Over the past twenty years, technological breakthroughs have fundamentally re-written the rules of how business works in the twenty-first century. Entire industries have been wiped out by the rise of tech giants like Amazon and Google and the gig economy innovations of start-ups like Uber.
And yet, the victory of the tech giants is far from incomplete. Shopfront retail may be suffering, but it is hardly dead, and taxicabs still roam the streets of large cities across North America. Old habits die hard, and it is difficult to convince consumers to change their habits overnight.
One of the reasons the cannabis industry offers so much excitement for tech experts and business-savvy investors alike is due to the fact that cannabis is in some ways a test case for the consumer goods of the future.
Cannabis and E-Commerce: The Future is Here
If you get educated from industry experts about what makes cannabis such an exciting growth market, they will likely tell you that one of the reasons cannabis is causing such a stir is because it offers a kind of blank slate for exploring a whole range of new sales tech innovations, most importantly, e-commerce.
The legalization of cannabis for recreational use in jurisdictions like Canada occurred after e-commerce had established itself as an essential vector of the marketplace, and unlike similar industries (the sale of wine, beer, and spirits, for example), medical cannabis sellers do not have a pre-established network of brick-and-mortar shops or a consumer base that is used to purchasing cannabis through white market channels.
This means that many consumers will only ever purchase cannabis through e-commerce platforms, opening up exciting possibilities for tech companies to tailor solutions specifically designed to meet the needs of the cannabis industry.
The Tech Solutions Making Cannabis E-Commerce Feasible
The biggest impediment to selling recreational cannabis products online is the fact that it is an age-restricted substance. This has made the adoption of careful age-verification tools necessary to ensure that all online buyers are of legal age.
Fortunately, online payment tools like those designed by Ample Organics have made it possible for cannabis producers to manage digital sales to medical patients and to other licensed cannabis businesses, streamlining financial transactions and shipments while ensuring that all transactions meet federal regulations.
To be sure, cannabis dispensaries have become a feature of the urban landscape from Denver to downtown Toronto, and in many places, consumers will probably continue to purchase their favorite cannabis products in a brick and mortar retail locations.
But for those who live in areas where dispensaries are not present, e-commerce is going to be the dominant way they get hold of cannabis. For cannabis tech companies, this represents an exciting challenge and opportunity to help consumers access the products they want while helping producers stay compliant with regulations.
Industry leaders are able to explore a bold new vision for consumer-centered e-commerce networks that allow producers to reach customers across the country. And with tech companies designing exciting new e-commerce solutions specifically for the cannabis industry, the future looks bright for this growing segment of the market.