Technology Archives - Page 2 of 9 - Green Market Report

Julie AitchesonMarch 2, 2022
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8min5592

Cannabis companies continue to struggle with inconsistent guidelines and the arbitrary enforcement of Terms of Service imposed by social media sites like Facebook Meta and Instagram, but social media marketing is not a platform that any business can afford to overlook. Twitch, an American company operated by Twitch Interactive and a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc., (NASDAQ: AMZN) is a live video streaming service that focuses primarily on video games that might just present a viable marketing alternative to more restrictive social media environments. 

William Zorn is a content creator for Twitch and sales and marketing executive for Toronto-based grnhouse agency, which is under the ADCANN umbrella. His blog post about cannabis marketing potential on Twitch recently appeared on ADCANN’s website. Zorn says he was inspired to write the piece because he has spoken to hundreds of retailers who have had their accounts removed from Instagram unjustly. “The post was my way of challenging cannabis marketers to look outside of those core social media sites into things that are a little bit newer and more exciting.” Exciting indeed. In his blog post, Zorn cites a recent Brightfield Group poll that showed that 54% of gamers use cannabis while playing video games, with an 86% increase in cannabis use before/while playing video games from Q1 to Q3 of 2020.

According to Zorn, Twitch has found ways to surmount several obstacles posed by marketing cannabis on social media. “Many cannabis marketers have a hard time finding effective ways of age-gating content and Twitch has a really great way of doing it. On top of asking viewers to verify their ages and using ESRB ratings, Twitch allows creators to mark their materials for mature audiences.” This is something, Zorn explains, that as a creator who makes cannabis a focal point of what he does on the platform, has been instrumental to his success. “Do I think that cannabis companies should go to a Minecraft streamer and sponsor that stream? No, absolutely not, because that category consists of people looking for content for kids. What I do is play hardcore military shooters, which have an older age demographic playing and watching them. In the titling of my streams, I mark them as 19+. Before any of my content starts playing, there’s a warning that the content is for a mature audience and users have to press a button to continue through.”

Zorn attributes the hesitancy of cannabis companies to market on Twitch to a lack of platform knowledge. Many companies interested in utilizing it expect a thousand active followers within a month, but that’s just not how it works. Marketers think, “Well, who wants to watch someone else play video games?” The answer to that is: millions and millions of people, adding up to 1460 billion minutes watched across the globe.

Cannabis brands have options when it comes to using Twitch to get the word out about their products, including the ability to drop into direct chats on streams for free and hosting subscription giveaways. Zorn says brand engagement really depends on the creator’s level of comfort. “A creator hosting a sponsored stream wouldn’t be comfortable with another brand coming in and looking to shill, but for others, it works great. Thumbs Up Cannabis created a Twitch account and jumped into a couple of my streams in a very brand-agnostic way and did a little chat. They did it very respectfully and l left it open to me as a creator to provide them with the opportunity to discuss their product. I thought it was a great opportunity for the both of us.” 

Companies can also engage by sponsoring streams by small-scale creators who they think are doing interesting things either through financial support or helping to market the stream. It’s very much like the social media influencer model, but unlike on Instagram, says Zorn, this doesn’t put the creator at risk of having their account deleted. Content creators on other sites are very hesitant to work with brands because it puts them under the microscope of the platform’s algorithms. Twitch is hospitable towards cannabis content, so creators are more willing to engaging with brands there. Additionally, on Instagram stories, for example, it’s hard to get real-time metrics on engagement. On Twitch, you can see how many people are active on the stream and the site provides stream summaries to measure the success of the stream afterward.

Twitch’s Terms of Service are key to making it more cannabis-friendly than other platforms. One of the biggest complaints from many content creators and marketers about Instagram and Facebook is that since they are American companies and cannabis is not federally legal in America, cannabis content is not allowed on those platforms. Twitch’s policy is that smoking weed during a live stream is allowed as long as it occurs in a country or region where cannabis is legal. Snoop Dogg did a live stream on Twitch in 2018 where he smoked cannabis. Since he was in California at the time, this was acceptable by Twitch’s guidelines. 

While Zorn’s enthusiasm for Twitch’s potential as a cannabis marketing platform borders on the evangelical, it is hard to argue with the glaring differences between Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Instagram’s treatment of cannabis content and Twitch’s approach. “I would say to any cannabis marketer, open up the way you think about cannabis marketing and really start understanding who it is that’s consuming your product,” Zorn states. “See if there’s that overlap. If your product does really well in the gaming community or you think it might, hop on to Twitch and take a look around. These creators have really active, passionate communities that you don’t see on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.”

