Flowhub Archives - Green Market Report

StaffOctober 12, 2021
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Cannabis retail point-of-sale company Flowhub, has raised $19 million with some help from Headline, Poseidon, and a personal investment from world-renowned rapper, entrepreneur, and entertainment mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. The company has so far raised to nearly $50 million and is currently valued at over $200 million.

“We are thrilled to announce this capital raise. Headline is an incredible Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, Poseidon is a pioneer investor in the cannabis industry and Jay-Z is a cultural and creative global force no matter the industry he is involved in,” said Kyle Sherman, founder, and CEO of Flowhub. “I couldn’t think of a better group to be working with as we take this company to the next stage. This funding not only underscores the significant value that Flowhub provides to our customers, but also the maturation of the cannabis industry at large. We remain committed to developing innovative products that help our retail customers run better businesses.”

Flowhub said the additional money will speed up its expansion into emerging markets, develop its product line and grow its social equity program. Launched in June 2021, Flowhub’s social equity program invests in those who have been adversely impacted by the War on Drugs. Per the program, eligible social equity business owners receive Flowhub’s POS software discounted at $4.20 for up to three years, the mobile Stash and Greet apps, the View app, and free implementation. So far, Flowhub has awarded over $1 million worth of software products to eligible cannabis entrepreneurs via this program.

Flowhub processes more than $3 billion in cannabis sales annually and is trusted by over 1,000 dispensaries. Built specifically to serve the highly regulated cannabis industry, Flowhub helps dispensaries operate compliantly, effortlessly expand, and deliver exceptional guest experiences. By automating the compliance process that cannabis retailers have to deal with on a daily basis and helping dispensaries sell smarter, Flowhub is working to enable a future where cannabis is accessible to every adult on planet Earth.

Recently, Flowhub appointed Leandre Johns as Chief Operating Officer. The former Uber executive was brought in to help shape the business for the next stage of growth. The company also announced a recent integration by Weedmaps (NASDAQ: MAPS) to streamline online ordering for consumers and Flowhub-powered cannabis retailers.


Debra BorchardtSeptember 8, 2021
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Cannabis consumers flocked to dispensaries on the Friday of this past Labor Day weekend resulting in the third-largest day for cannabis sales in 2021. Unfortunately, that was the only good news for cannabis retail. Overall, sales dropped in 2021 versus 2020 for the last weekend of summer. Analytics firms Headset and Flowhub both reported that sales dropped for the regions they cover. While  LeafLink the B2B wholesale e-commerce marketplace company saw an early jump in orders for the holiday, orders seemed to taper off as the weekend got closer.

Headset

According to cannabis data and analytics company Headset, Labor Day weekend (Friday 9/3 through Monday 9/6) actually saw a slight decrease (-3.2%) in average daily sales in comparison to the previous four weekends. On a positive note, though on Friday 9/3/21 alone, we see a different story. Sales on September 3rd, 2021 were up 10.3% over the previous four Fridays and drove this day to be the third-largest day of total US cannabis sales so far this year. All data for the US is from the following markets: CA, CO, MI, NV, OR, PA, WA.

Beverages For The Win

Headset said that for the full holiday weekend, the only categories to see sales growth over the previous four weekends were Beverages (+8.4%) and Edibles (+4.2%). “When we look at only Friday, September 3rd instead, all categories saw positive growth with Edibles (+15.1%), Capsules (+13.3%), and Vapor Pens (+11.2%). The category with the lowest sales lift was Concentrate with +2.8% growth over the previous four Fridays.”

Coupon Clippers

Dispensaries must’ve had an inkling that sales might be down because there was a slight increase in discounting over the entire holiday weekend. Headset said that the average discount over Labor Day Weekend 2021 was 13.7%, up from 12.3% over the previous four weekends – a relative increase of 11.8%. While Friday, September 3rd was the highest sales day of the weekend, Labor Day itself (Monday 9/6) had the highest average discounts of 15.1%, up 27% over the previous four Mondays. 

