The number of baby boomers purchasing marijuana increased 19% in 2017 in contrast to an year earlier, the highest of any generation. Vaporizers and edibles are most popular among millennials, while tinctures are most widely used among baby boomers. On Inauguration Day 2017 (Jan. 20), Eaze sales increased 21%, making it the seventh-most popular holiday for ordering cannabis, greater than Cinco De Mayo (May 5), Memorial Day weekend and Mother’s Day. Other popular days include government holidays like President’s Day and also the July Fourth, which ranked as the third- and sixth-most popular 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 marijuana online, on the contrary, are wilting, having dropped 43% in the last year. People are embracing marijuana as a wellness product for such things as sleeplessness, anxiety, pain and other ailments. 45% of respondents said they replaced sleeping pills with marijuana.
Meanwhile, other web-based services like marketplace LeafLink Inc. are employing the internet to connect marijuana growers and brands with retailers. LeafLink, which launched in 2016 and now employs 25, facilitated $18.2 million worth of transactions in December and it is on the right track 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 1 year inside the marijuana market is like seven elsewhere. Cannabis retailers have typically managed their ordering process through email, texts 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 might have 25 to 50 brands on your own shelves, and you also once had to have emails, PDFs, text messages and phone calls from brands in regards to what was available and when. It was traditional,” 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 utilizing 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, and so the orders are performed online through our platform, but the brands and retailers handle their payments as they always have offline,” Smith says. “There are challenges around banking in the market, so today 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 make use of the marketplace, a dispensary sends its state license to LeafLink for review and when approved, LeafLink will display marijuana brands that this specific dispensary is legally able to purchase according to state regulations. “Retailers only see what’s they are allowed to purchase based on state rules, “Smith says.
LeafLink, which has raised $14 million from investors, collects a monthly charge for brands to list 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 the industry, he says.
Facebook Inc., Google and Apple Inc.’s app store have an array of constantly changing rules about words and pictures linked to cannabis, Smith says. “On one platform you maybe can’t set up a photo of the marijuana leaf, so you might have to create a photo of the logo instead,” Smith says. “I know one cannabis company with the app that took two years to get approved kifsiz the iOS app store.”
Smith’s partner at LeafLink originated from from eBay Inc., and LeafLink built all of its technology in-house. The organization is definitely adapting to the ever-changing regulations in the market, Smith says. “It’s significantly a full time income project,” he says. “In California as an example, we are basically building out our structure while they’re drafting their regulations. All things are changing so quick. People say one year inside the marijuana market is like seven elsewhere.”
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 online, West says. For instance, a cannabis retailer may have a Facebook page for the business, nevertheless it can’t make sales proposes to consumer. However, Facebook Inc. has not yet clearly defined what a sales offer is, and some National Cannabis Industry Association members have gotten their pages rejected from the social networking network because they listed their store locations, West says.