 


Debra BorchardtFebruary 7, 2022
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4min3830

Online cannabis company Leafly Holdings Inc. and Merida Merger Corp. I (NASDAQ: MCMJ), a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) sponsored by Merida Capital Holdings, closed their previously announced business combination on Friday. In connection with the closing, Merida has adopted the Leafly name, and Leafly’s common stock will begin trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market on February 7, 2022, under the ticker symbol “LFLY.”

The deal looked like it might be facing trouble when in January when Merida’s special meeting to vote on the proposed business combination, was postponed to give Merida stockholders sufficient time to evaluate the terms of the note financing and certain additional information. Merida had announced in August that it had chosen Leafly as its qualifying transaction for the SPAC. The combined company’s transaction values at an implied, fully diluted enterprise value of approximately $385 million and equity value of approximately $532 million, subject to any redemptions by Merida stockholders. The company is projecting revenue of approximately $43 million in 2021 and $65 million in 2022, representing a roughly 52% annual growth with gross margins of roughly 88% as Leafly further penetrates current markets and capitalizes on its strong position in the newly legalized East Coast.

“Backed by substantial funding, tremendous advancements in cannabis legalization, and e-commerce tailwinds, we are relentlessly focused on investing in our technology, talent, and content to execute our growth strategy and create value for all stakeholders,” said Yoko Miyashita, Chief Executive Officer of Leafly. “Becoming a public company is an important milestone for the entire Leafly team and we thank Merida for their continued support and look forward to working with them and future shareholders to achieve new heights.”

Leafly reported a significant acceleration in year-over-year revenue growth and gross margin, as well as a 40% increase in total ending retail accounts, in the third quarter of 2021. Leafly has introduced new value-driving tools for brands subscribers and enhanced its iPhone and iPad app to enable users to place pickup orders for cannabis products in legal state markets. The Company has also announced a post-combination Board of Directors with wide-ranging expertise and bolstered its executive leadership team with highly experienced hires for Chief Financial Officer, General Counsel, SVP of Sales, and SVP of Engineering.

Peter Lee, former President of Merida Merger Corp. I who will continue to serve as a member of the board of directors of the combined company, said, “Leafly has long been a critical resource in the cannabis ecosystem. With its three-sided marketplace and unparalleled content library, Leafly makes cannabis understandable and accessible for consumers, retailers, and brands alike – driving an incredible flywheel effect and tremendous brand loyalty across the country. Now, with an experienced management team and substantial funding, Leafly is poised to take the next step in its journey, and we are excited to continue to play a role.”


Julie AitchesonJanuary 18, 2022
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4min7950

Using data gathered through research to more effectively develop products that meet consumer needs is not new, but a promising innovation, at least for the cannabis industry, is using Artificial Intelligence to streamline and enhance not only the research but development processes. Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands (one of the cannabis companies currently utilizing AI for R&D purposes in collaboration with The Effects Lab by budboard) is enthusiastic about AI’s potential. “Instead of creating a product and then waiting to hear from consumers whether it hits the mark, we are starting by looking at data across thousands of user reports to identify terpenes and cannabinoids that deliver a specific effect, then integrating those into our case-specific products.” Wana Brands will be teaming up with Canopy Growth (NASDAQ: CGC) in the future due to a deal agreed upon in October. 

Using computer programs, advanced algorithms and technologies like drones and sensors to imitate human intelligence, AI is able to efficiently scan for patterns and perform data analysis tasks that are unwieldy and time-consuming for the human brain. By combing through massive amounts of information and identifying patterns and tendencies in controlled environments, AI can optimize not only research and development but detect plant diseases, find the best way to optimize growing environments and identifying which strains work best for which medical conditions or desired effects.

The Effects Lab by budboard highlights four main ways that companies can utilize AI in product manufacturing, which include providing consistency for product effects, expediting project timelines, predictive analysis of existing formulations, and optimizing cannabis products for specific consumer use cases. It does this by using raw consumer feedback from various products and mining it for trends and takeaways to provide manufacturers with the information they need to develop products that will find their mark among consumers. 

