Uber says it will start dispensing marijuana as soon as federal laws allow it

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Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi explained on Monday that the company could start supplying cannabis once federal regulations are in place.

While several states have legalized marijuana, including Virginia, New York, and New Jersey, cannabis remains illegal under federal law.

During an interview with TechCheck, Khosrowshahi said, “If the way is cleared for cannabis, if federal laws go into effect, we’re definitely going to look into it.”

In total, 17 states and the District of Columbia have fully legalized marijuana, with New Mexico being the last state to do so. A legal cannabis industry could create $ 318 million and more than 11,000 jobs in the state.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (right) explained on Monday that the company could start supplying cannabis once federal regulations are in place

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (right) explained on Monday that the company could start supplying cannabis once federal regulations are in place

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on March 31 to legalize marijuana.

It is estimated that New York could become the East Coast’s largest recreational marijuana market, with potential annual sales of $ 2.3 billion by the fourth year.

Cuomo said annual tax revenues could eventually reach $ 300 million, although Republicans are skeptical. California had to save $ 223 million on state budget projections in 2019 due to slower-than-expected pot sales.

Cannabis products may be supplied in New York, California, Nevada and Oregon to people 21 and older.

The 17 states and DC that have legalized recreational marijuana

1. Alaska

2. Arizona

3. California

4. Colorado

5. District of Columbia

6. Illinois

7. Maine

Massachusetts

Michigan

10. Montana

11. New Jersey

12. New Mexico

13. New York

14. Nevada

15. Oregon

16. Vermont

17. Virginia

18. Washington

And while there are no restrictions in those states, Uber says it will focus on other categories for now, such as food and alcohol.

“We see so many opportunities there, and we are going to focus on the opportunity that is available,” said Khosrowshahi.

The company is currently offering sign-up bonuses and other incentives for drivers as it faces record demand for rides and meal delivery.

The San Francisco-based taxi company said the total number of monthly bookings, including food and passenger service delivery, hit an all-time high in March.

In a government filing, the company said demand for ride-hailing, which plummeted during the coronavirus shutdown last year, has recovered faster than expected as daily COVID-19 vaccinations in the US are more than 3 million per day.

Some people still avoid public transportation for fear of infection, which may further increase demand for services such as Uber and Lyft.

Passenger bookings in the past month reached their highest level since March last year, when the rise in infection rates began to shut down the country.

Bookings last month reached an annual run rate of $ 30 billion. Last year, Uber’s passenger business posted $ 26.4 billion in gross bookings.

Food delivery has, of course, skyrocketed over the past year, and Uber Eats deliveries hit an all-time high in March.

With more regions opening restaurants to at least partial capacity, that could be a positive sign for Uber as it could indicate that some of the habits gained during the pandemic may persist.

Food delivery is up 150 percent since March last year to an annual run rate of $ 52 billion, the company said.

Last week, Uber announced $ 250 million in sign-up bonuses and other benefits to attract more drivers. Many drivers gave up last year when demand dried up, the company said. But demand now exceeds the supply of Uber drivers on call, the company said.

In New York (pictured), Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on March 31 to legalize marijuana.  It is estimated that New York could become the East Coast's largest recreational marijuana market, with potential annual sales of $ 2.3 billion by the fourth year

In New York (pictured), Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on March 31 to legalize marijuana.  It is estimated that New York could become the East Coast's largest recreational marijuana market, with potential annual sales of $ 2.3 billion by the fourth year

In New York (pictured), Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on March 31 to legalize marijuana. It is estimated that New York could become the East Coast’s largest recreational marijuana market, with potential annual sales of $ 2.3 billion by the fourth year.

Another benefit is that Uber is partnering with Walgreens to make it easier for drivers to get vaccinated.

Drivers can still wait to see if Uber will sweeten the pay and benefits. Uber was forced to classify its drivers in the UK as employees – not self-employed – last month following a Supreme Court ruling there.

The company said on Monday it has begun a historic claims settlement for its UK drivers.

Shares of Uber were up nearly 5 percent on Monday to $ 60.40.