Technology Archives - Green Market Report

StrainprintStrainprintJuly 24, 2018
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7min3360

(Editors Note: This content has been contributed by Strainprint)

Strainprint is leading the way in the cannabis industry with its rich and robust medical patient data and sophisticated Business Intelligence solutions. With a vision to advance the scientific understanding of cannabis and its legitimization as a therapy and to have the largest longitudinal study of cannabis use in the world, Strainprint is using Patient Generated Health-Data (PGHD) to help health professionals, producers, researchers and educators understand and make informed decisions about patient treatment.

How it all began

Starting as an idea back in 2014, one of the founders, Stephanie Karasick, first came up with the concept after becoming a cannabis patient and learning first hand the complexity of navigating cannabis as a treatment option. Shocked at how different each strain she tried made her feel, she kept a detailed written diary.  Although she was very diligent and deliberate in her tracking, she couldn’t help but wonder if there was a better way for patients to track their use of cannabis. She searched for online tools, but found very little to help inform her as a patient about dosing and strain efficacy.  That was the genesis of the Strainprint App.

Why Is Strainprint Important?

For patients, the outcome-tracking Strainprint App is invaluable. It is designed to help them easily journal their cannabis medication sessions and over time learn which strains work best for the symptoms they are treating. They can also explore which strains are working for others that are treating similar symptoms/conditions and learn more about the ingredients and efficacy of those strains.  

Why do patients love Strainprint the app? Aside from the fact that it’s free and they have access to an amazing loyalty rewards program*, they can also securely share their treatment history with their physicians, which in turn helps their physicians to better guide them.  Overall, Strainprint helps them to gain a full understanding of how to treat their symptoms/conditions and basically to “use cannabis better!”  

Since March 2017, tens of thousands of cannabis patients have tracked almost 700,000 personal health sessions on the app, generating almost 10 million cannabis data points.  It is the largest and most granular longitudinal, observational data set on cannabis in the world and it’s growing at 20% per month.  These are not qualitative “reviews” like you find on Leafly, Weedmaps or Lift, but rather research-focused (doctor-designed) medical outcomes.

While Strainprint gives the app away to patients for free, it offers a web-based Analytics platform for businesses to visually understand and mine anonymous data in real-time.  Producers (growers) use Strainprint Analytics for business intelligence and product optimization (ie. understanding what’s working for what and what they should be growing). Clinics, doctors, and large Pharmacy chains use it for patient treatment guidance and research. Biotech’s use it for product formulations and governments use it to help drive public policy.  

Supporting Clinical Research

As the database continues to grow, so has the interest in using Strainprint data for defining clinical research and medical cannabis studies.  The good news is that the platform is research ready.  The mobile app can be custom-branded (white-labeled), as well as configured with validated questionnaires and custom surveys.  The results can be accessed in real-time in Strainprint Analytics and can easily be compared with a full global data set.  The platform is ethics-ready and privacy compliant for North America and soon Europe.  

Recently, researchers from Washington State University published a study on cannabis use for treating anxiety, depression and stress, based entirely on archival Strainprint data.  The results, found in the Journal of Affective Disorders, revealed some key medical findings, including that “medical cannabis users, report a substantial and significant reduction in symptoms of negative affect shortly after using cannabis.”

“We are excited to see the many ways that Strainprint data is helping patients, clinicians, and researchers to understand cannabis in a scientific way. Our platform all cannabis patients to inform their doctors and the research community presents a unique opportunity to advance research and advocacy for medical cannabis” said Strainprint CEO, Andrew Muroff.

What’s Next?

Strainprint recently closed a Cdn.$3.9 million Series A capital raise and is focused on continued product development and talent acquisition to execute strategic initiatives in the coming year. With two major product releases since March 2017, the Strainprint team is preparing for entry into international legal markets outside of North America and is evolving its product line to support the legalization of adult-use cannabis in Canada.

