Marijuana delivery startup Eaze will now let you get a medical marijuana card via smartphone.
Rival service Meadow claims to Uber over a doctor (mine actually came on a skateboard), but Eaze seems to be the first dooby delivery startup able to *hand out a legal cannabis card through EazeMD, its new video phone conference service.
“You need to actually send a driver to deliver consumer goods, but there’s no reason you should have to actually dispatch a doctor and it really just streamlines the process,” founder Keith McCarty said.
Indeed, it does. California state law has traditionally required those wanting to get a state-issued cannabis card to travel to a designated clinic, pay $100 or more and then wait a few days for their card. EazeMD replaces that process with technology that finds the next available weed doctor from a third-party service.
EazeMD has also lowered the cost to $25 and reduced the time it takes to minutes so those without a marijuana card, but “in need” of “medicine” at, say, a friend’s house on Saturday night around 11, can dial up a selection of available doctors on EazeMD and start chatting.
EazeMD issues the new card electronically to the “patients” smartphone and then moves them to the Eaze platform where they can order and get “medication” delivered right to wherever they are in less than 15 minutes, according to McCarty.
Weed-as-a-service startups like Eaze, Meadow and more than half a dozen others that have popped up in the last year face numerous legal barriers to operation. Getting a card that fast doesn’t seem legit.
Maybe it is? A spokesperson from the California Department of Health Medical Marijuana program wasn’t sure about telehealth laws and state medical cards but did say he’d heard of some dispensaries doing that. He referred me to the San Francisco Public Health Medical Marijuana Program, which issues the state cannabis cards for those living in San Francisco. Each county handles the marijuana I.D. cards, and this would be the place with answers.
There’s no reason you should have to actually dispatch a doctor and it really just streamlines the process.
“Telehealth is accepted across 28 states and 23 states have made marijuana for medical reasons legal. It’s accepted across the California Medical Board,” McCarty assured me.
Telehealth is actually accepted in most states, but a total of 23 states, plus the District of Columbia allow the use of medical marijuana and 4 states have so far made it legal to toke up, with or without a license.
EazeMD seems to fall within the guidelines of telehealth, according to the Medical Board of California’s website, which states, “There are no legal prohibitions to using technology in the practice of medicine, as long as the practice is done by a California licensed physician.”
So there’s that.
I called a few dispensaries to see if any of them used teleconferencing tech like Eaze. None of them did, and Chase over at The Apothecarium said that it was illegal for dispensaries to hook any doctor up with potential patients for a marijuana card recommendation. This is where delivery services come in.
“They aren’t selling the weed so places like Eaze and Meadow, I think that’s alright what they are doing,” Chase said.
So Eaze seems to be unique in this quicker, easier approach…for now. “There’s something to be said of being first to market,” McCarty said.
Eaze has raised a total of $12.5 million from investors since launching in November 2014. It is using that money to expand to San Diego County, Orange County, and Los Angeles County today, along with the launch of EazeMD. So now those in Southern California can also get a medical marijuana card over the phone within minutes, too.
*Eaze would like us to clarify that it enables legally certified third-party doctors to issue the cannabis card through EazeMD. In case this wasn’t clear in the article above, Eaze uses doctors to evaluate people who might qualify for the use of medical marijuana in the state of California.