city’s borders for outside deliveries. For example, major East Bay dispensaries Harborside Health Center and Berkeley Patients Group both deliver to San Francisco.

Marvina’s partner collective Goldstar Botanicals suspended operations. So the two-person Marvina — which classifies itself as a technology company — has begun powering deliveries for Pacifica-based Medicine Bowl Collective — which specializes in indoor Clean Green-certified cannabis grown with organic inputs, as well as a growing line of in-house edibles and oils. Deliveries of Marvina’s high-end, curated boxes will commence next week, he said.

Others news:

Fellow delivery app Meadow — which is more like the Lyft to Eaze’s Uber — added The Castro’s Apothecarium dispensary to its menu Jan. 8 and will soon launch on-demand cannabis evaluations.

Lastly, in Los Angeles, L.A.-based Nestdrop ceased serving America’s largest medical marijuana city Dec. 23. Los Angeles officials and courts ruled only city-permitted dispensaries may deliver to their patients. Nestdrop said it will continue serving other L.A. area cities and expanding.

Story by David Downs at Smell The Truth. Check out Smell the Truth for all the latest cannabis news and features.