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SideCar Launching Marijuana Delivery Service In SF

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Next time you hope into a car from ride-hailing service Sidecar, your co-passenger might be a bag of weed. The company announced that it is teaming with local cannabis service Meadow to bring same-day weed deliveries to medical marijuana patients in San Francisco. The new service will fulfill orders through the Apothecarium dispensary. Currently, package deliveries already constitute about 10 percent of Sidecar’s ride volume in San Francisco. However, carrying cannabis poses a number of unique challenges — such as ensuring that the person taking delivery is the same person that placed the order.

“SideCar is able to power the on-demand economy, and medical marijuana is an example of all kinds of products we can deliver,” said SideCar CEO Sunil Paul, explaining his company’s entry into the weed delivery business. “The motivation is also that it’s high profile.”

Well surprisingly or not, SideCar isn’t even alone in the weed on-demand business. Uber partnered with a Colorado pot shop in August, and at least eight much smaller marijuana delivery startups have cropped up in the last year alone.

“There are a lot of reasons we wanted to partner with Sidecar,” Meadow CEO David Hua told BuzzFeed. “Mainly, they’re willing to work within necessary compliance regulations, both San Francisco law and California state laws. [And] they have a delivery network out there that’s already processing orders both on [the] delivery side and passenger side.”

For now, SideCar’s foray into weed delivery is limited to San Francisco. But the company wants customers–and investors–to know that its ambitions go way beyond delivering marijuana.

SideCar already transports everything from groceries to flowers, tacos and power tools in Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Boston and Brooklyn. And it says that half the time its San Francisco drivers are carrying paying passengers they’re also on their way to deliver something else.

It is pretty clear that the company hopes that today’s announcement helps distinguish it from much better-financed rivals like Uber and Lyft.

“Our biggest competitor Uber has billions of dollars and a big market cap as everyone knows and they have the power and the intent to own the customer relationship for deliveries,” said SideCar’s Paul. “Uber wants to be Amazon.”

The company is also looking to expand this service to other cities in the future.

Source: CNET

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