“No,” he said, chuckling.
Yet today, his company will begin to do exactly that: Deliver medical marijuana to patients around San Francisco thanks to a new partnership with fellow Bay Area startup Meadow.
Sidecar and Meadow, a year-old company that just graduated from Y Combinator, have teamed up for a unique partnership that will provide customers marijuana delivery in under one hour.
Meadow, which bills itself as an “Uber for pot” startup, already offers a way for patients to browse through menu items and place on-demand orders from different dispensaries around town. The dispensaries, which pay Meadow a referral fee, then use their own drivers to deliver the marijuana.
Now, though, partnering dispensaries that receive orders from Meadow will have an option to use Sidecar for delivery.
Sidecar is still offering rides to people; that’s what the startup originally set out to do when it launched back in 2012.
But deliveries are becoming a bigger part of Sidecar’s business — in fact, they now make up more than half of the company’s revenue in San Francisco, only three months after Sidecar launched its delivery service.
The company, best known for being the smaller, less-funded competitor to Uber and Lyft in the on-demand ride-hailing industry, seems to have found a potent combination by utilizing its logistics technology and network of drivers to both deliver people and goods — even at the same time.
Yep, that’s right: If you catch a Sidecar ride in San Francisco, there’s a chance that some medicinal marijuana will be sitting in the trunk.
“There is tremendous power in combining people and packages,” Sidecar CEO Sunil Paul told GeekWire.
Sidecar worked closely with Meadow to ensure that delivering marijuana would be a safe and legal process. Sidecar drivers who deliver the marijuana are all medical patients. They also carry the medicine in a safe lock box during transit, and can use the Sidecar app to verify an ID.
The partnership somewhat enables a three-way transaction. Patients use Meadow to place an order; a dispensary pays Meadow a referral fee and prepares the items; and finally, Sidecar delivers the marijuana and charges the dispensary a flat fee.
“Part of what’s interesting about this partnership with Meadow is that it really illustrates that we are capable of delivering all kinds of different products, including those that have complicated requirements,” Paul said.
Meadow CEO David Hua told GeekWire that his four-person team became interested in teaming up with Sidecar after seeing the early success of its delivery business.
“Ultimately the partnership with Sidecar will provide a full turn-key solution for these dispensaries that normally wouldn’t have access to this technology platform, let alone access to a patient who can’t leave their home and wants that delivery,” Hua explained.
There are certainly a number of other delivery and logistics companies Meadow could have partnered with, but Hua said his team — all former Sincerely employees — liked Sidecar the best.
“I don’t think Uber would neccesarily want to divert resources toward medical marijuana when they’re going after a way bigger pie,” Hua said. “Sidecar is the right partner.”
Sidecar today also announced new, lower prices today: same-day delivery for $4.99 and one-hour delivery for $7.49. Also, if an order does not arrive on time, it will be free.
“We’ve created a breakthrough price point,” Paul said.
We spoke to Paul about how deliveries have changed Sidecar’s business model, and you can head here for those details.