Last week, I got legal pot delivered to my Bay Area doorstep faster than most Postmates orders.
I picked out a new cartridge for my vape pen from Eaze, a medicinal marijuana delivery startup that’s been dubbed the “Uber of weed,” and fewer than 20 minutes later, a courier pulled up outside my apartment and handed me a white linen bag that hid my purchase.
A new “Uber of weed” or “Yelp of marijuana” crops up on the legal pot landscape every other week. There’s a Birchbox-like service for “every kind of stoner.” Users find love on High There, the “Tinder for weed smokers.”
But one angel investor says marijuana startups are going to be decimated once legalization happens, unless they distance themselves from the “‘X’ of marijuana” cliché.
Ben Larson left his job directing a startup accelerator in 2015 to launch Gateway, one of the first incubators for pot entrepreneurs. The program helps founders develop their business models, find mentors, and learn about raising capital.
Since Gateway set up shop in Oakland, California, Larson has been flooded with “‘X’ of pot” pitches.
But a catchy tagline isn’t enough. Let’s say you run a payment processor company for marijuana dispensaries. You nickname it the “Stripe of pot.”
“You have got to be much, much more,” Larson says. “Because as soon as it becomes legal, after the stigma drops a little bit, what stops PayPal from coming in and kicking your ass?”
Take Postmates. The company’s couriers deliver everything from Thai food to toothbrushes. In a future where legislation ends the prohibition on pot, it’s not crazy to imagine a big-name, on-demand startup like Postmates adding dispensaries to an existing network of shops and restaurants.
The company already has a massive user base, making some 1.3 million deliveries a month in 40 cities. It would have the infrastructure to support an influx of marijuana consumers should the laws change, whereas smaller, pot-focused delivery startups might struggle to meet demand.
You can read the other half of the article on the Marijuana Times: http://read.bi/2c2wTIT
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