Uber Eats presents Canadian customers with brand new ‘click-and-collect’ cannabis service

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Cannabis consumers in Ontario are celebrating the fact that they can now easily top up their stash of weed by using the Uber Eats app.

What originally began as a ride-hailing service has evolved into a home food delivery and package delivery service, the latter of which is known as “Uber Connect.”

Unlike the existing delivery services offered via Uber, cannabis consumers are required to pick up their bud via a click-and-collect service. 

Nonetheless, Uber’s joint partnership with cannabis retailer Tokyo Smoke demonstrates the company’s long-awaited debut into the regulated cannabis industry.

“This is an innovative arrangement between Uber Eats and Tokyo Smoke, which is the first cannabis merchant to list itself using the Uber Eats software, across Uber’s global business,” reads an excerpt of the company’s official news release.

How will Uber Eats serve cannabis consumers?

Uber Eats’ newly-added cannabis category features a broad assortment of Tokyo Smoke products. Tokyo is acknowledged as a subsidiary of Uber Canada, as well as Canada’s leading cannabis company Canopy Growth, which acquired parent company Hiku Brands in 2018 for $250 million.

Thanks to the Uber Eats application update, customers will now have the opportunity to peruse different strains/types of cannabis products and order them for in-person collection. Currently Tokyo Smoke operates from 35 stores spread across Ontario, which represents the largest recreational cannabis market in Canada by way of sales revenue.

Although cannabis consumers in Ontario were already able to order click-and-collect cannabis from stores, Uber’s move is the first to demonstrate its involvement in the cannabis market. Adults who use the application will first need to verify their age, before arranging to collect their weed within a one-hour window.

Why won’t Uber Eats permit cannabis deliveries?

Based on Canadian law, it remains illegal to deliver cannabis in spite of the plant’s legal status; legalization occurred in October 2018. Nonetheless, cannabis deliveries have become increasingly popular amid the coronavirus pandemic, which left many people without the freedom to travel or even leave their homes as they were bound to “lockdown-style” measures.

Looking to the future, Uber Eats is not totally against the prospect of implementing delivery services. During an interview with CNBC, company CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that cannabis delivery is only likely to transpire “when the road is clear” and “federal laws come into play” across the U.S.

Uber Eats is no stranger to the delivery of indulgent substances, with the online platform being renowned for delivering liquor in the United States. What’s more, the company even went as far as to purchase the Boston-headquartered alcohol delivery marketplace Drizly in early 2021. It should be noted, however, that Drizly’s cannabis delivery service Lantern was not included in the $1.1 billion deal.