CALIFORNIA - You can use your smartphone to request an Uber, order a pizza and book hotel rooms, and now a growing number of California entrepreneurs allow you to use it to order medical marijuana for delivery. NestDrop, a company that earlier this year began smartphone-based alcohol delivery in California, is the latest company to permit medical marijuana patients to get pot driven to their home. Their angle: It's the only company with a purely in-app ordering and payment process. Other services use mobile websites.
Nestdrop's alcohol delivery app is available today for both iPhones and Android, and the Android version of the marijuana app is also up and running. The company is waiting for Apple to approve their iOS app.
To order, patients upload a photo of their medical marijuana card or doctor's recommendation, and their ID. An hour later, a driver shows up with the marijuana, checks the buyer's ID and hands over the pot.
Nestdrop's drivers hold their own medical marijuana cards, giving them authority under California law to possess the marijuana. That marijuana itself comes from the collective to which the patient belongs.
The service is available only in a portion of Los Angeles now, but NestDrop plans to expand as demand increases.
The company's founders decided to expand into marijuana delivery because many people who use medical marijuana struggle with chronic pain, mobility issues, or just can't travel after receiving chemotherapy.
"After our initial success with alcohol deliveries, we decided to expand when we saw how this platform could be used to bring difficult-to-obtain products to people who really need them," Nestdrop co-founder Michael Pycher said in a statement. "We began talking to patients and found a genuine need out there for improved access to this medicine."
Delivery services for marijuana in Colorado and Washington states, which have both legalized recreational marijuana, remain illegal. That's because both states specifically require in-person purchases. In Colorado, some delivery services have tried to get around that law by requesting donations for deliveries, since giving away pot is allowed.
Police say that's an irrelevant distinction, and sometimes conduct sting operations against those services, which advertise heavily on Craigslist.
Trevor Hughes - USA Today/Nov. 14, 2014