The San Francisco Chronicle detailed how many Uber and Lyft drivers in California are cutting back their hours on the rideshare apps to deliver marijuana. One Bay Area marijuana company alone says it’s hired over 100 drivers away from Uber and Lyft.
There are several benefits for delivering cannabis versus working with Uber, Lyft or other similar apps. Marijuana delivery drivers are required to be full time employees under California laws passed last January. So drivers get an automatic hourly rate, overtime pay and medical leave, and some dispensaries are even offering medical insurance, a 401k and vacation days to attract delivery drivers. Compare that to rideshare apps where drivers are just contractors and get none of those same rights or guarantees.
But do drivers make more money delivering marijuana versus doing Uber? That’s a complicated question. Since Uber drivers are contractors, they tend to bring in bigger paychecks for driving. But, those paychecks aren’t taxed, so drivers have to pay self-employement taxes and they have to cover their own driving expenses. So while the initial paycheck from Uber or Lyft may be bigger, after all the taxes and expenses are made, it’s probably pretty similar.
This doesn’t mean that Uber or Lyft have to worry about running out of drivers any time soon. Last December Uber said they had 148,000 active drivers in California alone. So if you’re logging into those apps, you’ll still be able to find a ride.
But if you’re looking into what can make you more money, you may want to consider offering your car services to your local dispensary instead.