The number of baby boomers buying marijuana increased 19% in 2017 in comparison with an year earlier, the highest of any generation. Vaporizers and food items are most widely used among millennials, while tinctures are most widely used among baby boomers. On Inauguration Day 2017 (Jan. 20), Eaze sales increased 21%, rendering it the seventh-most popular holiday for ordering cannabis, a lot more 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 the July Fourth, which ranked as the third- and sixth-most favored 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 buy medical marijuana online, on the contrary, are wilting, having dropped 43% within the last year. Consumers are turning to marijuana being a wellness product for things such as sleeplessness, anxiety, joint pain as well as other ailments. 45% of respondents said they replaced sleeping pills with marijuana.
Meanwhile, other web-based services like marketplace LeafLink Inc. are utilizing the web to connect marijuana growers and brands with retailers. LeafLink, which launched in 2016 now employs 25, facilitated $18.2 million worth of transactions in December and it is on course to facilitate $500 million amount of B2B marijuana transactions in 2108, says Ryan Smith, LeafLink’s 26 year-old co-founder.
Things are changing so fast. People say one year in the marijuana industry is like seven somewhere else. Cannabis retailers have typically managed their ordering process through email, text messages and telephone calls having a decentralized web of cannabis flower, edible, concentrate and topical vendors, LeafLink says. “As a purchasing manager at a dispensary you may have 25 to 50 brands on your own shelves, and you once had to have emails, PDFs, texts and calls from brands in regards to what was available and once. It had been traditional,” Smith says.
The LeafLink marketplace enables them to place all orders in just one legally compliant shopping website. The cannabis vendors then manage their incoming orders using the platform’s business tools, including CRM, data reporting, order status tracking and fulfillment, the company says. LeafLink does not process payments, however.
“LeafLink is surely an order management platform, therefore the orders are done online through our platform, but the brands and retailers handle their payments as they usually have offline,” Smith says. “There are challenges around banking in the market, so right now we don’t provide that service. Companies settle in person.”
1,850 dispensaries utilize the platform and 450 brands sell through it, LeafLink says. To use 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 can 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 service is free for retailers. LeafLink recruits buyers and sellers mainly though its team of eight sales people but additionally though internet marketing. But marketing is tricky for the 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 put up a picture of the marijuana leaf, so you might need to put up a picture of your own logo instead,” Smith says. “I know one cannabis company with an app that took two years to obtain approved kifsiz the iOS app store.”
Smith’s partner at LeafLink came from from eBay Inc., and LeafLink built all of its technology in-house. The business is usually adjusting to the ever-changing regulations in the business, 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. Things are changing so quick. People say 1 year inside the marijuana industry is like seven somewhere else.”
Because cannabis is not legal under federal law, cannabis sellers inhabit a gray area with unpublished rules which are enforced sporadically with regards to advertising their products and services online, West says. As an example, a cannabis retailer could have a Facebook page for its business, however it can’t make sales offers to consumer. However, Facebook Inc. has not clearly defined just what a sales offer is, and a few National Cannabis Industry Association members have had their pages rejected by the social networking network simply because they listed their store locations, West says.