May 13, 2015 / 6:47 PM / 5 years ago

Ride-share company Sidecar to deliver medical marijuana in San Francisco

Marijuana plants for sale are displayed at the medical marijuana farmers market at the California Heritage Market in Los Angeles, California July 11, 2014. REUTERS/David McNew

(Reuters) - Ride-sharing startup Sidecar has expanded its services to include door-to-door medical marijuana deliveries to customers in San Francisco, the company said on Wednesday.

Sidecar, which competes with on-demand car services such as Uber and Lyft, said in a statement it had formed a partnership with medical marijuana startup Meadow, which lets patients place immediate orders from licensed local dispensaries.

“Deliveries arrive within an hour,” Sidecar said in a Tuesday statement about the delivery venture. “We’ve worked closely with Meadow to create a curated delivery experience that is compliant with California medical marijuana laws.”

Sidecar said delivery protocol will include checking the patient’s ID and medical card, as well as other safeguards “to safely and legally deliver medical marijuana to people who rely on it for treatment.”

The California Department of Public Health, which oversees the state’s medical marijuana program, was not immediately available to comment on the legality of using a third-party to deliver the drug.

Sidecar, which uses a smartphone-based app to match riders with drivers, already delivers goods including flowers, food and groceries to customers in San Francisco. The company also operates in other U.S. cities, including Boston and Chicago.

Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Bill Trott

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