alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

Watch: Drone Delivers Marijuana Order to San Francisco Park

Imagine sitting in a park or on your porch and having marijuana fall out of the sky and into your lap a few minutes after you place an order for it. That dream could be coming true sooner than you think.


Last month, a San Francisco company called Trees released a video showing one of its Phantom drones making a marijuana delivery run in Dolores Park in the city's Mission District. They're not actually licensed to do business as a dope drone delivery service just yet, but they say they're working on it.

Flying bags of weed to eager consumers is pretty cool, but that's not actually what Trees is all about. In an interview with Gizmodo at the drone drop site, company CEO Marshall Hayner made clear that Trees isn't really about drones or marijuana deliveries; it's about Bitcoin, the virtual currency.

Trees is loaded with Bitcoin techies, including Dogecoin creator Jackson Palmer and BitSwitch inventor Morgan Rockwell. Rockwell's innovation allows people to use Bitcoin at vending machines and other coin-operated devices.

Bitswitch can also host a local version of the blockchain, the secure online ledger system that forms the backbone of Bitcoin, and instantly log Bitcoin payments. And that means you can push a button on your phone or laptop, send Bitcoins (or fractions thereof) to Trees, and have your order instantly processed—once and if they get approved, that is.

Bitcoin is highly appropriate for an industry that still cannot take advantage of traditional banking services because of federal marijuana prohibition because, as Rockwell put it, "it skips around the bank."

"Cannabis and Bitcoin support each other," Hayner said.

Hayner has a vision for the future, too.

"The ten year vision is an app for every part of this industry," he said. "You’ve got apps for the grower to monitor nutrient levels, and it ties into everything," with more apps to come. In the future all these apps can pull together a network, little by little," pointing at the drone and the box of pot it delivered.

In the meantime, while we wait to see if this ever actually happens commercially, we can still watch a drone deliver weed to a very happy customer:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close