What started as a delivery service has branched out into education, data analysis, and trend-watching.
Thanks to Amazon, today’s consumers expect to have goods delivered to their door, but the brick-and-mortar shop remains king in the cannabis industry. Eaze set out to shift the paradigm by creating an Amazon-like experience for cannabis consumers.
Like many others, Eaze’s founders were profoundly affected by the story of Charlotte Figi, a six-year-old living with Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy. Cannabis treatment significantly improved the quality of Figi’s life by dramatically reducing the frequency of her seizures. “Our team immediately realized legal access to medical cannabis could hugely benefit from an on-demand, professional technology solution,” said Sheena Shiravi, director of consumer communications for Eaze.
At the time, dispensaries were scattered all over Eaze’s home turf, San Francisco, yet access remained challenging for some patients, in part because of the stigma associated with cannabis. Patients worried being “outed” as a medical cannabis user might harm their personal and professional reputations. Eaze’s founders took aim at the consumer population with a laser focus, setting out to ensure everyone could receive medical cannabis easily, quickly, and professionally in less than an hour.
The delivery model struck a chord, and now Eaze works with a large network of retail and brand partners who maintain a strong commitment to compliance and building a sustainable cannabis industry. Partners include G Pen, PAX, KIVA, THC Design, and Caliva, as-well as most licensed dispensaries from San Francisco to San Diego.
Because “the Eaze platform serves as a marketplace for adult consumers to be connected to their local retailers to get high-quality products delivered safely and legally,” Shiravi said, not just any brand or dispensary is allowed to list on the platform. Standards are strict. “We look for brands that put their customers first,” she said. “We need to ensure their brands are tested and safe. We help them understand the ever-growing needs of an evolving consumer base, find their audience, and make sure they’re putting the customer experience above all else.”
The Eaze team doesn’t consider the company “just a delivery service.” To them, Eaze is a technology platform local retailers use to run their own delivery operations. Eaze does not employ the drivers; the dispensaries do. Eaze does not take a cut of transactions; instead, the company collects a software licensing fee from partner retailers. According to Shiravi, Eaze is actually a consumer-facing ecommerce facilitator built to help educate consumers and streamline the experience of accessing legal cannabis.
The company’s technology also produces invaluable data, industry trends, and an educational corporate blog. Among trends uncovered recently: While flower still dominates in number of deliveries, vaporizer deliveries have soared. “We’re seeing a lot of innovation in the vaporizer space, with more and more form factors being developed,” Shiravi noted.
But there’s even more to Eaze. “On the back end, our technology helps with things like inventory and driver management,” Shiravi said. “Our compliance team also works closely with our partners to help navigate the ever-evolving regulatory landscape to ensure every part of the experience is compliant.”
In the new age of cannabis, the modern consumer spans a wide variety of backgrounds, professions, and lifestyles. To stay up on sales trends, Eaze surveyed 10,000 cannabis consumers for its “Modern Marijuana Consumer” report published earlier this year. Survey results indicated the fastest growing segments among daily cannabis users are women and Baby Boomers. “More and more we’re finding our core customer is really adults who are wellness-minded and looking to incorporate cannabis into their toolkit,” said Shiravi.
Like every other sector in cannabis, Eaze expects increasing competition moving forward. Shiravi said the company isn’t too concerned. Eaze has found its niche and will remain focused on ensuring every part of the consumer experience is fully legal. “We’re committed to education in order to help the ‘canna-curious’ learn more and legally purchase cannabis in a safe, discreet, and convenient way,” she said.
Shiravi also has complete confidence in the Eaze team. “Frankly, I’ve never met a group of more passionate individuals than Eaze employees,” she said. “It’s absolutely incredible to see the steam this movement has picked up and absolutely humbling to know we’re standing on the shoulders of giants.”