Not that many years ago, using cannabis and eCommerce in the same sentence most likely would have got you laughed out of the room before the clock struck 4:21. Anyone who might have chuckled back then lacked vision. However, a confluence of factors is now contributing to Cannabis eCommerce becoming a viable alternative revenue source for the burgeoning industry as it charges forward.
New Brands, New Products, New Markets
Just as serious cannabis growers worldwide have long been at the forefront of horticultural innovation, the cannabis industry is seeing new products created, new brands launched, and new markets opened with equal fervor.
Edibles and topicals and concentrates, oh my!
This explosion of growth, and the ability to manage that growth is where eCommerce can change the game for companies all across the cannabis landscape. The modern cannabis industry is young, and so are an overwhelming number of its owners and employees. They intuitively understand the power of technology in ways prior generations did not. They also know that today’s eCommerce platforms can solve problems, automate processes, simplify tasks, and create opportunities in every segment of their businesses.
The Kids Today…
Online shopping. Delivery apps. On-demand entertainment. NO waiting. Younger Millennials and Generation Z are digital natives – they have been interacting with technology and the internet since birth. They follow brands on social media, they share what they think is cool, they are mobile, they are engaged, and they vote.
And most importantly, they are also the largest consumers of cannabis products.
The idea of an antiquated system that involves standing in line outside a brick-and-mortar cannabis dispensary that maybe has what they are looking for? Instead of just buying it online and getting it today? Sounds inconvenient.
Every industry has had to adapt to the global pandemic, and cannabis is no different. Brick-and-mortar dispensaries were essentially forced to go online overnight, whether they wanted to or not, as physical businesses were shuttered. As a result, many have turned their websites from purely informational sources into online stores allowing for pre-ordering, albeit with payment still in cash, and in-person.
States like California, too, that have made the delivery of recreational cannabis legal have also seen significant increases in the use of those dedicated services during the Covid-19 era. As these services further prove their utility to the customer base, their widespread integration into the cannabis industry, and a critical element to eCommerce, should continue to grow.
Tax Revenues / Regulatory Easing / Legalization
The importance and influence of taxation on cannabis products related to continued regulatory easing and ultimate legalization cannot be overstated. Governments all want a piece of the action, and this is how they get it. Entities small and large are desperate to generate revenues by any means possible, and legalization and taxation of cannabis is a proven way to do just that. As full eCommerce development would only serve to spur business growth and generate higher tax revenues from growers to distributors to dispensaries, it stands that governments going forward will work to reduce barriers across all segments of the cannabis industry.
Historically, whenever a controversial industry goes mainstream, it is the force of the marketplace that ultimately triumphs over all else. When this force is also combined with widespread social acceptance, as is increasingly becoming the case with cannabis, the potential is limitless.