Eaze: The Coming of Age of Medical Marijuana?
Getting medical marijuana in Orange County isn’t easy. With the almost total prohibition OC has implemented on medical marijuana (outside of a small industrial area of Santa Ana, at least), finding a safe, legal storefront can be more than challenging. But as the industry continues to grow, technologically-driven entrepreneurs are competing to fill that gap. And right now, it's via delivery service. Despite ordinances in Anaheim, Tustin and parts of South OC that prohibit any kind of marijuana distribution, the best way to go about getting weed in OC is via delivery. And over the last year, two large scale delivery services have arrived in OC that could modernize the way marijuana delivery businesses function in the future.
Marketing itself as the "Uber of weed," Eaze promises to deliver weed to medical marijuana patients within 10- 20 minutes of being ordered. “We make sure to have enough drivers…because deliveries need to happen in under 30 minutes,” said Eaze CMO Scott Dunlap. “Otherwise it just doesn't feel as magical,” he said. “If we can't ensure consistent delivery in 30 minutes or less, we won't start delivering [in a city] until we can.”
Established 18 months ago by CEO Keith McCarty—an OC local and Chapman University alumni—Eaze is said to be the biggest such service in California. It makes thousands of deliveries a day and serves multiple counties between San Francisco and San Diego, according to the LA Times. But what separates the Silicon Valley-based company from other delivery services, however, is that Eaze isn't a dispensary. In fact, according to their website, the purpose of the tech platform is to function as a facilitator between buyer and seller. In other words, Eaze doesn’t deliver their own goods.
“First and foremost, Eaze is a tech company,” said Sheena Shiravi, Eaze's public relations chief. “We work with dispensaries, but the drivers. . . are employed by the dispensaries; and the physicians we work with are independently employed,” she said. “We really just supply the technology—we don’t touch any of the product.”
Whether on mobile or web, the Eaze technology aims to offer clients a personal experience by creating "smart" profiles that learn about each person who uses the service. As a result of tracking what strains a patient likes, how often they order, etc., Eaze can then recommend products and help streamline the ordering process for patients.
The most innovative feature of the platform, however, is their online evaluation resource known as EazeMD— a telemedicine service that connects patients with licensed physicians for a $40 marijuana recommendation assessment. Yes, you understood correctly: From the comfort of your home, you can get a medical marijuana evaluation through Eaze’s video conference service; and if the doctor writes you a prescription, you can get kush delivered to your door within minutes. Additionally, Eaze also offers the opportunity for new patients to get $60 off their first three orders, making the access and consumption of cannabis very convenient. Pretty neat, right?
Although marijuana delivery services that offer such advanced technology mark the coming of age of cannabis, keep in mind that companies like this are running under-the-regulatory-radar businesses. Thus, as kush is still illegal under federal law, it’s important to order and receive pot with caution. But as Orange County's weed regulations remain air tight, delivery services are the best way to go about getting your ganja. “We believe that medical marijuana delivery services should be regulated," said Shiravi. "But there's a right way to go about doing it, and we see that technology is a really great way to keep track of what's going on, as well as shed a light on what's considered to be a dark market."
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