Rideshare Drivers Reap Windfall From Legalized Weed

Vegas can’t help but be Vegas, so it’s perhaps no surprise Lyft and Uber drivers are getting some of the perks of their taxi-driving counterparts.

It’s an integral part of Las Vegas culture for cabbies to get kick-backs from places like strip clubs. Drop off customers, get cash from the strip club. (This is why it’s smart, by the way, to tell cashiers at strip clubs you’re a Las Vegas local or that you arrived in your personal vehicle. When they don’t pay the kick-back, your cost of entry is lower.)

Now, that time-honored Las Vegas custom is creating a windfall for Lyft and Uber drivers.

We’ve learned marijuana dispensaries are handing out hefty cash perks for drivers who deliver customers to their doors.┬áRecreational marijuana became legal in Nevada on July 1, 2017, and demand has been high ever since. We’ll wait.

While we don’t know the exact dollar amount for Uber drivers, a Lyft driver confirmed they get $25 for any customer they deliver to a dispensary. The driver gets $15 for each additional passenger.

Uber Lyft sign

Las Vegas strip clubs pay taxi drivers as much as $120 for each passenger they deliver. Step up your game, weed dispensaries.

Our source says that on certain days, as many as 20% of his customers ask to be dropped at a marijuana dispensary.

The dispensaries pay the kick-backs in cash at the time of drop-off, often from a stand outside the establishment.

That’s a pretty sweet incentive to steer customers to a given dispensary, especially when you consider the average Lyft fare is about $12. The average fare for an Uber driver hovers around $16.

We’re not aware of any prohibition of such practices by the rideshare companies.

20 dollar bill

Not gonna lie, somebody’s being super judgmental right now.

We trust cabbies are getting a piece of the action as well, but have yet to hear a first-hand account along those lines.

Rideshare services have changed the transportation game in Las Vegas in a variety of ways, and getting financial perks from marijuana dispensaries has been an unexpected boost for this budding industry.

Sorry, burgeoning. We probably meant burgeoning.

Update (7/21/17): Big thanks to our friends at KTNV for their follow-up to our story. Take a look.

11 thoughts on “Rideshare Drivers Reap Windfall From Legalized Weed

  1. Manybar Goatfish

    Still no word on how much Chumlee is paying for passenger drop-offs to his candy shop. Can you think of a worse time in history to be hawking candy cigarettes in Las Vegas?

  2. Photoncounter

    Wait for it: news soon the IRS is cracking down on these drivers for not declaring the spiff they get from the dispensaries as income…

    1. Mike L

      It would be nearly impossible to prove. The more likely scenario is that they will crack down on the dispensaries for giving unaccounted for cash to the drivers during an audit. The real questions is… is Scott going to have a second day job now?

      1. Manybar Goatfish

        Are we sure the payments are unaccounted for? I’d think the dispensaries would opt for transparency, considering the abundance of regulatory attention they’ll be getting. But I’ve been wrong before.

        1. Mike L

          Unless they keep a log and the drivers sign for the cash as independent contractors, then the cash would have to be unaccounted for. In that case, any driver that they paid $600 or more to during the year would require a 1099.

    2. Tammy Kendall

      Lol! drivers have to fill out 1099s at all locations that give kikbscks. If the driver refuses they forfeit the cash.

    3. Rick M

      If the dispensaries are like the strip clubs, they’ll require the drivers to provide their information including their social security information. This is so that they can report this income being paid out and it would be the driver’s responsibility to cover their taxes.

  3. RustyHammer

    Who else is benefitting from legal marijuana? Casserole restaurants, for one.

    When stoners get baked, they get the munchies, and what is one of the things they crave most? Casserole! You know Pizza Cock has got to be doing gangbuster business since July 1, especially since the pretty boy blogger is partial to their special quiche.

  4. Bouldersteve

    Kickbacks in Las Vegas..wow that’s a first.Glad someone besides the politicians are getting a piece of the action.


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