Too lazy to get off the couch to pick up your pot? Soon, you’ll be able to order your weed with the tap of a finger.
The app Nestdrop, which already delivers alcohol on demand, is expanding to marijuana with a soft launch in L.A. at the end of October. Co-founder Michael Pycher says the app will offer delivery, within the hour, for valid patients in a broad area between Downtown, Manhattan Beach and Encino/Tarzana.
While the SoCal entrepreneurs making the most money in the weed industry are of course the people selling the actual weed, it's the people that are weed-adjacent who are more investor-friendly and able to keep their income in banks. Examples of such businesses include the dispensary directory app Weedmaps and the makers of the pot container with a built-in grinder, Medtainer.
Nestdrop, however, has figured out a way to profit from the actual sale of weed without registering as a dispensary, meaning they don't have the same liabilities and can attract bigger investors. The app works like this: You upload a photograph of your prescription, then order your cannabis. The app then subcontracts the order to local weed delivery services around L.A.
In the past year, marijuana delivery services have proliferated in L.A., despite being illegal under Measure D, the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Regulation ordinance. While the City Attorney’s office has been busy trying to shut down some of the estimated 400 brick-and-mortar pot shops operating illegally, enterprising vendors have turned to car-based delivery services as a more discreet alternative. These roving collectives are hard to find, and even if they are stopped, the drivers carry less than the personal legal limit.
For patients, Nestdrop confers an air of reliability when getting your pot delivered, as ordering from a weed delivery service can be notoriously slow and unreliable.
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“Most of the time they’re not quite with the program,” Pycher says. “We want to make this a reliable, legitimate business model.” So Pycher and his co-founder screened the L.A. delivery services extensively. Only one out of eight or nine services was deemed professional enough to work with Nestdrop.
Nestdrop’s biggest competitor in L.A. will be the investor-backed Speed Weed, which will launch its own app next week. Speed Weed is the most reliable and professional of L.A.’s existing delivery services, but it is also registered as a dispensary, which means that the business is ultimately more legally vulnerable than Nestdrop.