Uber Makes First Foray Into Canadian Cannabis Market

Uber enters the marijuana market and allows users from Ontario, Canada, to place cannabis orders through Uber Eats.

On Monday, a company spokesperson said Uber Eats would include a section for cannabis retailer Tokyo Smoke starting this week. Customers can place their orders through the app and pick them up at the Tokyo Smoke store of their choice, the spokesperson added.

Uber Eats users who want to buy marijuana must verify their age on the app before ordering. Then, they would be authorized to pick their orders up within an hour, the company explained.

In Canada, the cannabis market has been valued at around 5 billion Canadian dollars (US$4 billion) a year. According to data from industry research firm BDS Analytics, cannabis sales are projected to rise to $6.7 billion by 2026.

The country legalized the recreational use of cannabis more than three years ago, but illegal producers still control the country’s total annual sales.

Uber said the partnership with Tokyo Smoke would give Canadian adults the opportunity to buy legal and safe cannabis, combating the illegal underground market, which still accounts for more than 40% of Canada’s non-medical marijuana sales.

In April, Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told the media they expected to explore the marihuana market in the United States once delivering cannabis is allowed there. However, after its latest announcement, the company did not respond to media requests for comment on whether it will continue rolling out the offer in other countries and only said that there was “nothing more to share at this time.”

“We will continue to watch regulations and opportunities closely market by market. And as local and federal laws evolve, we will explore opportunities with merchants who operate in other regions,” an Uber spokesperson said.

Demand for cannabis-related products grew significantly last year, amid pandemic-induced strict mandates and closures that left customers stuck at home with limited entertainment options.

After Uber’s announcement, the delivery services company’s shares rose 1.2% to $44.78 in premarket trading, while shares of global cannabis stock tracker MJ ETF rose 2%.