LeafLink 

On the wholesale side of the business, it seems dispensaries were planning ahead for a busy holiday. LeafLink said that sales increased 4.33% during the month leading up to the 2021 Labor Day holiday versus a 2.39% increase across the same period in 2020. Leaflink also said that the most significant GMV (gross merchandise value) percentage increase came during the week of 8/15, increasing 4.5% over the previous. Sales then leveled off for the rest of the weeks leading up to Labor Day.

Leaflink outlined the category demand as follows for the holiday:

  • Flower remained the most popular category in the month leading up to Labor Day, driving 36.33% of GMV compared to 35% of GMV in the month prior to Labor Day 2020 and 35.37% in the previous month. 
  • The second most popular product category leading up to Labor Day 2021 was Cartridges, which made up 22.29% of GMV (about a 1% increase over the previous month). This is a slight drop over 2020 when Cartridges made up 24% of GMV in the month before Labor Day. 
  • Flower saw significant growth during the week of 8/15, increasing 23% in GMV compared to the week before then grew another 9.9% in the following week. This could signify an increase in dispensaries stocking up on Flower in advance of Labor Day 2021. 
  • Packaged Flower was the most popular subcategory, making up 17.47% of total GMV in the month before Labor Day, with Bulk Flower coming in second at 16.29%

The most popular products in the month leading up to Labor Day in 2021 were: Slurricane Packaged Flower – MUV (FL) 

Gelato Cake Packaged Flower – District Cannabis (MD) 

Wedding Cake Packaged Flower – Pacific Stone (CA) 

Blueberry Indica Gummies – MUV (FL) 

Moon Rocks Concentrates – UBaked (MI) 

The most popular Cartridges in the month leading up to Labor Day 2021 were: Biscotti – Platinum Vape (MI) 

Sour Jack – MUV (FL) 

Double Bear Honey Cart – Terrapin (PA) 

Pink Lemonade – MUV (FL) 

Pie Driver – Platinum Vape (MI) 

Flowhub 

Flowhub provides point-of-sale, inventory, and other dispensary analytics. That company found that on average, Labor Day normally outperforms the typical Monday by 17-27%. Unfortunately, Flowhub’s data agreed with Headset as this year’s Labor Day 2021 was right on par with (actually slightly less than) a typical Monday. Flowhub said that there didn’t appear to be any holiday bumps in sales or transactions for Labor Day Monday and sales dropped by 9% versus the 2020 holiday.

Maybe the pandemic lockdowns of 2020 caused consumers to buy more last year? Labor Day’s Monday 2020 sales increased around 10% versus 2019. Just one year later as more people were able to get out and return to a less restrictive lifestyle, Labor Day weekend sales dropped 35% compared to 2020. On average, Labor Day weekend outperforms the typical (median) weekend by 15-21%. Flowhub said that Labor Day weekend 2021 sales were 27% less than sales on a typical summer weekend.


Debra BorchardtOctober 15, 2019
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Cannabis tech company Flowhub has raised an oversubscribed $23 million Series A financing round led by e.ventures, Evolv Ventures — the venture fund backed by Kraft Heinz —  and Poseidon, with contributions from investors 9Yards Capital, former NBA commissioner David Stern and Iqram Magdon-Ismail, the co-founder and former CEO of Venmo, among others.

Evolv Ventures’ goal is to invest in new tech companies innovating within the food industry. The firm was created to help Kraft Heinz stay on top of the food industry’s changing trends. However, it isn’t limited to food investing and also looks at new consumer models and consumer insights.

The Flowhub platform is used by dispensaries making it easier for them to run their operations. Some of the features include the Stash app, a mobile inventory management solution, the Cashier app for enhanced front-of-house point-of-sale capabilities with iPad/tablet compatibility, and Order Ahead with integration partner Dutchie for a streamlined in-store pickup process. Flowhub said it also added new technology integrations with LeafBuyer and Leafly as part of its commitment to creating a robust partner ecosystem that enables customers to build their own custom cannabis tool stack.