“Most traditional medical specializations have a strong clinical and evidence-based library of resources available to them, but research on cannabis has been limited due to its prohibition for almost 80 years,” says Muroff.  “We now have the opportunity to bridge the gap between the community of users and those who care for them, while also supporting those who make decisions around public policy and the legal status of cannabis understand it better.”

Strainprint’s self-proclaimed “datanerds” are changing how the industry views cannabis, one cannabis session at a time.

 


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtJuly 20, 2018
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6min6450

Dispensary owners are looking for ways to reduce their labor costs and customers have no patience for waiting lines at their local dispensary. So, robotic vending machines seem to be a good solution for both.

Cannabis vending machines aren’t a new idea. Medbox began selling dispensary vending machines back in 2013 and 2014. The company though was charged with fraudulent revenue numbers and is no longer in business. M3Hub also makes a machine called Autospense. So far, the products haven’t had a big impact on the retail side, but that could chaneg as the boxes get more advanced.

This week, greenbox announced the launch of its intelligent kiosk. The company also revealed its first dispensary partners, including Sky Dispensaries and Erba Collective as well as shipping dates.

According to the company, greenbox is not like the others because it has an interactive touchscreen with the ability to vend multiple items during one transaction and is designed to streamline purchase flow by creating a fast and efficient customer experience. It has a temperature controlled safe and dispensary owners have the ability to track shelf life, identify trending products and service customers quickly. The company focuses on five core verticals: cannabis flower, edibles, extracts, CBD products and cannabis accessories — all of which dispensary owners control at their discretion.

“Automation is fueling almost every aspect of our world today, why should the cannabis industry be any different?” stated Zack Johnson, greenbox Robotics CEO and Founder. “From the moment we step out the door, our lives are simplified by the wonders of modern-day automation. Whether it’s placing a Starbucks mobile order, using driving assistance or using a voice command, consumers expect a fast, seamless and personalized experience. With greenbox, we are empowering dispensaries to automate the purchase flow and create a fast and private customer experience. By harnessing the power of today’s technology, greenbox users have the power at their fingertips to choose their own experience and dispensary owners can better allocate funds as well as manage their operation.”

The Apothecarium dispensary in San Francisco had a 45-minute wait one Saturday not long ago. Customers were stuck waiting in the lounge area thumbing through Dope Magazines and perusing promotional T-shirts. A kiosk would have been a welcome sight for a knowledgeable customer. Of course, a relatively new cannabis customer may prefer a human budtender to walk them through all the options and choices.

The greenbox is 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide and is equipped with a DIVI robotic arm that delivers a fantastic range of motion, speed, and precision to deliver just about any product that can fit through the shoot. With greenbox, customers can skip the line and expedite their in-store experience with an average shopping time of less than three minutes. Once credit cards are willing to be used for cannabis purchases greenbox says it can add that payment feature. 

Each greenbox unit is located within the dispensary past the point of security in order to meet regulatory requirements. Taking it a step further, the company can also deploy biometric facial recognition to verify users. Dispensary owners pay a minor installation fee and monthly upkeep fee, which allows them to hand select and stock the kiosks at their own discretion as well as recognize trends and make recommendations based on purchase data.

Who knows, the next time you go to a dispensary, you may just need to tap on the screen of a greenbox.

 


StaffStaffJuly 20, 2018
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6min3070

Part 3 of 8 for 2018 Cannabis Trends: Increased demand domestically and internationally promote advancements in agricultural technology.

Agricultural technology in the cannabis industry is undergoing some big big changes and, in 2018, expect those changes to continue to accelerate towards automated, wireless, and efficient. The biggest catalyst for change is the Canadian cannabis market. Cannabis companies across the nation are signing supply agreements with Canadian provinces, and in order to meet those demands they are building massive production facilities.

For example, several months ago the cannabis giant Canopy Growth Corp. recently signed a supply agreement with Prince Edward Island to supply the province with 1 million grams of cannabis annually. Canopy has also signed similar agreements with other Canadian provinces.

