As the on-demand businesses of Uber and Lyft began to rise, ’07 Chapman business administration alumnus Keith McCarty saw the perfect opportunity to take the idea in a new direction with medical marijuana delivery.
“I’m very entrepreneurial by nature, so I started looking at the next wave of technology and how you can have anything delivered at the click of a button,” McCarty said.
In 2014, McCarty launched Eaze, an app that connects dispensaries with medical marijuana patients and has cannabis delivered to users. In order to use the app and receive a delivery, users must have valid identification and a medical marijuana recommendation. Once registered on Eaze’s website, users can submit an order, and a driver from the nearest dispensary will deliver the order. The company never touches the cannabis. Eaze is solely a technology platform that aims to deliver orders in 15 to 20 minutes.
The company also recently launched Eaze MD, a website where people can connect with a physician and receive a diagnosis and recommendation letter in just a few minutes. Physicians are also available to help patients decide which cannabis option is best for them — concentrates, edibles, pre rolls and more.
McCarty said he was inspired by the changing views of Americans toward marijuana.
“More Americans started favoring the legalization of marijuana and I began to do research and analysis of the industry,” McCarty said. “For me specifically, researching numerous cases of how medical marijuana has helped people overcome things like grand mal seizures and brain tumors, helped change the stigma attached to cannabis.”
The app initially began deliveries in San Francisco, but quickly expanded through the Bay Area and down to Orange and San Diego County. Eaze is currently delivering in 100 different cities.
With expansion into different cities comes figuring out different laws of each county.
“There are specific ordinances we have to follow and so do the dispensaries we work with,” McCarty said. “We don’t take regulations lightly. Eaze isn’t just about providing cannabis to the broader community, it’s about doing it right. We’re looking at creating the easiest, quickest and most professional way to get cannabis to people today.”
Freshman television writing and production major Joe Spirito said he thinks Eaze could help create professionalism and dispose of stereotypes in the marijuana industry.
“The medical marijuana industry isn’t as illegitimate as it’s often made out to be,” Spirito said. “Behind the doors of many unmarked, sketchy dispensaries are professionals who are abiding by the state law. They don’t operate through loopholes in the law, they operate through law alone.”
Eaze received $10 million in 2015 from investors, including a company co-founded by Snoop Dogg, on the promise of becoming “Uber for pot,” according to Business Insider.
“I think it sounds like it could be very successful,” said junior communication studies major Cameron Stewart. “A lot of my friends use food delivery services and this could fill a similar need.”
However, not everyone agrees that medical marijuana should be this accessible.
“I think it should be an option but not necessarily encouraged,” said junior English major Emily Quinn. “There are always going to be people who abuse it just because it’s available.”
Eaze can’t be downloaded through the Apple Store, but the app can be used off the website either on a computer or phone’s Web browser. Eaze MD can be found both in the Apple Store and on Eaze’s website.
“It’s really changing people’s lives and helping people survive,” McCarty said. “Elevating the industry and being the voice of the patient is important to us.