The subscription box business model, pioneered by companies like beauty-product provider Birchbox, transcends many industries. Recently, Dollar Shave Club was acquired for $1 billion by Unilever, and major retailers like Walmart and Target have embraced box subscriptions. Perhaps not surprisingly, the cannabis industry has seen some box subscription companies emerge, including Pot Box, Flow Kana and Natasha Irizarry’s Stashbox.
Launching soon will be San Francisco-based AuBox, headed by Jessica VerSteeg, who is leaving her professional modeling career after ten years. VerSteeg, who served as Miss Iowa in 2014 and as a contestant on Season 28 on Amazing Race, has partnered with co-founder Rusty Deatherage, who spent a decade as a Yahoo Technical Advisor and who serves as COO, bringing cannabis industry knowledge to the business.
AuBox expects to commence shipments in November and will offer 7 different choices that will cost $99 per month annually or $150 for a one-time delivery, including Pet Box, Intimates Box, Beauty Box, Day and Night Box, Sampler Box, Man Box and Edibles Box, each of which includes 7-8 items. Subscribers can switch between the different categories during their subscription period. AuBox is aiming to create a luxury experience, and the items listed on their website reinforce their focus on high-quality providers of cannabis products and accessories.
The company can deliver only in California and is initially serving the San Francisco area, and customers require a medical card. AuBox has partnered with HelloMD to provide physician recommendations for just $39.
In an unfortunate consequence of a recent Vogue profile of VerSteeg and AuBox, VerSteeg’s childhood friend, Ashley Reed, was fired from her cheerleader coaching position in Iowa for simply sharing a Facebook post. VerSteeg explained the details here and here, asking for support for her friend, a mother of three, and calling out the First Amendment rights violation and lack of due process. Kudos to VerSteeg for taking a stand and for her commitment to helping combat bullying by teaming with other business leaders to create a charity to provide legal assistance to others impacted like Reed.