To keep up with this demand, Canopy is currently in the process of constructing two massive production facilities; one that will total 1.3 million square feet of growing space and the other totaling to about 1.7 million square feet. Once you figure in Canopy’s other production facilities, the company is expected to have over 5 million square feet of growing space; which is astonishing.

In order to manage all of the space, cannabis companies are looking for ways to improve efficiency and automation. Take Gavita for example. Gavita is a lighting and hydroponics company that recently became popular with cannabis growers ever since it was purchased by Scotts Miracle-Gro. Gavita’s most popular product used to be the 1000W DE HPS system but, as grower’s search for better efficiency, the 750W fixture has started to outsell it.

Expect the cannabis industry in 2018 to start moving away from traditional HPS lighting solutions in favor of both LED and Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH) Lighting.

LED lights have been on the market for years now, but it’s only been recently that the price of LEDs have become competitive. The big advantage of LEDs comes from the fact that they require less energy, emit less heat, and can manipulate the light spectrum to maximize growth. Some also claim that LEDs can help deter pests and bacteria growth, but there’s been little scientific research to confirm these claims.

The breakout star of AgTech this year, however, is going to be CMH lighting. Because of their unique properties, CMH lights are more efficient than HPS lights (350W per lamp vs. 1000W), are cheaper than LEDs, and have on average a Color Rendering Index (CRI) score of 90 out of 100. HPS lights only have a CRI score of between 20-30 and metal halide lights have a CRI range of 60-65.

In terms of automation, cannabis cultivators are looking to reduce as many simple tasks in the cultivation process as possible. Using platforms like Grownetics, cannabis cultivators can track their grows, automate lighting, and utilize big data to understand what works and what doesn’t.

Other companies are taking automation to a whole new level. For example, a startup in Boston called Bloom Automation is currently developing a robot that is capable of trimming cannabis plants. Although the robot is too expensive right now to employ on a massive scale, expect Bloom and other cannabis companies to start seeking similar solutions in both the short and long term.

For the short and long term, expect the world of cannabis agtech to bend towards automation and cheaper, less energy-intensive, lighting solutions. One company already moving in this direction is VividGro. Recently the company launched its first lightweight sustainable light fixture, GroBar, as well as announced the acquisition of home cannabis grow-app WeGrow; which the company hopes to use its technology to help provide more streamlined solutions to cannabis cultivators.

You can download the 2018 Cannabis Trend Report for free by clicking here.


Jack SmithJack SmithJune 6, 2018
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3min3240

The effects of legalized marijuana are being felt far and wide across different sectors of the economy, especially media, as cannabisMD.com has officially launched, aiming to be the destination for consumers to learn about medical marijuana and how to treat particular ailments.

Described as WebMD meeting cannabis and CBD, cannabisMD.com will provide potential patients a plethora of curated and original content, including peer-reviewed research, original video content and more, to give readers the opportunity to make better-informed decisions about medicinal marijuana.

“We created cannabisMD.com to meet the educational needs of the marketplace,” said Rory Millikin, co-founder of cannabisMD.com in a statement. “Though the majority of Americans (61 percent) favor the legalization of cannabis for medicinal use, many of those consumers lack awareness of the ways in which cannabis may address ailments and diseases, and don’t know where to go to find credible information on the plant and its derivatives.”

Up to this point, Millikin added that the cannabis media market has largely consisted of companies that provide reviews, dispensary mapping technology or e-commerce, but little about the scientific information about the plant itself.

“cannabisMD.com has been designed with the patient and caregiver in mind,” Millikin said.

In the U.S., 29 states have legalized some form of marijuana use, making reputable content (such as that from cannabisMD.com and Green Market Report, the publisher of this website), more important than ever. Nine states, including the District of Columbia, allow it to be used for recreational use, though it is still illegal at the federal level.

Canada is expected to legalize marijuana across the entire country sometime this summer. However, recent industry reports have noted that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his team could push that back to the fall, as opposed to July, as had been previously thought.

