The next big tech play in cannabis has arrived.
Longtime startup incubator Y Combinator announces its first bet on legal cannabis today with an investment in San Francisco-based medical marijuana delivery app Meadow.
Meadow powers deliveries for collectives and dispensaries like San Francisco’s The Vapor Room and The Apothecarium. The small company obtained an undisclosed amount of funding from Y Combinator, the incubator that has helped launch Reddit, Airbnb and Dropbox.
“By 2019, the legal cannabis market is projected to be worth $11 billion, and Meadow has the right team and strategy to become leaders in this space,” stated Y Combinator partner Justin Kan in a release.
Kan gave the keynote speech at a cannabis investor forum last week, saying he had not yet made a cannabis industry play but was taking pitches. Meadow founder David Hua was also at the investor forum sponsored by the ArcView Group.
Hua stated in a release today that YC backing allows Meadow to continue using its technology platform to normalize medical cannabis access for patients, as well as streamline operations for dispensaries and collectives.
For patients, Meadow’s web app is like a Lyft for cannabis delivery, letting patients view up-to-date menus at local dispensaries and order on-demand from a desktop or mobile device. For dispensary and collective partners, Meadow powers inventory, customer, and order management, along with on-demand delivery and pick-up systems.
“We want to ensure qualified patients have timely, easy, and efficient access to their medicine. Instacart delivers your groceries, GrubHub delivers your pizza, now Meadow delivers your cannabis,” stated Hua.
Y Combinator companies have a total market capitalization of over $30 billion, and their entry into the cannabis space follows Tao Capital’s funding of IT company MJFreeway, and Peter Thiel’sFounder’s Fund investment in Privateer Holdings — the firm that owns leading cannabis information site Leafly.com.
Meadow also announced today the launch of CannabisMD, which allows patients to schedule house calls from a cannabis specialized physician in order to obtain a recommendation for the botanical drug substance.
“Along with determining if cannabis will benefit a patient’s health and well-being, physicians also provide education and guidance around managing particular symptoms, types of cannabis products, methods of ingestion, and proper dosage,” Meadow states. “A CannabisMD physician’s advice is always unbiased, impartial, and patient-specific–they are not paid to promote cannabis in general or Meadow in particular, they are paid to assess a patient’s medical needs and, in their best medical judgment, recommend an appropriate therapy.