Photo by Uber
Buying weed in Ontario, Canada, just got a whole lot easier. Last week, an Uber spokesperson told Reuters that Uber Technologies Inc would allow residents in the province of Ontario to order cannabis and related products via the Uber Eats app.
As of today, Uber Eats is listing cannabis company Tokyo Smoke under its available marketplaces. Customers will be able to order their weed similar to ordering food or groceries, which the customer can pick up at their nearest Tokyo Smoke storefront.
The only downside of this new partnership is that customers can’t get their cannabis delivered just yet, as Uber Eats is still working out the details under federal and provincial law. Uber Eats successfully delivers liquor, but the company has been looking to expand operations into the cannabis industry for quite a while now.
Back in April, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC that the company will begin to focus on making cannabis deliveries through the Uber Eats app when “the legal coast is clear in the United States.” Now that Canada is just over three years into the legal recreational cannabis market, the country is still attempting to efface the illegal weed market, which makes up a large portion of total annual sales.
Uber released a statement last Monday that noted how the partnership between Uber Eats and Tokyo Smoke will help Canadian adults obtain “safe, legal cannabis.” This would also help ward off the illicit underground market, which, according to Reuters, still makes up for more than 40% of all non-medical cannabis sales across the nation.
According to data from cannabis industry research firm BDS Analytics, cannabis sales in Canada will reach $4 billion in 2021 and are projected to expand to a whopping $6.7 billion by 2026. In terms of expanding into other Canadian provinces or in the United States, an uber spokesperson told Reuters that there is “nothing more to share at this time.”
The spokesperson mentioned that Uber will continue to monitor regulations and opportunities “market by market.” They added that as Cannabis federal cannabis laws change and evolve, Uber will explore more opportunities with merchants who “operate in other regions.”
The new partnership between Uber Eats and Tokyo Smoke resulted from last year’s strict pandemic-related mandates that forced citizens to stay at home. Since the cannabis market has flourished during the pandemic, it left big names like Uber finding ways to plant their feet in the evolving industry.
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