CEAD, a Phoenix-based company (no website), is focused on AI applications in cultivation. Its cofounder, Royce Birnbaum, states that the use of CEAD’s AI “will enable an upsurge in quality while reducing manpower needed to maintain each plant, as well as give a comprehensive overview of all operations and outcomes related to cannabis cultivation.” Citizen Green Technologies’ application Prescriptii is an AI-driven application that includes a Blockchain-based gratification system that addresses the difficulty banks often face in processing cannabis-related transactions. 

New approaches in cannabis-specific forms of Artificial Intelligence are emerging at a breathtaking pace to address the known and emergent needs of the cannabis industry. If their efficacy is proven by higher yields, product popularity and noteworthy sales figures (among other measures), AI may go from being a new and noteworthy feature of 2022’s cannabis outlook to a permanent fixture in the industry.


StaffJanuary 13, 2022
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Up and coming cannabis delivery platform company Lantern announced its financial and operational results for fiscal year 2021, ending 12/31/21. Lantern reported a 350% year-over-year growth following the expansion of its on-demand marketplace delivery platform into Colorado and Michigan, two of the fastest-growing cannabis delivery markets in the U.S. In July 2021, Lantern became the first adult-use delivery platform to launch in Massachusetts and serve the Greater Boston area.

“Lantern’s record year of growth is a bellwether for the enormous potential of the cannabis delivery market -especially considering how consumer adoption of delivery services increased by 25% throughout the country,” said Meredith Mahoney, Co-Founder and CEO of Lantern. “Our team is eager to leverage our current momentum and foster deeper relationships with additional local partners to bring accessible and personalized cannabis retail experiences to an ever wider audience in the upcoming year.”

Lantern said it has secured partnerships with numerous local dispensaries and couriers, including Sanctuary, Cultivate, Freshly Baked, NETA, Garden Remedies, Insa, and Theory Wellness. In Michigan, where Lantern was first-to-market in both Detroit and Grand Rapids, the company has partnered with leading dispensaries such as High Profile, and Joyology over the past year.

In October 2021, Lantern officially transitioned to a separate corporate entity and received $40 million in capital from its former sister company, Drizly Group -the largest on-demand alcohol marketplace in the United States-after Uber finalized its acquisition of Drizly. In February 2021, Uber announced an agreement to acquire Drizly for approximately $1.1 billion in stock and cash.

Drizly was co-founded by Justin Robinson in 2012 and is currently the largest on-demand alcohol marketplace in the United States. Under his leadership, Drizly’s network grew to over 5,000 retailer partners that reach 235 over markets across North America. In 2015, Justin was named to Forbes’ prestigious 30 Under 30 List under the Food and Wine category. Lantern, which was incubated out of Drizly, launched in May 2020 and uses Drizly’s leading marketplace technologies and operational expertise to support best-in-class consumer and retailer experiences.


StaffNovember 3, 2021
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4min1140

Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) is buying Vessel Brand Inc. in a deal valued at $30 million. Vessel is known for its unique lineup of high-end dry-herb accessories and vape pen batteries and bespoke product programs for brands. Flora said these high-margin products, along with its development pipeline, are expected to drive incremental revenue and market share growth in new and existing categories.

“The Flora team has been working diligently to execute on our various business initiatives and the signing of this agreement represents another significant step forward for the Company in 2021,” commented Luis Merchan, President and CEO of Flora Growth. “We are incredibly excited to have reached an agreement to add Vessel to the Flora portfolio. Not only does Vessel have an exceptional product line with strong revenue growth, but its leadership team is second to none. Integration plans with the Vessel team are already well advanced and we expect step-change improvements to the marketing and sales strategies for our core consumer brands like Stardog and Mind Naturals, as well as new brand development in support of our global growth initiatives.”

Vessel will receive $8 million in cash and the rest in Flora stock. Flora has also noted that Vessel has established relationships with U.S. multi-state operators and Canadian LP’s who seek access to Vessel’s premium technology offering through their white labeling business. Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, Vessel will serve as a key component of Flora’s North American cannabis strategy across its entire product portfolio.

“As Vessel, and as brand builders in nearly every sector, our promise has been to create unparalleled experiences – we are looking forward to continuing to deliver on that promise with Flora,” said James Choe, Founder and CEO of Vessel. “Flora is positioned to be a global leader in plant-based health and wellness by redefining the traditional narrative of a cannabis company. With unrivaled economies in the supply chain, a diverse brand portfolio roadmap, and most importantly a team built to meet the challenges of the industry, we see significant opportunities ahead.”

