Uber Eats Starts Weed Delivery

Stephen Andrews
17 Oct 2022

The online food delivery platform extends its services following a collaboration with Leafly. Toronto pot users can request cannabis orders through Uber Eats as of Monday from retailers such as Hidden Leaf Cannabis, Shivaa's Rose, and Minerva Cannabis.

The partnership with Leafly marks the first time Uber facilitates the delivery of marijuana. Those who make online orders must prove they're at least 19 years old and sober as they receive the delivery at their door. 

UberEats has used special Leafly software to process cannabis orders. Under Canadian regulations, deliveries are not allowed to be made by third parties, with products only to be couriered by those with retail store authorization or their employees. The staff has to be certified with Ontario's cannabis retail education program, CannSell. It means that Uber Eats couriers won't exactly be making pot deliveries. But stores will hire and train their own staff to handle orders placed under Uber. 

Residents of Ontario have been able to order cannabis products through UberEats since November 2021, without the option for delivery. App users can "click and collect" pot products for pickup from Tokyo Smoke stores under the arrangement. 

Before that, Ontario temporarily permitted cannabis retailer stores to courier orders in 2020 amid COVID-19 restrictions. 

The new Leafly partnership is taking the services a step further, however. 

Uber outlines that the partnership is part of an effort to shrink the illicit marijuana market, which legal retailers have long blamed for siphoning money from licensed businesses. 

"We are partnering with industry leaders like Leafly to help retailers offer safe, convenient options for people in Toronto to purchase legal cannabis for delivery to their homes, which will help combat the illegal market and help reduce impaired driving," Lola Kassim, General Manager of Uber Eats Canada said in a statement.

Also, the partnership is being promoted as a safety benefit in an attempt to reduce the number of people who drive under the influence. Approximately 21% of cannabis users operate a vehicle within two hours of consuming weed, according to the Canadian Cannabis Survey 2021

"Leafly has been empowering the cannabis marketplace in Canada for more than four years and we support more than 200 cannabis retailers in the Toronto area," Leafly CEO Yoko Miyashita said in a statement. "We are thrilled to work with Uber Eats to help licensed retailers bring safe, legal cannabis to people across the city." 

Uber has not disclosed how much it will commission with Leafly per every sale made via UberEats. For restaurant orders however, Uber retains a cut of usually somewhere between 20 and 30 percent. 

Uber's move to facilitate cannabis deliveries reflects the company's more exhaustive attempts to expand beyond restaurant deliveries. The tech giant has couriered apparel and houseware brands such as Body Shop, Indigo Books & Music, and Dollarama Inc, and it has made bold steps to enter grocery deliveries, too. 

Asked whether the company plans to introduce cannabis deliveries in the U.S., CEO Dara Khosrowshahi nodded in a statement last year. "When the road is clear for cannabis, when federal law comes into play, we're absolutely going to take a look at it," he said. 

Stephen Andrews