Marijuana has recently received the Silicon Valley treatment. One recent startup, Eaze, is already seeking investors for its "Uber for pot" app, which advertises itself as delivering dank buds to worthless layabouts in under 20 minutes.
However Eaze, which is being developed by a former Yammer executive, is drawing the attention of San Francisco's health department for operating without permits. According to the San Francisco Chronicle:
The Department of Public Health regulates and permits medical marijuana dispensaries, inspecting each of the 28 permitted pot dispensaries twice a year and responding to any complaints about them. Obtaining a permit requires filing a pile of paperwork, obtaining a criminal background check for the owner, providing a business registration certificate, and providing plans for security, lighting and ventilation. [...]
Rachael Kagan, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Health, said that whether Eaze and similar startups will need permits is "a developing question" and that public health officials are examining the issue. The law, shockingly, doesn't address companies that deliver medical pot to homes and lack a fixed storefront.
Despite regulators investigating Eaze, the company is quickly growing. Having just launched in late July, the startup already has "dozens of drivers" and advertises itself as paying their mobile "caregivers" $45 an hour, San Francisco Magazine reports. And Eaze already has plans to expand to Southern California, Colorado, and Washington.
Eaze states that they only connect licensed dispensaries with card-carrying medical marijuana patients. However, one member of the city's former Medical Marijuana Task Force is already criticizing the app, telling the Chronicle "it's not fair that traditional dispensaries have to jump through so many hoops to be legal, but that Eaze doesn't."
In a statement to the Chronicle, a spokesperson for Eaze dismissed the regulatory gray-area as just another disruption. "If the Department of Public Health has any questions or concerns, we welcome the opportunity to speak with them. In the true spirit of Silicon Valley disruption, we recognize we are opening up new dialogues."