“What we are experiencing right now is an end to cannabis prohibition and Flowhub is on the front lines of this movement,” said Kyle Sherman, founder and CEO, Flowhub. “Every legal transaction completed with the Flowhub retail platform is a positive step forward, and we are committed to helping our customers build thriving cannabis businesses. With this investment, we will continue to automate the cannabis supply chain, retail and reporting processes and bring to market technology solutions that are not only shaping the cannabis retail business, but also driving forward the future of legalization and de-stigmatization.”

“We are excited to join Flowhub at such a crucial time in the company’s overall growth journey,” said Jett Fein, partner, e.ventures. “As the demand for legal cannabis products rises across the U.S., Flowhub is focused on using technology to advance the future of the cannabis industry and has built a cloud platform with a suite of applications that enables dispensaries to provide superior and tailored consumer retail experiences in this highly regulated industry.” According to Tech Crunch, the firm e.ventures  is a 20-year-old, early-stage venture outfit that has raised $400 million in fresh capital across two new funds: a $225 million U.S.-focused fund that’s based in San Francisco, and a $175 million fund that’s focused on Europe and based in Berlin.

Flowhub has experienced tremendous growth over the last year, increasing revenue by 200 percent and doubling its customer base across 11 markets, which includes household brands like Cookies, Dr. Greenthumb’s, Green Dragon, Nectar and Starbuds. The company also added strategic roles to its executive team — including SaaS enterprise tech leader Dave Smith as CRO — grew its female leadership across key strategic business roles such as marketing, product management and finance and has already increased headcount by 50 percent in 2019. Flowhub also recently announced its new headquarters at the former Slack HQ near downtown Denver’s Union Station and three satellite offices to support continued expansion efforts.

“Cannabis is not an industry that you just jump right into,” said Emily Paxhia, managing director, Poseidon. “The compliance and regulation aspects make this a unique industry and Flowhub is one of the leading cannabis tech companies that is taking a meticulous and strategic approach. We saw the potential for Flowhub’s technology and mission early on and we’re thrilled to continue to support them in delivering the cannabis retail experience of the future.”

The $23 million of financing closed on this round brings the company’s total funding to $27 million. This marks the first cannabis tech investment from round leaders Evolv Ventures and e.ventures and is indicative of the increased appetite to bet big on a maturing market segment with an industry leader like Flowhub. With this injection of capital, the company will continue to invest in product innovation, hire top technical talent and expand its partner ecosystem with future technology integrations and collaborations through an open API approach.


Debra BorchardtJuly 1, 2019
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Cannabis consumers love a good holiday and July brings two in quick succession. First, of course, is the Fourth of July. Cannabis software company Akerna Corp. (NASDAQ: KERN) said that it expects Americans will spend more on cannabis this Fourth of July than chicken for their BBQs.

According to Akerna, Fourth of July-week (June 28 – July 4) cannabis sales are expected to increase by 80% compared with an average week, ringing in approximately $450 million in total sales nationally. If this keeps up, Akerna said that by 2020 Americans could end up spending more money on cannabis than they would spend on wine for the Fourth of July.

While sales are expected to begin on the weekend before the holiday, increased sales are expected to continue throughout the week. Since the Fourth falls on a Thursday this year, Wednesday’s sales are forecast to be the busiest of the year.

Akerna released these retail sales figures that they compiled through a statistically relevant analysis of the cannabis retail market analyzing data tracked in MJ Platform across 20 states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C.

July 4th by the numbers:

  • The order total on average will be $3.43 more than the average daily order total of $97.57.
  • Average basket count for 2019 is 2.64. 4thof July week will ring in an average basket count of 3.12.
  • Cartridge/Pens are expected to take a category share increase of 5%, as the second most popular category purchased June 28-July 4.
  • In states where flower is legal, flower will be the largest sales category with 40% of all sales for retailers.

“Utilizing the largest data set in the cannabis industry, we are able to provide a unique insight into market peaks and trends to anticipate and prepare for their busiest days,” said Jessica Billingsley, Akerna’s CEO. “Cannabis sales rival the sales of traditional holiday staples. It’s time to stop looking at this industry as niche or marginal. The growth of consumer adoption is explosive as the legalization of cannabis expands and Americans across all demographic segments are incorporating cannabis into their everyday lives.”

