‘Uber For Pot’ Startup Canary Shuts Down, Merges With In-Store Weed Pickup App

WASHINGTON:  With new laws regulating the medical marijuana industry in Washington set to pass on Friday, pot entrepreneurs are re-thinking their business plans.

Canary, a Seattle-based startup that launched late last year and billed itself as the “Uber for pot,” shut down today.

Canary co-founder Josiah Tullis said that the new regulations will effectively prohibit the delivery of medical marijuana in Washington, which was the backbone of Canary’s revenue stream. Meanwhile, I-502, which governs the use of recreational marijuana in Washington, does not allow for delivery of pot.

“We could see it coming,” said Tullis, a junior at the University of Washington. “We were already re-examining which direction to take our product.”

 

For Pot Delivery Apps, Making Green Means Wading Into Legal Gray Area

CALIFORNIA:  A fresh crop of pot entrepreneurs wants to provide a new way to get a buzz from your smartphone: marijuana delivered on demand.

Brand-new companies including Eaze and Canary aim to make pot delivery as easy as the tap of a few buttons. Upload ID proving you’re an eligible medical marijuana patient, select the strain of your choice and wait for the goods to arrive at your door.

 The potential business opportunity is massive: the on-demand craze popularized by Uber and Netflix, combined with a budding industry built on more states legalizing marijuana use.

But these startups must wade through a complex patchwork of laws that vary by state and even by city.

“All of these folks are operating in a gray area, going to bed each night knowing that their business model might collapse under the politics that gird all of this,” Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of marijuana legalization lobbying group NORML, told NBC News. “‘Is this commerce legal?’ is a hard place to get your business started.”

Marijuana Delivery Startups Are Ready. The U.S. Government Is Not.

WASHINGTON: Canary, a new startup that offers on-demand marijuana delivery, recently launched with the tagline “Prohibition is over.” The startup’s webpage advertises 24/7 availability for pot in Colorado and Washington, where state legislatures recently legalized the sale of recreational marijuana. The site teases a sleek, simple app for ordering, available for both iPhone and Android devices; knowledgeable couriers will work with local dispensaries to bring the goods to your door with three the click of three buttons, Canary promises, making acquiring pot as easy as ordering takeout Chinese food.

There’s just one problem: It’s totally illegal.

Though the prohibition on selling recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington may be over, the prohibition on delivering it is not. Both states have laws on the books explicitly banning the delivery of weed, wary of losing track of what is already strange and new territory.

That’s harsh news for Canary co-founders Josiah Tullis and Megh Vakharia, two University of Washington undergrads who have been forced to cut back on their grand pot delivery schemes due to the government strictures.