California, particularly the San Francisco Bay Area, has become known in recent years for cultivating some of the world’s most innovative technology companies. And, with the “Uber-ization” of products and services comes valid questions for the future of the cannabis industry.
Three companies have really taken charge of the on-demand medical cannabis delivery market in California, and of course, the only way to find out what they’re all about is to try them.
As a longtime medical cannabis patient, I did the dirty work of trying out each service so you don’t have to. For controlled objectivity, I ordered ⅛ of flower from each app for delivery to the same address each time.
How it works: In addition to getting medicine delivered quickly by Eaze, patients can also acquire a valid California physician’s recommendation via video conference with the EazeMD web app. “Telehealth” has been a standard in the recommendation scene here for some time, but never with the mobility and ease offered by EazeMD (pun intended, we’re sure). The delivery app itself partners with a nearby dispensary to provide local selections, but they don’t tell you which dispensary it’s coming from.
Honest review: Since it was the first one I tried, I gave Eaze several chances, but ultimately, I would not recommend this app to my friends or family. Several times, the delivery driver refused to come to my door, and called me asking me to come outside and find them in the rain, or worse, in the dark. On the last occasion, the driver became frustrated and drove away without delivering the order. It could just be that the organizers in my area are having trouble managing the process and training their drivers. When I contacted customer service to try and advise them of the major issues I had, they simply threw money at me in the form of $5 discount codes. No thanks, I’d rather have a quality delivery, and I think most patients would agree.
If you run a delivery service, remember – you never know who the patient is that you’re delivering to. He or she could be in a wheelchair or have other mobility problems that require you to bring the medicine directly to the door, and not the street or parking lot. Or, he or she could be a member of the cannabis media who is going to review your service.
How it works: Like Eaze, Meadow partners with a local dispensary in each area, and they tell you who they’re working with in case you want to contact them directly. Orders through the Meadow website get dispatched to the appropriate local delivery service, who then brings the meds to your door. The company is also Bay-Area based.
Honest review: The delivery associate and the flower quality were both great, but I have to critique the technology a bit as there was a hiccup with my order. I used a Meadow promo code I’d gotten for referring a friend (a popular user acquisition tactic for these types of apps), but the promo code discount never actually made it from the Meadow app to the dispensary. Though he honored the donation discount shown on my phone screen, of course I still felt badly that the delivery guy was leaving with less money than he came there for. I never heard anything back from them about the order, but hopefully they’ve gotten this bug fixed. Other than that, I enjoyed the experience and would recommend Meadow to other patients.
When developing an app that works with several different affiliates, avoid customer confusion by ensuring that all necessary pieces of communication reach the affiliate from the app.
How it works: It’s the same concept as the other apps, with an added layer of security. Though Grassp is the relative newcomer to the on-demand cannabis scene, the Southern California-based company has gone the extra mile to ensure compliant cannabis delivery. Prior to launching the app, the company made themselves known to all relevant local government agencies, and even got the San Diego Sheriffs’ Department to approve and fingerprint all of their delivery drivers, so you know they’re legit and well-trained.
Honest review: For those who understand the environment here in San Diego, you know that medical cannabis gets complicated. Restrictive municipal codes and zoning requirements mean that most dispensaries have been forced to close and reopen in a different location, often overnight, and often a few times per year to avoid closure and/or prosecution. The fact that Grassp works with one of the only licensed dispensaries in the county, Outco Labs, is comforting because you know they will always be there. And, their law enforcement-approved driver was smart, friendly, timely, professional, and trustworthy to boot.
Though the prices are high to provide you a quality delivery, the flower quality is there, and I would definitely recommend Grassp to any of my patient friends and family once they start expanding their operations statewide.
What’s important in a delivery service? Timeliness, professionalism, consistency, and quality. More and more on-demand medical cannabis services are sprouting up in legal states, and as long as they keep these qualities in mind, they’ll see huge success as more consumers come around to trying cannabis for the medical benefits.