The number of baby boomers ordering marijuana increased 19% in 2017 in comparison with an year earlier, the highest of any generation. Vaporizers and edibles are most favored among millennials, while tinctures are most popular among baby boomers. On Inauguration Day 2017 (Jan. 20), Eaze sales increased 21%, making it the seventh-most widely used holiday for ordering cannabis, greater than Cinco De Mayo (May 5), Memorial Day weekend and Mother’s Day. Other well-known days include government holidays such as President’s Day and also the July Fourth, which ranked as the third- and sixth-most widely used delivery days, respectively.
Consumers favor ready-to-use, convenient consumption methods like vaporizers, edibles and prerolled marijuana cigarettes. In 2017, vaporizer sales increased 191% and preroll sales increased 267% from 2016. Sales of loose order kush online, on the other hand, are wilting, having dropped 43% over the past year. People are switching to marijuana as a wellness product for things like sleeplessness, anxiety, joint pain along with other ailments. 45% of respondents said they replaced sleeping pills with marijuana.
Meanwhile, other web-based services like marketplace LeafLink Inc. are employing the web to connect marijuana growers and brands with retailers. LeafLink, which launched in 2016 and today employs 25, facilitated $18.2 million amount of transactions in December and is also on track to facilitate $500 million worth of B2B marijuana transactions in 2108, says Ryan Smith, LeafLink’s 26 year-old co-founder.
Things are changing so fast. People say 1 year within the marijuana sector is like seven somewhere else. Cannabis retailers have typically managed their ordering process through email, sms messages and telephone calls using a decentralized web of cannabis flower, edible, concentrate and topical vendors, LeafLink says. “As a purchasing manager in a dispensary you may have 25 to 50 brands on your own shelves, and also you used to have to have emails, PDFs, text messages and telephone calls from brands in regards to what was available and once. It absolutely was old fashioned,” Smith says.
The LeafLink marketplace lets them place all orders in a single legally compliant shopping website. The cannabis vendors then manage their incoming orders making use of the platform’s business tools, including CRM, data reporting, order status tracking and fulfillment, the company says. LeafLink fails to process payments, however.
“LeafLink is definitely an order management platform, therefore the orders are done online through our platform, nevertheless the brands and retailers handle their payments since they also have offline,” Smith says. “There are challenges around banking in the industry, so right now we don’t provide that service. Companies settle face-to-face.”
1,850 dispensaries utilize the platform and 450 brands sell through it, LeafLink says. To utilize the marketplace, a dispensary sends its state license to LeafLink for review and once approved, LeafLink displays marijuana brands that the specific dispensary is legally permitted to purchase based on state regulations. “Retailers only see what’s they are permitted to purchase based on state rules, “Smith says.
LeafLink, which has raised $14 million from investors, collects a monthly fee for brands to list out on its marketplace; the services are free for retailers. LeafLink recruits sellers and buyers mainly though its team of eight sales representatives but additionally though internet marketing. But marketing is tricky for that industry, he says.
Facebook Inc., Google and Apple Inc.’s app store have a variety of constantly changing rules about words and pictures associated with cannabis, Smith says. “On one platform you maybe can’t create a picture of the marijuana leaf, so you might need to create a picture of your own logo instead,” Smith says. “I know one cannabis company with an app that took 2 yrs to obtain approved kifsiz the iOS app store.”
Smith’s partner at LeafLink came from from eBay Inc., and LeafLink built all its technology in-house. The business is usually adapting to the ever-changing regulations in the industry, Smith says. “It’s very much a living project,” he says. “In California for example, we are basically building out our structure while they’re drafting their regulations. Everything is changing so quick. People say twelve months in the marijuana industry is like seven elsewhere.”
Because cannabis will not be legal under federal law, cannabis sellers inhabit a gray area with unpublished rules that are enforced sporadically in terms of advertising their products online, West says. For instance, a cannabis retailer could have a Facebook page because of its business, but it can’t make sales proposes to consumer. However, Facebook Inc. has not clearly defined exactly what a sales offer is, and some National Cannabis Industry Association members have experienced their pages rejected by the social networking network simply because they listed their store locations, West says.