Exports Looking Up

Recently, Flora said that it received the Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (“GACP”) certification by the Control Union Medical Cannabis Standard (“CUMCS”). Paired with the recent Colombian law change, Flora may now export its high-quality dry flower to international GMP active pharmaceutical ingredient  producers or to markets where flower can be imported.

“In advance of this milestone, our team has signed several LOI’s for the sale and distribution of dry flower and derivative products to several international jurisdictions, including the EU, Australia, and Latin America. We are now in the position to unlock the significant potential from Cosechemos as we continue building our global distribution network,” said Jason Warnock, Chief Revenue Officer of Flora Growth. “Our team believes this certification demonstrates our ability to offer high-quality output, while also serving as an important precursor to GMP certification so that we can produce pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products and cannabinoid-based active pharmaceutical ingredients.”


StaffOctober 15, 2021
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3min2152

Privately-owned cannabis tech firm Dutchie  has raised $350m in Series D financing which is now placing a $3.75 billion valuation on the Oregon-based company. The company said it plans to use the money to keep expanding operations and invest in R&D investments to launch major products to support cannabis dispensaries. That includes hiring more top talent for the firm.

Dutchie is a behind-the-scenes company that charges dispensaries a monthly fee to create and run their websites and manage orders. With the pandemic, many dispensaries were pushed to create online ordering for pickup in-store. Plus, many customers don’t like waiting in lines and the convenience of online ordering and express pickup desks in dispensaries has added to the product’s popularity. The company said in a statement,

We have had a pivotal 2021 and will continue to expand our product suite and innovate solutions for cannabis retailers. As we strive to create safe and easy access to cannabis, we hope to open more hearts and minds to the good it can do.

Founded in 2017, Dutchie now has over 500 employees across 40 different U.S. states and in Canada. In the last fundraising round CEO Ross Lipson said,

“Dutchie’s mission is to provide safe and easy access to cannabis while helping power the positive societal change that cannabis is bringing to the world. We believe we have a responsibility to help contribute to the next evolution of the industry, help all sides of the market grow, and create opportunities and outcomes that benefit all of our partners and consumers.”

Dutchie’s Series D comes seven months after its last funding round — a $200 million Series C — one of the largest private funding rounds in the cannabis industry. The round was led by D1 Capital Partners, with participation from previous investors including Tiger Global, Dragoneer, DFJ Growth, Thrive Capital, Gron Ventures, and Casa Verde Capital, and new investors, including Willoughby Capital, Glynn Capital, and Park West Asset Management.

 

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StaffOctober 8, 2021
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15min1960

Green Market Report asked some of the top technology leaders in the cannabis industry for their thoughts on how tech is changing the cannabis world. Here’s what we learned:

Simplifya Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer Marion Mariathasan

   “Technology in every industry has enabled advancement to happen faster, and the cannabis industry is no different. Due to the fragmented regulatory environment, we knew remaining compliant would be a real challenge for businesses, but one that could be addressed through the creation of advanced technologies. We set out to take what was previously an archaic way of approaching compliance and developed software that would help cannabis entrepreneurs save time and money, drive efficiencies and create new opportunities. Beyond owners and operators, we also see technologies playing a vital role in how governments, regulatory bodies, insurers, cannabis-related banking and financial institutions also remain compliant under FinCEN Cannabis Banking Guidance. 

Whether it’s POS, data, commerce, social networks or compliance, technology continues to allow the industry to solve some of its most challenging problems while accelerating growth at a rapid rate. As Simplifya enters the multi-million dollar banking, financial and payment-related services sector, we plan to debut new software and advanced technologies that automates and simplifies mandated complex processes necessary to keep the industry moving ahead in a compliant way.” 

Marion Mariathasan is the CEO of Simplifya, the cannabis industry’s leading regulatory and operational compliance software platform. The company’s suite of products takes the guesswork out of confusing and continually changing state and local regulations. Featuring SOPs, badge tracking, document storage, tailored reporting and employee accountability features, the company’s Custom Audit software reduces the time clients spend on compliance by up to 45 percent. 

Marion is also a serial entrepreneur who has founded or advised numerous startups. He is an investor in 22 domestic and international companies, four of which he serves as a board member: Ceylon Solutions, a cannabis and non-cannabis software development company; Leafwire, the largest cannabis social network; ilios, a relationship app that matches users based on characteristics derived from astrology and numerology algorithms; and Simplifya. Marion is a regular guest speaker at events such as Denver Start-Up Week, Colorado University’s program on social entrepreneurship, and the United Nations Global Accelerator Initiative. 

