San Franciscans are the lucky test subjects of GreenRush: the newest GrubHub for weed. Pot smokers are no strangers to the concept of weed delivery most delivery services focus on just that – the delivery (but I’ll come back to this later).
GreenRush is both a platform and a team of marketing consultants serving cannabis patients and dispensaries alike. The GreenRush platform can be accessed online for delivery in the San Francisco Bay Area – although CEO and Founder Paul Warshaw informed me that they are currently working on expansion to Sacramento and San Diego.
The Customer Experience
After completing a quick, one-time, online verification of their eligibility for medical marijuana purchase, patients are directed to a listing of dispensaries within their delivery range. Results are automatically sorted by delivery estimate but users also have the option to sort alphabetically. By clicking on a dispensary, customers can see a summary of the business as well as the location’s menu. They can then filter menu results through categories: Flower, Edible, Concentrate, PreRoll, Paraphernalia, Topicals, Tinctures, or Accessories.
So far, this customer experience process is almost identical to competitor, Meadow’s – but in order to understand what distinguishes GreenRush from Meadow, we need to take a closer look at the “budding” industry of legal marijuana delivery.
In The Beginning, There Was Eaze
Eaze, an on-demand cannabis delivery service, launched in 2014 with a structure focused on fast delivery. Like GreenRush users, Eaze users are quickly verified for delivery online by uploading a photo of their patient certification. The customer experience begins to differ after that.
Unlike GreenRush customers, Eaze customers do not see what dispensary their products are coming from – they just see the strain they are getting and how quickly that strain will be at their doorstep. Because Eaze hires their own drivers and runs similarly to on-demand car services, delivery usually takes between five and ten minutes.
If we’re judging by public support (financial and verbal), the company’s platform is a success. In fact, Eaze raised $10 million in Series A round funding this past April and went on an immediate hiring spree. Still, there was one persistent critique: Eaze customers do not see the source of their product until it is in their hands.1
Dependable Product vs. Fast Delivery
A series of delivery services began ‘budding’ in the Bay Area. Flow Kana matches “boutique strains” grown in sustainable farms with drivers “trained in discretion.” The drivers deliver customers products within an hour. Although Flow Kana offers its own delivery, it is also listed on both GreenRush’s and Meadow’s platforms.
When weighing the decision of fast delivery vs. dependable product, I think it’s safe to say it is usually no trouble at all to wait an hour for pot delivery. However, if you are in a hurry, you always have the Eaze option.
GreenRush v. Meadow (Every GrubHub has its Seamless)
If you’re okay with waiting 20-60 minutes (and for your sake, I hope you are), GreenRush and Meadow offer customers the most comprehensive menu viewings of local dispensaries.
Meadow launched in October 2014. Unlike GreenRush, Meadow offers a mobile application, in-home evaluations* and their strain summaries are far more descriptive than those offered by GreenRush. But the largest substantive difference between the two services lies in their relationships with local dispensaries.
Spoiler Alert: GreenRush wins the battle.
I visited both the GreenRush and the Meadow websites and tested out a few different Bay Area zip codes (for your reference: 94107, 94102, 94110, 94133, 94109). For all of the zip codes I tried, I had the same results on both websites.
When I searched GreenRush, I had eight dispensaries to choose from. When I searched Meadow, I had three dispensaries to choose from (two of which, Flow Kana and California Wellness, were also an option through GreenRush).
There are two dispensaries (True Healing Collective and Green Line Delivery) that are listed on Meadow’s website as partners – but for each zip code that I tried, Meadow’s website told me “no delivery to you.” On GreenRush’s website, those same two dispensaries were listed as a delivery option for every zip code I searched.
I asked Warshaw if there could be a mistake in my GreenRush results to which he replied, “GreenRush partners set their delivery zones and minimums by zip code. Our search results are spot on. We only display search results for dispensaries that deliver to the zip code that the patient enters.”
So that settles that.
I also noted that certain dispensaries serving both companies displayed products on GreenRush that they did not display on Meadow’s platform (there was none of this discrepancy in the opposite direction). For example, GreenRush customers can order Island Sweet Skunk from Flow Kana while Meadow customers cannot.
GreenRush and eCann
It became apparent that the services had different relationships with the area’s dispensaries –multiple dispensaries even offer discounts through GreenRush unavailable elsewhere. “GreenRush is dispensary focused; we form strategic relationships with everyone of our dispensary partners to offer the largest selection of products in the market,” Warshaw told me.
Both Meadow and GreenRush offer consulting services through a paid platform but only GreenRush has the strategic partner and investor, eCann. Essentially, eCann is a management-consulting firm for pot – the company aggregates data on marijuana consumers and businesses alike in order to advise newcomers to the industry.
“We are marketers and technology innovators” said Warshaw, “who own and operate hundreds of websites with an audience made up of millions of potential patients. GreenRush is data driven; we aggregate hundreds of data points about dispensaries all over the world to provide a scaleable model to our clients.”
For dispensaries, this means that GreenRush offers more than just customer acquisition and a handy platform. For customers, this means: more dispensaries and more options.
The GreenRush iPhone app is currently pending review by Apple and Android development begins July 1. The mobile website will be released on June 15.
*I should mention that Warshaw told me it is part of the company’s mission “to provide patients with all the tools necessary to make educated decisions. GreenRush plans to connect patients with doctors through patient referrals, in home visits and pre- evaluations over Skype.