Some rideshare drivers with Uber and Lyft say they're making more money than ever before, all thanks to the legalization of marijuana.
Keith has been driving for Lyft for 7 months. He loves it so much, he made it his primary form of income.
So why all the hype? Keith says after July 1, when the new recreational marijuana law went into effect, things changed for the better.
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."
The longer trips off the Strip mean more money for the drivers. Keith's average trip cost went up from about $12 to $25 in the past few weeks. Not only that, but some of the dispensaries pay him to bring new customers.
On average, Keith says he works five hours a day, raking in $300 every time. Something he feels can be life-changing to anyone looking for a job.
To be clear, the driver we spoke with said he’s making extra money with Lyft due to 3 factors:
- Longer rides traveling off the Strip
- Kickbacks from pot shops for bringing new customers (up to $25 each time)
- Cash tips from his passengers
As for Uber, they don't have any specific data on the number of marijuana-related trips in Las Vegas, but their safety spokesperson released the following statement:
"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."
It is important to note, many drivers have come forward saying they have not had the same positive experience as Keith.