 


Jushi Holdings Inc. Chief Creative Director Andreas “Dre” Neumann

“In the cannabis sector, digital consumers are in the driver’s seat. We believe technologies will continue to play a critical role, and that by taking the time to implement research, data and digital technologies, we have a competitive advantage. By constantly studying trends data, we foresaw that the digital and physical retail convergence would accelerate with the rapid growth of home delivery and express channels. Early on we were focused on ways to remove friction, build trust, and fine tune the entire customer experience. We use research data and technology-based omnichannel strategies to seamlessly serve the needs of the widest range of customers, and that really goes to the core of our ethos of improving peoples’ lives.

At a higher level, we’ve also integrated our data sources and spent time building out a custom data warehouse. This has not only helped us break down information silos, but has also allowed us to understand the business and our customers much more holistically. We plan to keep evolving with new technologies and programs that drive efficiencies in our retail experiences and operations. I’ve always been a big advocate for technological solutions — none of this would be possible without it — so for us, tech will be a priority for the future of Jushi and instrumental in defining the entire cannabis sector.”

In his role at Jushi, Dre and his creative team are charged with leading Jushi’s creative, marketing and communications efforts as well as ensuring the company’s successful entrance into e-commerce, cutting-edge digital user experiences and his efforts have already brought a tremendous amount of added value to the company and its shareowners. 

Dre is a serial entrepreneur who has founded numerous successful creative and technology companies and is a disruptive thinker, who before joining Jushi, served as the creative director and head of content for Idean, a leading global design agency that creates powerful digital experiences and uses design as a strategic tool to transform companies. He founded a partnership with British multinational communications and advertising agency network with 114 offices in 76 countries and over 6,500 staff, Saatchi & Saatchi UK, where he implemented creative strategies such as launching a branded content unit called Gum in an effort to reach more young people, who are increasingly tuning out traditional advertising. 

In addition to being a known and respected leader in the creative and technology arenas, Dre is known for his photography and work with artists such as Queens of the Stone Age, Iggy Pop, Foo Fighters, ZZ Top, Lenny Kravitz, and many others. He has also been cited as one of the world’s top rock photographers and will be featured in an upcoming documentary on Amazon scheduled to premiere in early 2021.

 

Navin Anand, Chief Technology Officer at springbig

“The cannabis industry is adopting native and cloud technologies at an ever increasing rate. Computing power has increased exponentially (at an affordable cost), so we all have supercomputers on hand, which helps development teams tackle AI/ML problems, predictive analysis, user segmentation, early fraud detection and more. Technology also has added tremendous value in the form of agri-tech, cloud evolution, and data science for improving this industry as a whole.

At springbig, we are leveraging technology to push the limits and capture trends that help our merchants achieve goals above and beyond 100%. The spingbig platform provides the ability for our partners to be in constant contact with end users. We have other offerings that provide numerous opportunities for improvement of user experience, instore, e-commerce and omni.”

Navin is the CTO of springbig, a leading provider in customer loyalty and text message communications solutions for cannabis retailers and cannabis brands. Founded in 2017, springbig offers a single source of truth CRM that becomes the database of record for in-store and online customers that captures key purchasing and behavioral data and seamlessly integrates with existing dispensary POS and eCommerce systems. Navin has over 15 years experience in software engineering including leading a team of 100 engineers at Verifone, one of the world’s largest multinational payment processing and POS solution providers. In his time at Verifone, Navin crafted solutions for blue-chip brands including McDonalds, YUM Brands, and Visa.

Navin is recognized as a data-driven leader and problem solver who is able to streamline the software engineering delivery and QA process through advanced systems automation and project management, reducing time to delivery and aligning various IT sub-departments into a common system that speak the same language.

 

 

 

Cathy Corby Iannuzzelli, Co-Founder and Chief Payments Officer at KindTap

“As a fintech company in the cannabis space, we can wholeheartedly say that technology is shaping the future of the industry with the consumer at the forefront of the conversation. From convenience to compliance and now even our credit payment option with loyalty points, advances in technology are bringing the consumer the best experience possible while still keeping all the backend bells & whistles legally sound.”

