When medical marijuana shops first opened up in California in the late 90's, I remember thinking that we were at the forefront of a new era-being able to go down the street and get medicine from a legitimate, safe source.
Back then, it was still a new, untapped industry. It felt like the Wild Wild West.
Fast-forward a few years to today and Eaze - a technology company that helps to deliver medicine to your door via their app - is truly revolutionizing the medical marijuana industry.
The delivery service offers what most might consider the next big step for this ever-evolving industry. Customers can simply go online to the website, upload their doctor's recommendation and state-issued ID. If you don’t have a doctor’s recommendation, you can get one online at EazeMD or via their iOS app or Android app. Once verified by Eaze, the registration process is complete, allowing users to order at any given time between the operating hours of 9 AM – 2 AM.
It’s as easy as ordering an Uber. Whenever you find yourself in need of medication, open up the app, place the order and confirm. Within minutes, an Eaze driver will show up with your delivery in hand. Gone are the days of leaving the comfort of your home to pick up a prescription.
The service originated in the San Francisco Bay Area and is currently available in over 100 cities across California, including Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Culver City, Marina Del Rey, and most of Orange County and San Diego.
To really understand what Eaze is doing for cannabis and see the inner-workings of this service, I joined a driver named Jose to ride-along with Eaze for a day.
6:36 pm: I meet Jose at his car in Santa Monica and soon, Jose gets his first order. A photo of the patient's ID along with their order and address pop up on his phone. The patient is 3 minutes away from our location.
6:40 pm: We arrive at our destination. In just four minutes, Jose took the call, prepared the order and showed up at the location. Just four minutes.
The patient meets us behind her building and flashes Jose a big smile. "Good seeing you again!" she says as he hands her the paper bag with her order. Jose asks her how she's doing. She responds, "I had a seizure earlier, and I didn't have any meds." He tells her he hopes the medication helps, checks her ID to verify her identity and bids her goodbye. It dawns on me how helpful it must be for this woman to be able to receive her medicine and especially, so quickly. After experiencing something as intense as a seizure, she is able cut the delay of driving herself to a dispensary and receive her medication immediately.
6:55 pm: Jose gets a call from a second patient. She requests 1/4 of Black Widow. Jose arrives at her front door at 6:58, three minutes after receiving the alert.
7:02 pm: Third patient requests and order. Jose arrives at 7:10, in eight minutes. She comes out of a house, thanks Jose, and again, after he checks her ID, she's off.
I am amazed at the speed of the deliveries, which I tell Jose. He laughs, telling me that often, he finds himself waiting for the patient upon arrival because they don't expect him to show up so quickly. Thanks to iOS and Android app technology, deliveries are automatically routed to the closest driver to ensure the lowest delivery time possible.
What a difference a decade makes. I’m sure everyone can remember the days of calling up a couple people you know, in search of your marijuana. It was a lot of waiting for people to be available, then to show up. There were no guarantees. Back in the day, we would have to wait on the delivery guy. Now he’s waiting on us.
7:28 pm: Jose gets order number four. We arrive at 7:34. As we pull up to the apartment, I see a head peeking in through the window and in a minute, the patient runs downstairs. Jose greets him with a smile and asks him how he's doing. The patient looks somewhat nervous as Jose hands him his bag, looking around as if a bit paranoid before quickly running back after receiving his medication.
I notice that a few patients seem anxious when picking up their orders. Some patients gave different addresses as the pick up location and walked up to the car from a nearby home. Others cut the small talk and were speedy about their pickup. Though the process is legal, and Eaze even helps to improve discretion over driving to a dispensary to purchase in person, the stigma of marijuana as an illegal and shameful thing still seems to stick for some.
Perhaps because this door-delivery system is still so new, patients aren’t accustomed to it as a “regular” process yet. Despite having legitimate papers and recommendations, picking up cannabis from a driver might still trigger the same “picking up weed from your dealer” feeling from before.
This possibility is what makes it even more important to remember how many patients could be benefiting from a service like Eaze. I think about Jose's first patient – the one who explained she had just experienced a seizure – and how difficult and dangerous it could have been for her to try and leave home to drive to a clinic to retrieve her order. Instead, if was safely delivered to her in four minutes.