In addition to the aforementioned content that will run on cannabisMD, readers will also see patient testimonials, various patient and clinical forums and content from a “best-in-class medical staff with multiple Ph.D. degrees and experts in biomedicine, psychology and Western medicine.”


William SumnerWilliam SumnerMay 18, 2018
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7min4801

The cannabis technology company Eaze finds itself in legal jeopardy as a class action lawsuit has been filed alleging that the company violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 by sending out unsolicited marketing text messages en masse various individuals across the country.

Under the TCPA, companies are prohibited from sending unsolicited adverting messages and from making a call or text using automated telephone equipment to contact individuals through any service for which the recipient is charged.

The lawsuit was filed by Farrah Williams and reported in MJ Biz Daily, who alleges that between September 2017 through the present she received dozens of unsolicited texts messages from Eaze. Williams, who works nights at a nursing home, claims that the continuous messages sent by Eaze throughout the day would wake her up and prevent her from going back to sleep; causing her to become irritable and distracted.

Williams’ suit claims that Eaze contacted her through the use of an autodialer and that the same had happened to countless others. To bolster this claim, Williams provided text messages from Eaze as well as social media posts made by individuals making the same allegations.

“@Eaze_Team @Handstack received an unsolicited text message from you guys. how do you have my number???” reads one tweet posted on June 17, 2017.

“What company is idiotic enough to use unsolicited SMS as a marketing scheme? @Eaze_Team is going to get sued out of existence,” reads another.

Although it is possible to opt-out of receiving text messages from Eaze by replying with the word “Stop,” Williams claims that she was not made aware of this option in the message.

The case goes into great detail about the money that Eaze has raised and suggests that the money was raised off the tremendous growth that Eaze was experiencing, but that the success was achieved through “growth hacking.” The suit claims, “The reality is that Defendant “growth hacked” its way to the top of the pot delivery business – specifically, by relentlessly bombarding existing and prospective customers with text messages and other digital spam, day after day, en masse, without anyone’s permission, precisely as experienced by Plaintiff here.” The case claims the growth hacking was at the expense of people’s privacy.

It went on to state, “The inconvenient truth, however, is that Defendant’s exponential growth is not attributable to the quality of the product it delivers or the convenience of the service it provides – after all, the product is not even grown by Defendant, and Defendant is hardly the first drug dealer to deliver.”

Bitesize

The case also mentions the technology provided by (among other agents or affiliates) a company called Bitesize, which was founded
and is operated by an individual named Jessica Lee. Bitesize’s text messaging technology “helps companies,” including Defendant, “drive sales with interactive text message[s],” which Bitesize sends on the companies’ behalf in “bulk.”  The case goes on to say, “The
founder and CEO of Bitesize, Jessica Lee, personally responded to the complaint by assuring the individual that Defendant’s text message program is “completely CAN-SPAM compliant.”

The lawsuit says that the text messages at issue, in this case, were sent by Bitesize on behalf of Defendant with the wrong regulatory scheme in mind.

Restitution

As restitution Williams is seeking an injunction prohibiting Eaze from committing any further violation of the TCPA, $2000 for herself and each member of the lawsuit for each and every text message that violated the TCPA, and payment of attorneys’ fees and costs.

If found guilty of violating the TCPA, and if more join the class action lawsuit, the cost of paying Williams and the other plaintiffs could potential bankrupt Eaze.

As outlined by the lawsuit, the outcome of the case will hinge on five important questions:

  • Did Eaze or its agents transmit marketing/advertising messages to the plaintiffs?
  • Was Eaze using an automatic dialer to transmit the messages?
  • Can Eaze demonstrate that it had expressed written consent to send the messages?
  • Was Eaze’s conduct knowing or willful?
  • Should Eaze be prevented from performing such actions again?

So far Eaze has not made any public comment on the case and has proffered no rebuttal to any of the claims the suit makes. As the lawsuit is still in its infancy, it could be months or even years before the case reaches a definitive conclusion.