7/10

However, the fun doesn’t end with the Fourth of July. Just as 4/20 holds significance for cannabis consumers, there is the extracts holiday on July 7. 7/10 looks like OIL spelled backward. Some take it a step further and call it Happy Dab Day to celebrate the concentrate side of the market. There is a Dab Day celebration in Miami on July 13 this year sponsored by Trulieve.

Flowhub, the seed-to-sale software company tracked a sample set of cannabis consumers on this holiday over the course of one year, and the company found that in 2017, concentrate sales rose 88% versus 2016. In 2017, Dab Day sales increased 34% for that specific day of the week. The most popular type of concentrate is shatter (by a large margin), followed by wax, vape cartridges and live resin.

 


StaffJune 17, 2019
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Dave Smith is the Chief Revenue Officer at Flowhub responsible for overseeing the sales strategy and execution for revenue-generating teams. Dave has an extensive background in leadership roles, building world-class SMB and Enterprise sales teams at companies like Ceridian, Citrix Systems, and Convercent. Prior to Flowhub, Dave accelerated revenue growth from $3.4M to $21.5M in 3 years at Convercent as EVP of Sales. Dave received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing at the University of North Texas.

Green Market Report Executive Spotlight Q&A –

Full birth name: Dave Smith

Title: Chief Revenue Officer

Company: Flowhub (https://flowhub.com/)

Years at current company: started January 2019 

Education profile: BBA Sales & Marketing, University of North Texas 1997

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Two things come to mind – one team and one individual.  

My proudest professional achievement was growing Convercent over a nearly 4 year period of time over 500 percent, leading them through multiple fund raises and successfully on-boarding over 650 enterprise customers globally while growing the company to over 160 employees.

My proudest individual achievement was winning Citrix Systems Global Innovation Award in 2014 for the impact my playbook and processes had on our global revenue and go-to-market strategies.

Company Mission: Flowhub’s mission is to become the defacto inventory management and point of sale software for cannabis retailers in the U.S. Custom-built for the highly regulated industry, Flowhub provides retailers with the most intuitive, compliant and extensible solution to meet challenges unique to dispensaries. Flowhub already empowers over 500 cannabis retailers to grow revenue, stay compliant and manage inventory to create a seamless experience for their customers, and we’re committed to continually delivering on that mission.

Company’s most successful achievement:  When our customers win, we win.  We are obsessed with our customer’s success and are proud to serve over 13 percent of the dispensary market in just a few short years of business. Each and every day is a reminder of the positive influence we have on this growing industry and we are so humbled and honored to be able to drive meaningful business change for our customers and more importantly, support their pursuit of the American dream.  

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes. Flowhub raised a total of 3.3M in seed funding to date.

If so, how much?: 3.3M

Any plans on raising capital in the future? As a fast-growing company, we’ll keep our options open for future fundraising opportunities.

Most important company 5 year goal:  We want our target market to catch the “Flow” and hopefully trust us to help them drive continued dispensary success by leveraging the power of the Flowhub inventory management and POS platform. We hope that dispensary operators will join the Flowsquad revolution by selecting our company as the first and preferred choice for all of their cannabis business needs.

 


Caroline CahillApril 15, 2019
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With 10 states having legalized recreational cannabis and 33 states having legalized medical cannabis, the prospects for increased legal cannabis sales in America this April 20, the original cannabis holiday, are greater than ever.

According to a recent report from Flowhub, a Colorado-based provider of point-of-sale software for dispensaries, with April 20 falling on a Saturday and new consumers continually entering the legal market, this year’s holiday will be the biggest sales day for retailers in 420 history.

Flowhub came to this conclusion by examining the growth of 420 from 2017 to 2018, with cannabis sales on April 20, 2018, growing by more than 30% compared to April 20, 2017.

“This number was bolstered by the fact that 420 happened to fall on a Friday last year,” said Anne Fleschman, VP of Marketing at Flowhub. “Retailers can expect to see a similar growth trajectory during the 2019 holiday which lands on a Saturday for the first time for most markets that have legalized adult-use or medical marijuana.”