Cathy Corby Iannuzzelli is a payments executive with extensive experience in prepaid, debit, credit, and emerging payments and broad and deep knowledge of issuing and acquiring sides of the market. In 2019, Cathy joined KindTap, a fintech company with a team that was focused on the same cannabis payments problem she spotted a few years back. Together in September 2021, they formally launched KindTap and are the first company to bring a credit payment option to the cannabis industry. 

KindTap launched first to the Massachusetts market and will hit multiple US markets, including Florida, Maine, and New York by the end of 2021, bringing consumers immediate, revolving credit lines for upfront cannabis purchases and allowing merchants to seamlessly accept digital credit payments.  About 3 years ago while working for a client in Denver, Cathy became aware of how broken payments were in cannabis. Broken isn’t even the right word – payments simply didn’t exist in the cannabis market. Cathy’s pioneering spirit kicked-in and she refocused her consulting to the cannabis segment. 

 

 

 

Socrates Rosenfeld, Co-founder & CEO of Jane Technologies

“Our goal at Jane has always been to provide value for the entire ecosystem; we want customers to make informed purchasing decisions, and we want sellers to succeed. As the largest e-commerce platform in North American cannabis, the digitization of the industry has allowed us to keep the industry in line with the mainstream, allowing shopping for cannabis to be as accessible as shopping online for everything else in the world, all while ensuring an even playing field for brands and dispensaries.”

Socrates Rosenfeld is the Co-Founder and CEO of Jane Technologies. Socrates began using cannabis as a way to re-acclimate to civilian life upon return from active duty, but found himself questioning the origins of cannabis since it was illegal at the time. Fast forward to today and Socrates is now the founder and CEO of Jane Technologies- the e-commerce solution for legal cannabis retailers and brands. He holds a B.S. in Leadership & Management Studies from the United States Military Academy at West Point Academy and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is a U.S. Army Veteran and previously served as a commander of an Apache helicopter company. 

 


Julie AitchesonSeptember 23, 2021
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4min2250

The power of the social media influencer has evolved from a curiosity of internet culture to a fixture of the modern-day marketplace, and one that brands across sectors ignore at their peril. Brands that are having their social media pages deleted for content violations are now relying on influencers to help market their products, and cannabis brands are no exception. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), in particular, has a low tolerance for the marijuana industry, freely deactivating or restricting accounts dedicated to cannabis content where there has been a perceived breach of terms of service or user complaints. But on Instagram perhaps more than anywhere else online, the influencer reigns supreme—a reality that is helping to keep marijuana companies in the social media spotlight.

Over the past year, brands like Canndescent, Papa & Barkley, Hervé, and cannabis subscription box service Nugg Club have utilized influencers to promote their products, to great success. Nugg Club in particular has worked with over 1200 influencers since July 2020, and 700 influencers so far in 2021. Cannabis companies are tapping influencers from a range of demographics, including mommy bloggers, eccentric performers like Kimmy Tan, and food bloggers who are a good match for their brands in order to flog their products. Consumers are watching, and spending, accordingly. Influencers have a ready-made platform and attentive audience, with recent studies showing that social media influencers have 16 times higher engagement rates than paid media and media-owned alternatives. Social media sites tend to be more lenient with individual content, which makes influencers an ideal adaptation to online regulations around promoting cannabis.

With a billion monthly users, Instagram holds a lot of marketing potential for companies, as well as the power to deflate a campaign before it truly begins. Instagram is a major pipeline of information and communication for consumers, and when it closes that pipeline down due to brands attempting to sell or promote the sale of drugs on their pages, the disruption can be devastating. Cannabis companies are permitted to have a presence on the platform in order to raise awareness or talk about cannabis-related issues like legalization, but this can be a slippery slope towards inducing the sale of cannabis, linking to e-commerce sites that sell it, or baldly marketing products. These, at least on Instagram, are major no-no’s. 

Once an account is deleted it can be reinstated under certain circumstances, but the lapse in outreach capability can be the difference between a successful brand and a fail costing millions of dollars. Many companies have launched protests over inconsistencies in Instagram’s implementation of their terms of service, claiming a lack of clarity and specifics regarding what content is and is not allowed. Whether it is the rules themselves or the enforcement thereof that is inconsistent, the impact of social media silence on businesses and the trend towards tapping social media influencers to pick up the marketing slack is indisputable.