One cannabis industry expert that preferred to not be identified said the suit didn’t pass the smell test for them. “It’s either a class-action grab by the lawyer or someone out to get Eaze,” they said. “It just seemed odd. You can’t text stop, but you can file a lawsuit?”


William SumnerWilliam SumnerMay 7, 2018
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4min6154

It’s safe to say that the cannabis industry is growing up. Less than a decade ago, the majority of cannabis users were still purchasing from black market dealers. Fast forward to today, where recreational cannabis is legal in eight U.S. states and medical cannabis is legal in most of the country. People are no longer buying cannabis in parking lots, they’re buying it in dispensaries and they’re buying it online.

For cannabis companies hoping to make their mark in the industry, setting up their own e-commerce shop is a great way to gain visibility and get more customers. But as they say, the devil is in the details, and for those that lack the acumen for web design, there is a bevy of B2B cannabis companies that can help you set up your e-commerce shop.

Here are the Top 4 Cannabis Companies that offer e-commerce solutions:

  1. Baker
    Baker is an extremely popular e-commerce platform. Like many B2B e-commerce platforms, Baker can help dispensaries monetize their website through the addition of a digital menu, online checkout, and customer loyalty programs. But what makes Baker shiner brighter than most is its ability to integrate and communicate with other digital cannabis platforms, which is made possible through its recently launched API. Baker currently integrates with over 20 digital cannabis platforms, including FlowHub and Leafly.
  2. WeedHero
    WeedHero is a small company based in Portland, Oregon, that aims to smooth out interactions between medical cannabis dispensary owners and their consumers. Its full-featured marketing software is designed to make it easy for dispensaries to turn their websites into an e-commerce marketplace. With WeedHero, customers can browse search-engine friendly menus, choose between pickup or delivery, and even categorize their favorite product. WeedHero also offers free installation and a risk-free 15 day trial.
  3. Green Marimba
    Green Marimba offers a wide array of web-based services, including e-commerce services. Like Baker, Green Marimba offers multiple integrations with various web platforms. Unlike Baker, however, most are not directly related to the cannabis industry, with the exception of metrc. Green Marimba also offers services such as cannabis legal compliance, supported by a team of Colorado-based attorneys, and seed-to-sale inventory tracking.
  4. 365 Cannabis
    365 Cannabis offers a suite of digital tools for medical cannabis dispensary owners, from built-in POS software to e-commerce solutions. With 365 Cannabis, dispensary owners can set up their own e-commerce shop and customers can order cannabis online for pick up or delivery. From the dispensary side of the equation, employees can track which patients use their dispensary as well as the kinds of products they purchase. 365 Cannabis also features both B2B and B2C configurations, so that individuals can sell to both businesses and patients.

Did we miss something? Who is your go-to for e-commerce solutions? Sound off in the comments below!


William SumnerWilliam SumnerApril 12, 2018
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3min7170

Flowhub, a provider of compliance software for cannabis companies, announced today that it had entered into an agreement with technological giant Hewlett Packard (HP) to provide the company’s clients with HP’s ElitePOS Retail Point of Sale Terminal.

The ElitePOS Retail Point of Sale Terminal is currently on sale now and can be purchased online through Flowhub’s website. Integrated with the metrc compliance and business management platform, the terminals will help assist dispensary owners in keeping accurate records and staying compliant with state cannabis laws.

“HP is one of the largest and most innovative retail hardware manufacturers in the world,” said Kyle Sherman, CEO of Flowhub. “As we expand to new markets like California, we couldn’t think of a better partner. Retailers in this industry are bombarded with hobbyist software solutions with consumer hardware choices that cause compliance and operation headaches. Flowhub is excited to offer professional retail standard solutions that you’d find in other industries.”

As more states begin to legalize cannabis, the need for hardware and software to track cannabis sales and transportation records has become an ever-increasing concern. Flowhub’s partnership with HP is just the latest in a line of tech companies that have begun working with the cannabis industry.