On April 20, 2018, flower captured 54% of sales, concentrates represented 29%, and edibles came in at 12%. Flowhub predicts that easily shareable, instant-use products, such as pre-rolls and edibles, to name two, will dominate 420 sales this year.

The majority of this is good news for the industry, but it is possible that retailers could see a decline in the average sales amount per transaction. In states like Oregon, the market is facing issues of producer and retailer saturation, so cannabis prices are dropping and dispensaries are dealing with a greater amount of competition, as reported by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.

While this could be alarming for producers and retailers, a recent report from the Oregon Legislature noted, “Despite those falling prices the overall dollars sold year-over-year have continued to increase.”


Debra BorchardtJanuary 31, 2019
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Licenses for cannabis operators are multiplying as fast as the plants can be grown. According to Cannabiz Media, in the fourth quarter, the state of Connecticut doubled their dispensaries from nine to 18 and Oklahoma went on a license issuing frenzy. By the end of 2018, the Sooner state issued 805 dispensary licenses, 1,302 growers and 341 processors.

They are dwarfed by California which has almost doubled its licenses since November. The state has 10,940 active licenses, although Ed Keating the co-founder of Cannabiz Media noted that only a few dozen are annual licenses. In comparing licenses issued by activity, many categories almost doubled like distributor at 198%, manufacturer at 188%, and cultivator at 178% and retailers increased by 58%.

As more states legalize adult use sales, cannabis is becoming a rapidly growing market that topped $8.5 billion in spending in 2017 and will nearly reach $11 billion in 2018 and then push past $23 billion by 2022.

In Colorado, there were 509 retail dispensaries. Washington State has 514 and Oregon has 561. The numbers continue to grow as more states like Michigan, New York, and New Jersey begin planning for legalized adult use sales. As a result of this, being on the front line and customer facing is seen as the sweet spot for many companies. These are some of the top consumer-facing retail technology cannabis companies in the industry today.

Headset

Headset is the top retail data provider. This company captures consumer purchasing data at the point of sale in real time. Producers can use the data to learn what is and isn’t selling and determine consumer preferences. For example, when it comes to cannabis edibles, gummies are the big winner in Colorado, while mints are the product of choice in Washington. The retailers can also mine this data to track inventory levels and learn what their customers prefer. Do they like sweet or sour flavors?

Dispensary owners can also use the past performance data to predict future buying habits. If the upcoming Valentine’s holiday demonstrated a big jump in chocolate sales, then the owner can make sure they are stocked up.

Headset recently completed a Series A funding round of $12.1 million. This money will go towards improving current products and services and expanding the company’s offerings to additional U.S. states and international markets. It will also help the company serve new customers from the consumer packaged goods, beverage/alcohol, and financial industries, who are taking an increased interest in cannabis.

Springbig

Dispensaries can’t advertise in traditional methods and the customers probably wouldn’t respond to traditional ads anyway. Springbig is able to capitalize on this by helping dispensary owners reach customers in loyalty programs through text messaging. Everybody loves to be rewarded and find bargains when shopping and cannabis consumers are no different. Earning points for purchases motivates customers to stick with their favorite stores.

The data also helps owners get more sales and it also lets them analyze what works best with their customers. The company said that dispensaries that use Springbig found that their customers spent more and that revenue increased by 25%. The company can even drill down into the customer’s preference and then only send targeted promotions. For example, if a consumer only wants flower, then they won’t be sent promotions for edibles if that is what they prefer.

Seed

Seed is an in-store cannabis educator. With interactive touch screens, customers can easily get answers to their questions, which frees up the dispensary employees time. The company was developed to help the dispensary staff and also give the customer a nonjudgmental way to learn more about the products. Of course, the ultimate idea is to sell more product, but dispensaries are such a new experience for many people and the products are mostly unfamiliar. There is a huge learning curve and if you can ask your questions through a cool interactive touch screen, that seems easier than taking up  20 minutes of a budtenders time if there is a line of people waiting.