If we, the patients, still have a stigma with this scenario, how do we expect the rest of the nation to understand us and not have their own biases?
I give these patients credit as the pioneers of a new path that the industry is creating. I hope with time, it will be as familiar and comfortable to the population as ordering a book from Amazon.
7:36 pm: Order five comes in and we drive out to the heart of Santa Monica. We are meeting this patient at his workplace, where he has just taken a 10-minute break. He walks out of his job wearing his uniform, all smiles. He greets Jose with a pound (as in the handshake, not the measurement) and asks him how he's doing. They have a quick conversation like they are old friends and it’s obvious that this patient is far from earlier deliveries to people who were edgy and tense. He thanks Jose and heads back to work.
Around 8pm: We have our first lull in orders since the start of the shift. I learn that on top of driving for Eaze, Jose also runs a recording studio, does t-shirt printing and video production. I ask him why he added this particular gig to his already packed schedule.
"I was trying all kinds of different things," he said, "Essentially, I wanted to get extra income to offset my recording studio situation where it's always up and down, and I was looking for different delivery gigs because I have an economic car. I came across Eaze, and it was a no-brainer. I'm a patient already and I like dealing with people that need this service. I figured why not apply and I got hired. Here we are about 4 months later. I love my job, it’s a great gig, and I do this on the side on top of all my other little side gigs that I do."
"I feel like these on-demand jobs are really providing an outlet for people that want to pursue their careers, whether it be in the entertainment business or music business," he continued. "Companies like Uber and Eaze are allowing for people to be able to have that flexibility to be able to do what they want to do. That's exactly what I'm doing and for that, I'm thankful. I get to pursue my dreams, I get to have my recording studio, I get to be able to make extra money on the side if I chose to. That is freedom."
10:15 pm: Next comes a call from a patient in Culver City. After chatting with him for a bit when we arrive, and he explains that Eaze isn’t the first marijuana delivery service he’s used. So why does he stick with it now? "I like that it's fast, it's less than 20 minutes, as promised. I've waited up to 2 hours before for other delivery services. It's a terrible experience. That's what matters: to get my medicine quick."
11:05 pm: Jose gets a call from a new patient. He’s a little uncertain when we arrive, likely because this is his first time ordering delivery. After Jose verifies his ID, just as the patient is about to walk away, he tells him, "Welcome to Eaze. I hope you enjoy our service." The guy's face lights up as he walks away and exclaims, "Thank you! This is awesome!"
Jose – and Eaze, overall – are aware that these little interactions make all the difference. By making the experience comfortable, safe and secure, Jose is guaranteeing repeat patients that will eventually greet him like an old friend, like many of his others.
And the medicine that he delivers is top-notch and lab-tested. Eaze curates a number of different strains available also in pre-rolled joints - from classics like Skywalker OG and Jack Herer to strains that are new such as Berry White and Wi-Fi OG. For patients who cannot or prefer not to smoke, Eaze also offers a variety of edibles including chocolates, rice crispy treats, mints and espresso beans.
12:01 am: We finish our last delivery and after six hours straight of sitting in a car, my body is tired. Jose, on the other hand, seems unfazed. He’s used to it since he also was formerly an Uber driver.
"With Uber, you can have a cool conversation with a random person that you've never met and by the time you drop them off, it's the end of that relationship with that person," he says. "With Eaze, it's an ongoing relationship with patients. It's a continuous experience with them, because I have repeat patients that I deliver to on a daily basis. It's not just about the marijuana. It's about customer service."
Eaze is the epitome of medicinal marijuana colliding with technology. Patients no longer have to leave their home to receive medication, avoiding all the stresses, discomforts and lack of privacy of physically going into a dispensary. The process is seamless and is completed within a matter of minutes. Eaze is taking medicinal marijuana to the next level and leading a new revolutionary chapter.
Interested in trying Eaze? Visit EazeMD for an online medical recommendation or visit Eaze to get a delivery.