Tech Giants Join Cannabis Industry

In 2016, Microsoft announced that it would welcome Kind Financial, which is also a cannabis compliance company, onto its Azure Government platform. A little more than a year later, news also broke that IBM had submitted a three-page proposal to the Canadian provincial government of British Columbia endorsing the idea of using blockchain as part of a seed-to-sale tracking system.

“HP is delighted to have our ElitePOS point-of-sale system selected by Flowhub for this comprehensive solution targeted to the growing Cannabis industry,” added Aaron Weiss, HP Vice President and General Manager for Retail Solutions. “Flowhub is one of the original metrc™ approved vendors with years of compliance experience, and HP is delighted to be a key part of the solution in this exciting new regulated industry.”


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtApril 11, 2018
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3min4730

Cannabis workforce software company Wurk announced that it has raised $3.2 million in a bridge funding round. The funding round included participation from both new and returning investors, including Poseidon Asset Management, which led the round, as well as Phyto Partners, Altitude Investment Partners, Arcview Investor Network and Arcadian Fund.

“The cannabis industry has made huge strides since Wurk was founded in 2015, making the jump from a fringe economy into a legitimate industry,” said Keegan Peterson, Founder, and CEO of Wurk. “As the industry continues to grow, companies in the space need legitimate HR infrastructures to protect what they’ve built and set themselves up for growth and enable future expansion. ”

Peterson said that the current workforce solutions in the market didn’t address the specific needs of the cannabis companies. Since each state has its own set of rules and regulations for the industry, WURK specifically addresses those conditions in its software for its clients. Other mainstream products are standardized and don’t write custom code for each state.

Another problem for cannabis companies that WURK addresses is the payroll issue and banking. “Being able to move money is an issue with cannabis,” said Peterson. “A big issue with the other companies is the banking issue that they don’t resolve. We’ve partnered with institutions that can move money legally for payroll.”

WURK’s investors seem happy with their initial investment into the company as many came back. The company is growing so quickly it has needed the additional capital to make new hires to keep up with the demand.

“After participating in Wurk’s previous two funding rounds, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to invest in the company yet again,” said Emily Paxhia, Managing Partner at Poseidon Asset Management. “As investors focused on the cannabis space, we regularly see the HR, accounting, and tax challenges that cannabis startups face on a frequent basis. Wurk’s solution helps ease that massive burden on the industry and creates a huge investment opportunity in doing so.”

Peterson said they’ve already begun putting the money to work with the hiring of a new Chief Technical Officer and Chief Operating Officer. In addition to that, they plan on hiring more sales reps and service reps.


William SumnerWilliam SumnerFebruary 28, 2018
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3min8320

Cannabis testing company EVIO, Inc. (EVIO), announced that it expects to double the number of its cannabis testing laboratories from 9 to 18 in the coming year.

As legalization spreads across the United States, laboratory testing has become more integral to the legal cannabis industry. In states like California, a shortage of testing facilities has led to a bottleneck of cannabis cultivators and a surge in cannabis testing prices. Recent reports by BDS Analytics have estimated that the California market may reach as high as $5.1 billion by 2019 and the company estimates that cannabis testing will account for as much as 5% of that figure, or approximately $250 million.

Bearing this mind, the company hopes to focus its expansion on the critically underserved California market.

Heading up the expansion are two new additions to EVIO’s management team; Albert Lustig and Ron Russak. Lustig recently departed from his position at Pfizer as State Director, where he was responsible for managing multiple districts, regional and national sales organizations. Lustig will serve as President of Operations and use his experience to help drive growth in new and existing markets.

Russak will serve as Vice President of Operations and draw upon his more than 17 years of experience working for Quest Diagnostics, one of the United State’s leading testing providers, to help the company with scaling existing and new laboratory operations. Both EVIO and Quest operate under a “hub and spoke,” business model in which over-arching decisions and resources are centralized and distributed from the “hub.” This business model is most popular with transportation companies, but have also caught in industries such as aviation and cannabis.