The units are integrated with the dispensaries inventory so once the customer goes through the touch screen to see what it is they want, the Seed is programmed to suggest items that are in stock. Having said that the company says it remains focused on education more than pushing a product. It isn’t a pay to play model such that one product can pay to be recommended over another.

Flowhub

Flowhub is the behind the counter solution for dispensary owners. This point-of-sale software is sold as a compliance solution to dispensaries. Flowhub includes a small handheld mobile device called a Nug to help speed up daily operations like scanning barcodes, checking in customers, and auditing inventory. The software gives managers complete control over their data, allowing them to generate inventory discrepancy reports and make adjustments before submitting via an API. Customers can also opt for the company’s free loyalty software that is included.

The system is also tightly synced up to METRC — the track and trace system used in most legal cannabis markets — making compliance really easy in those markets. At this time, it isn’t aligned with MJ Freeway or BioTrack, but that is expected to happen as the company expands into other markets. Flowhub is a little different from the others because it provides an open source option. This lets customers with a high level of technical knowledge customize the software for their needs. A tech nerd’s delight.

KlickTrack

KlickTrack is the new kid on the block after a beta launch in September. Co-founder Brendan Hill (of Blues Travelers fame) said it addresses common issues and pain points that the founders themselves experienced when they tried various software solutions as owners and operators of Paper and Leaf, a retail cannabis boutique, located on Bainbridge Island in Washington state. After years of frustration with non-integrated systems, they developed KlickTrack as a synchronized ecosystem, saving retailers time and money.

KlickTrack co-founder Steve Kessler said, “We created this system from inside a working retail shop from the ground up. We teamed with world-class developers, using a proprietary translator to solve industry-wide problems. KlickTrack removes the compliance worries from retailers and allows them to focus on running their business and having access to real-time actionable data.”

The company said it gives retailers the ability to easily view and manage inventory and offer their products organized by brand. It reduces inventory redundancies, speeds up workflow and enables retailers to maintain customer service on high traffic days. It provides real-time insights into all sales metrics, allowing retailers the ability to analyze historical customer and product data. The compliance translator ties directly into state regulatory systems and the company said it virtually eliminates the risk of fines and violations.


StaffJanuary 15, 2019
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Top cannabis database now offers consumers precise product location and pricing information through the Flowhub API

Seattle, WA – January 15, 2019 /AxisWire/ Leafly, the world’s leading cannabis information resource, and Flowhub, the award-winning cannabis compliance and point of sale provider, are today announcing their new, real-time integration to help cannabis dispensaries drive visibility and automate online menus.

As the world’s leading source for consumers to find cannabis, Leafly.com sees more than 16 million monthly visits and offers localized dispensary listings in legal cannabis markets. Now Leafly is partnering with Flowhub in order to show real-time dispensary inventory and pricing for every strain and product.

Updating online menus is a huge part of marketing for cannabis retailers, a task which can often be time consuming and inefficient. With the new Leafly and Flowhub integration, dispensaries can now automatically update their online menus on Leafly to match their live inventory in Flowhub’s industry-leading POS system. The Flowhub solution allows retailers and managers to save time on manual data entry, while providing accurate information and a seamless shopping experience for their potential customers on Leafly.

“Everyone can relate to the disappointment of showing up to a store only to learn that the product you want isn’t available. Our integration with Leafly prevents this type of poor customer experience from happening. Leafly has long been considered a top community website in the global cannabis movement and Flowhub has experienced rapid growth, with hundreds of dispensaries using our software to process over $1B in cannabis sales annually. Together with Leafly, we’re bringing the way consumers find and buy cannabis into the digital age.” says Kyle Sherman, CEO of Flowhub.

“By integrating with Flowhub, Leafly continues to offer the best point-of-sale integrations to partner dispensaries,” said Jason Makuch, Chief Product Officer at Leafly. “Leafly’s goal is to create a world-class user experience for product discovery while helping dispensaries grow their businesses at the same time.”

