The ride-hailing giant's new venture into the booming business will be marked by the launch of Uber Technologies Inc, which will allow users in Ontario, Canada to place orders for cannabis on its UberEats app.
The UberEats will list the cannabis retailer Tokyo Smoke on its marketplace on Monday and customers can place orders from the UberEats app and pick it up at their nearest Tokyo Smoke store, the spokesperson said.
Uber, which already delivers liquor through its Eats unit, has had its sights on the burgeoning cannabis market for a long time. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told media in April that the company will consider delivering cannabis when the legal cost is clear in the United States.
The country is trying to fix the ailing pot market, where illegal producers still control a large share of total annual sales, with more than three years into Canada's legalization of recreational cannabis.
The partnership will help Canadian adults purchase safe, legal cannabis, helping combat the illegal market that still accounts for over 40% of all non-medical cannabis sales nationally, Uber said on Monday.
The global cannabis stocks tracker MJETF climbed 2%, while Uber's shares rose 1.2% to $44.78 in premarket trading.
In Canada's cannabis sales will be $4 billion in 2021 and will grow to $6.7 billion by the year 2026, according to industry research firm BDS Analytics.
Asked about the possibility of expansion into other Canadian provinces or the United States, an Uber spokesperson said there was nothing to share at this time. We will continue to watch regulations and opportunities closely market by market. As local and federal laws evolve, we will explore opportunities with merchants who operate in other regions, the Uber spokeswoman told Reuters.
In the last year, stricter mandates and lockdowns spurred demand for cannabis-related products from customers who were stuck at home with limited entertainment options.