The company also announced that on Feb. 7, 2018, its licensee, Kaycha Holdings, became the first cannabis testing lab in Florida to gain ISO 71025 accreditation; which is the highest quality standard in the world for testing laboratories. Currently, all of EVIO’s laboratories are either accredited or in the process of accreditation.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtFebruary 23, 2018
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6min9450

After selling his accounting software company Outright to website behemoth GoDaddy, entrepreneur Ben Curren thought he’d take a couple of years off. But three months into his break, he got bored. He decided to look back through his “idea book” where he would jot down various inspirations and saw the comment “look into cannabis.”

This was the genesis of the creation of Green Bits, that bills itself as the “Square” of cannabis. He did “look into cannabis” and his research showed him an emerging industry that had a huge number of complicated challenges on the retail side. His background in accounting, compliance and helping small businesses fit nicely with the skills required to tackle the industry problems.

Curren created a one-page flyer addressing the industry pain points and how to solve them. He sent it to license holders in Washington essentially saying, “Hey, we’re building this, are you interested?” To his surprise, people responded even though he didn’t have the product built. The process of asking potential customers what they needed as he was building it, helped Green Bits to deliver a strong end result. “This process helped us get our first 15 customers,” said Curren. This was 2014 before the dispensaries had actually opened. “These customers helped my funding to get this thing built,” he said.

Fast forward to today and Green Bits serves more than 800 legal cannabis retailers in seven states. The company processes more than $2 billion in annual sales through its point-of-sale system. In just a few short years, Green Bits is beginning to surpass its competitors in the number of dispensaries it works with.

The software is subscription-based and tracks inventory of marijuana for retail dispensaries and automatically provides information to the government in order to make sure the businesses are in compliance with state rules. The software also helps dispensary owners manage cash flow and inventory. The product can provide customer verification at check-in and automatically limits transactions from states where cannabis is illegal. Green Bits works with all the seed-to-sale tracking systems as well. Taking the information from these programs and then funneling that through to the proper authorities.

Curren wrote most of the original code himself with some help from his Outright coders that were working at GoDaddy.com at the time. These original founders worked during their off hours and took vacation time from GoDaddy as the dispensaries went live. They no longer work at GoDaddy.

The curse and the blessing for this serial entrepreneur was the limitation of licenses. The small number of licenses kept the company’s growth in check, but the blessing was that the slowness allowed Curren to bootstrap the company. “I didn’t have to dump in a half million dollars at once,” he said. “I could do small amounts as necessary to build the company. Now we’re around 45 people serving almost a thousand dispensaries.”

Beating The Competition

MJ Freeway and BioTrack are his biggest competitors. These companies were created earlier than Green Bits, but he wasn’t intimidated. “BioTrack and MJ Freeway pretty much ran all the dispensaries in the state of Washington. We went after the recreational market and they were in the medical. In less than four years, we took 80% of the market away from them” said Curren. “The same thing is happening in Oregon.”

The limitation of licenses is the biggest challenge for this growing company. “We need the market to be larger in order to be a large technology company,” said Curren. Ideally, he’d like to get to ten thousand dispensaries, but of course, there aren’t even that many in the country at this time.

While the Green Bits strives to protect its customers from the headaches of compliance, even this company concedes that the current situation in Washington state goes beyond what it can do. The transition from BioTrack to Leaf Data has been problematic. “It’s definitely challenging,” he said, “But Washington has the second most sales of any state. You’re moving from Biotrack that went from 5 dispensaries to 400. It grew slowly. Leaf Data has had to take it over right away when everything was already running.” Leaf Data has made the same argument when answering criticism over the problems of the transition.

Curren said it was 100% impacting businesses. He added, “It’s quite costly for us to work around these issues, but things have been improving over the past week.” In the meantime, Green Bits will continue to protect its customers from the pains of being in the cannabis industry.



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