Debra BorchardtSeptember 14, 2021
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WM Technology, Inc., better known as Weedmaps  (Nasdaq: MAPS) is buying Sprout, a leading, cloud-based CRM & marketing platform for the cannabis industry. Weedmaps did not disclose the valuation of the deal. Sprout is a cannabis CRM and marketing software platform used by dispensaries and cannabis brands across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Sprout’s cannabis CRM platform includes an entire suite of omnichannel marketing solutions including customer relationship management, text & email marketing, loyalty, mobile wallets, QR codes, mobile surveys, mobile coupons, advanced customer segmenting, and analytics.

“Our strategy focuses on establishing WM Business as the software solution of choice for cannabis businesses. With the addition of Sprout, we are one step closer to realizing this vision of providing an all-in-one seamless and integrated solution to run, manage, and grow one’s cannabis business,” said Chris Beals, CEO and Chairman of WM Technology, Inc. “This acquisition will allow our clients to better target, reach, acquire and retain customers at scale. I also want to welcome Jaret Christopher, Sprout’s exceptionally talented Founder and CEO, and everyone at Sprout to our team.”

WM Technology says its acquisition of Sprout reinforces the company’s end-to-end operating system as one of the most comprehensive software solutions available in the cannabis market today. WM Technology’s acquisition of Sprout will strengthen the company’s position between retailers and consumers in the legal cannabis industry.

“We’re incredibly excited to join WM Technology. We look forward to leveraging the breadth and scale of users, retailers and brands on the Weedmaps marketplace to accelerate the reach of Sprout as part of WM Business,” said Jaret Christopher, Founder and CEO of Sprout.

Sports Deal

Last month, Weedmaps announced a multi-year agreement with Kevin Durant and Thirty Five Ventures as well as a sponsorship deal with Boardroom. Weedmaps will become an official sponsor of Thirty Five Ventures’ sports business media network, Boardroom, as part of the agreement. In addition to its sponsorship agreement, Boardroom will collaborate with Weedmaps to produce an original content series, which is tentatively slated for debut in 2022. The multi-year agreement also comprises ongoing integrations with Boardroom, including: Out of Office podcast, development and distribution of original content, co-branded collaborations and events, exclusive merchandise, and more.

“As the largest technology provider in the sector, we are serious about our responsibility to lead the national discussion around cannabis and the need for cannabis regulations to be updated across the board,” said Chris Beals, Chief Executive Officer of Weedmaps. “This partnership with Kevin Durant, Rich Kleiman, and the team at Thirty Five Ventures is a pivotal step forward in our ongoing efforts to break down stigmas surrounding cannabis, especially in the sports industry.”


StaffSeptember 13, 2021
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Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN) is buying 365 Cannabis, a cannabis business management software system built on Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Business Central in a $17 million deal at 2.1x LTM revenue. The deal will be paid with $4 million in cash and $13 million in stock with a potential earnout of $8 million. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

“By adding 365 Cannabis into our Akerna ecosystem, we will continue to create new standards and best practices around compliance in every state, province, and country across the globe, standardize how the global supply chain is managed, and forge best practices in technology and hosting,” says Jessica Billingsley, Chief Executive Officer of Akerna. “The synergies between our two companies’ products and offerings will finally create all in one for the entire cannabis industry, on a global scale.”

365 Cannabis’ 85+ clients will gain access to Akerna’s Compliance Gateway, feature-rich reporting, MJ Retail POS, and the recently launched Akerna Connect. Cannabis 365 clients include Pharmacann, Nectar, Revolution, Sundial, Kiaro, and many others.

“As we combine our leading solutions built specifically for the ever-evolving cannabis industry, along with Akerna’s 80+ integrations through open APIs, we can now offer cannabis operators a full suite of products to optimize their businesses, improve overall functionality, and ultimately increase sales,” says Jeff Kiehn, Chief Executive Officer of 365 Cannabis. “With the combined team of over 200+ skilled employees including 30 + years of consulting experience, coupled with an unrivaled true ERP system and supporting technologies, our goal is to modernize and propel the cannabis industry throughout this rapid growth period and beyond.”

The two companies said in a statement that the acquisition will allow Akerna to deliver the broadest portfolio of ERP solutions for cannabis operators, covering access to a majority of the mainstream mid-market financial and tax planning market. It will offer cannabis operators a financial and tax planning system for each stage of their growth while realizing combined scaled synergies by maintaining regulatory compliance every step of the way through Akerna’s Compliance Gateway.


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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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