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Marijuana sold over the web will disrupt drug cartels, says Eaze CEO

Keith McCarty talked about the intersection of drugs and tech on the latest Too Embarrassed to Ask.

Marijuana Grow Near Albany For State's Legal Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Drew Angerer / Getty

In the crowded world of on-demand apps, there are three criteria that matter, according to Eaze CEO Keith McCarty:

  1. Consumers use the product a lot.
  2. Suppliers can be agile.
  3. The product is naturally social.

All three of those criteria are met and exceeded by cannabis, the product delivered by McCarty’s company. Eaze partners with medical marijuana dispensaries to bring the drug to nearly 100 cities and towns in California, and he joined Recode’s Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Lauren Goode on the latest Too Embarrassed to Ask to talk about what’s next.

"More and more states, since 2012, have come online to offer legal cannabis, not only medical now, but also recreational," McCarty said. "The plan is to operate everywhere that legal cannabis is allowed."

California voters are expected to approve a proposition in November that will make recreational use in the state legal, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. McCarty said increasing legalization and professionalization of the cannabis industry could disrupt illicit drug trade.

"In states where it’s legal, they actually find that it goes down, in terms of kids using cannabis," he said, citing third-party studies. "It’s because the legal market is disrupting the illicit market. When there’s a proper framework in place to provide both accessibility and safety, that’s preventing people who aren’t eligible from buying it."

Later in the show, Kara, Lauren and Keith answered your questions about on-demand marijuana delivery, including why Eaze currently requires all its customers to pay in cash.

"It’s mainly a cash business because of the scheduling of the drug and because it’s not federally legal," he said. "... We’re really pushing to create an environment where credit cards can be allowed, and where banking isn’t an issue. From a safety perspective, it would be a lot safer if people weren’t driving around with these large sums of money."

Thank you to everyone who sent in their questions about Eaze and medical marijuana apps, even if you were too embarrassed to use your real name. Still have questions we didn’t get to? Or have another tech topic on your mind? You can tweet any questions, comments and complaints to @Recode with the hashtag #TooEmbarrassed. You can also email your questions to, in case Twitter isn’t your thing.

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