Consolidation of high-tech tools such as these is important for the future of legal cannabis. The industry faces unique challenges compared to any other industry, and business owners require a suite of products that are custom-built for the cannabis space which work seamlessly with one another.

The integration between the two technologies is officially live as of today. To learn more or to request a demo of Flowhub, visit flowhub.com.

About Flowhub

Powering the largest retailers in the industry, Flowhub is the leading compliance and point of sale software for cannabis dispensaries in the United States. Built specifically to serve the highly regulated industry, Flowhub is helping nearly 500 cannabis retailers grow revenue, stay compliant, and manage inventory. Founded in 2015 by former Compliance Officer, Kyle Sherman, Denver-based Flowhub processes over $1B in cannabis sales annually and is backed by industry investors like Poseidon Asset Management, Green Lion Partners, Phyto Partners, and Altitude. Learn more at flowhub.com.

About Leafly

As the world’s leading source for consumers to find cannabis, Leafly’s mission is to help patients and consumers make informed choices about cannabis and to empower cannabis businesses to attract and retain loyal customers through advertising and technology services. Learn more at www.leafly.comand download the five-star rated Leafly mobile app through Apple’s App Store or Google Play. Visit Leafly.com, Leafly Canada at Leafly.ca, Leafly Germany at Leafly.de, Leafly in Spanish at Leafly.es, and Leafly in French at Fr.Leafly.ca.


Debra BorchardtJanuary 14, 2019
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The cannabis industry experienced a 45% growth in dispensary licenses in 2018 according to CannaBiz Media, a company that tracks cannabis licenses. Cultivator licenses grew by a whopping 110%.

One company that has managed to take advantage of the opportunity in the cannabis industry without actually touching the plant is Denver-based Flowhub. The company provides point-of-sale software that is sold as a compliance solution to dispensaries Flowhub includes a small handheld mobile device called a Nug to help speed up daily operations like scanning barcodes, checking in customers, and auditing inventory. The software gives managers complete control over their data, allowing them to generate inventory discrepancy reports and make adjustments before submitting via an API.

The system is also tightly synced up to METRC — the track and trace system used in most legal cannabis markets — making compliance really easy in those markets. At this time, it isn’t aligned with MJ Freeway or BioTrack, but that is expected to happen as the company expands into other markets. CEO Kyle Sherman said that he wanted the company to be laser-focused first on integrating with METRC and excel at that program before taking on others.

The trend of consolidation within the cannabis industry has not affected Flowhub negatively. Sherman said that it has actually worked in their favor. “With the bigger guys buying smaller players, our customers have been able to put our products there,” he said. “Of course, the single owner-operated stores will continue to exist and there is always room for them in the market,” he added. “It’s important for us to service both the big one and the small ones. That way they can outshine the competition, make better decisions, improve margins.”

Flowhub also works with lots of other popular apps and services in the cannabis space. This adaptability has made Flowhub and easy company to partner with. Sherman noted that its software comes with a free loyalty program, but they also integrate with other loyalty software companies like Springbig and Baker. In addition to that Sherman said they work well with Leafly and retail programs like Dutchy.

Another example of Flowhub flexibility within the cannabis industry is that its platform welcomes others to leverage its API to build apps on its platform. Sherman told a story about one dispensary customer who used to be a programmer and for fun he created his own dispensary software to use with Flowhub’s.

Flowhub’s clients seem to be pretty happy with the system since it brings order and compliance to their cannabis business. One dispensary client, Nectar, is currently in the process of expanding quickly across the state of Oregon with Flowhub. Similar to other emerging dispensary brands, Nectar’s growth model involves buying other dispensaries who are interested in selling their license.

Because Flowhub is integrated with METRC track-and-trace system, Nectar would easily be able to expand from its 16 retail locations in Oregon,to a completely new state, with few compliance headaches.

According to Owler, Flowhub is estimated to have annual revenue of around $2.5 million. The company is also estimated to have raised $8.8 million in capital through three different fundraising rounds beginning in 2015. Its last round took place in April 2017 for $3.25 million and it came from Green Lion Partners, Altitude  and Phyto Partners.

