There is an unexpected boom happening in Nevada for Uber and Lyft drivers and it is due to legal marijuana. According to the drivers in the newly legal marijuana state, they are experiencing more business than ever before. The boom is being driven by auto-less tourists that are staying in hotels across the state, and especially in Las Vegas.
If you consider that many tourists visiting Sin City have flown there, and often not even rented a car, they are in need of ride services to get to one of the dispensaries. Almost every dispensary is off the “Strip” where most of the hotels are located. It has created a perfect situation for the drivers. KTNV reports:
“State regulators predicted 63 percent of the recreational marijuana industry in Nevada would come from tourists, and Keith says that’s got to be right on point. He spends nearly half of his time on the clock driving from the Las Vegas Strip to a dispensary, back to the Strip, and so on.
“Swear to god it’s the best job I’ve ever had,” said Keith. “I’m making now more than I was before, and I’m more relaxed.”
Uber has not tracked the increase specifically. The Lyft drivers are making more due to three factors, according to Keith, the driver interviewed by KTNV: longer rides, incentives from cannabis shops, and tips from happy passengers.
Keith is making $300.00 a day in income, which is more than he was making before. He has now started driving full time for Lyft.
And, it’s not just happening in Nevada.
In Colorado this year, Lyft teamed up with the Colorado Dept. of Transportation to curb stoned driving on the unofficial stoner holiday on 4/20. In conjunction with the Colorado “Get High, Get a DUI” campaign, they offered discounted rides to people that were to high to drive safely.
Uber and Lyft will likely become integral partners with legal states by offering a solution to impaired driving. Their service is widespread and is located in cities that do not have sufficient, or any, taxi service. Uber issued a statement to KTNV on the increase in Las Vegas, explaining:
“We have continued to see a steady growth in trips throughout Nevada. Marijuana impaired driving is 100% preventable. By providing people with safe ride options, we believe we are empowering people to make better, safer choices. With our technology, we want to help everyone have a safe ride home.”
Looks like a win, win partnership for ride services and cannabis. Just another example of the positive economic impact of legalization. Legal weed … creating more unexpected economic benefits in a marginal economy.