Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE:UBER) revealed that the company is open to starting cannabis deliveries once the plant is legal at the federal level. “If the path is clear for cannabis, if federal laws come into play, we will definitely look at that,” Khosrowshahi said in an interview with CNBC’s TechCheck.
With 16 states and the District of Columbia having legal adult-use cannabis markets, enthusiasts believe federal legalization is imminent.
The Big Apple was the latest state to go “green,” with Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing his signature into law on March 31. Right now, cannabis deliveries are allowed in California, Oregon, Nevada and New York.
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Uber expressed interest in cannabis industry last year
With cannabis and cannabis products legalized for both medical and recreational use in a growing number of US states, a relatively new industry is needing to figure out how to work efficiently and effectively. Along with the differences in guidelines and regulations in each state, there are numerous guidelines and hurdles to overcome in the chain of operations for cannabis companies.
A major trend of 2020 has been consumer delivery services: annual sales of online grocery delivery services grow 27% to reach $ 136.4 billion. Health concerns, regulations, and lockdowns made it often much easier to just have consumer goods delivered to your doorstep.
This isn’t the first time Uber has explored the benefits and opportunities in the cannabis space. Last year, the tech company hired cannabis advertiser Fyllo to help it target cannabis consumers in marketing its food delivery services, Bloomberg reported.
“A cannabis consumer is younger than the regular consumer, has more disposable income; they’re busier than most, they work all the time, work out all the time, go on adventures all the time,” Travis Freeman, Uber’s global head of media, told the magazine.
According to reports, Uber has found that cannabis consumers are more likely to finish watching video ads than average consumers.
According to Fyllo, Uber is not the only company outside of the cannabis space that has been interested in reaching this attractive demographic. That interest likely helped Fyllo close a $30 million funding round last week.
“We’re seeing more and more mainstream brands,” Katie Ford, Fyllo’s chief operating officer, told Bloomberg, “Some of the biggest alcohol companies want to target the cannabis consumer. Our platform allows them to do that.”
Nonetheless, Uber will remain focused on its main categories, such as food and alcohol, until federal law changes. “We see so many opportunities out there, and we will focus on those opportunities,” Khosrowshahi concluded.
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