At the time of the deal, Larry Schnurmacher of Florida-based Phyto Partners said, “The technology solution Flowhub provides is critically important to operators, they can’t do business without it. This vertical is where we will see billion dollar valuations in the coming years.” The company also made the Green Entrepreneur 100 Cannabis Leaders of 2018 list.

Since the company’s tech and POS are so simple to replicate across multiple stores, cannabis dispensaries can easily expand and grow their businesses at scale, without missing a beat when it comes to compliance. The handheld device also speeds up the time it takes for employees to track the plants.

Sherman said the company has some new products in the pipeline that are expected to be introduced in 2019. “We’ll be supporting more hardware and making transactions faster,” he said. “We’ve listed to the customers and we’re launching new products that are even better suited for the retailers.”


Anne-Marie FischerNovember 9, 2018
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“Beverage companies are already placing bets on cannabis-infused beverages,” says Ryan Smith, CEO of LeafLink, and industry-leading B2B e-commerce platform, “They present an exciting new frontier.”

While places like Canada have started off slow in allowing regulated products into the market, places like California have an already thriving infused food and beverage market, with products like colas to infused drops to kombuchas to functional beverages flying off the shelves and into the hands of the health-conscious consumer.

A Notable Rise in Popularity

Infused-beverages sales in legal states are on the rise and are demonstrated by year over year results. Flowhub, a POS company, has indicated that beverage sales have increased 88% year over year from 2016 to 2017, with that trend seemingly continuing in 2018. When Flowhub compares data from the first half of 2018 against data from the second half of 2017, beverage sales have increased 18%.

According to LeafLink, these are the industry leading beverages:

  1. Pearl 20 Minis by Tarukino in California
  2. Sprig Lemon Tea 20mg CBD & Sprig Original 10mg THC by Sprig in California 
  3. Orange Kush Soda 10mg by Keef Cola by K.I.N.D. Concentrates in Arizona
  4. 100mg Passionfruit by HIGHDRATE by Evergreen Herbal in Washington
  5. “Yippee Ki-Yay” – High Energy Blend Drops by ZOOTS by Bronnor in Colorado
  6. “Waking Giant” – 10 mg (Sativa) by Mirth Provisions in Washington

“Purchasing trends on our platform have shown an accelerating shift toward branded, consistent products that resemble recognizable consumer packaged goods,” says Smith of the growth in popularity in cannabis-infused beverages. “They are incredibly discreet, hide the taste of cannabis well, and provide a fast-acting dosage without the guesswork of a typical edible,” adds Smith.

A Health-Conscious Driven Demand

Move over kombucha! As a representative for mood33, a cannabis-infused “functional beverage” herbal tonic company says, “We know that the modern consumer is actively searching for ways to reduce their alcohol consumption and the adverse effects that come with overconsumption, drunk driving, and hangovers.”

“Once consumers realize that cannabis can be consumed like an alcoholic beverage via products like mood33, we will see even more demand for cannabis beverages – as we expect the cannabis beverage category to consist of 20-25% of the overall market share within the next 5-7 years due to these developments and elements of market/category maturation,” mood33 adds.

The news has been rife with beverage companies eyeing the cannabis market, with the likes of Coca-Cola and now Pepsi moving in on the promises for infused beverages. Earlier this year, Constellation Brands (STZ) made a huge investment into Canopy Growth Corp (CGC) that Moody’s referred to as a speculative bet.

These investments and partnerships “have brought tremendous awareness to the nascent cannabis beverage category, and we predict every sophisticated cannabis company will have a cannabis beverage program in the coming years,” says mood33.

mood33 is hyper-focused on providing a cannabis beverage consumption experience for everyday people: the stressed-out soccer mom, the overworked professional, the sore runner, and the health & wellness/fitness maven.

The Global Future for Cannabis-Infused Beverages

The deals being made between cannabis and food and beverages industry big-wigs are something to pay attention to. While cannabis-infused beverages are not permitted in Canada’s legal market yet, these deals indicate that cannabis-infused beverages can have a global demand outside of established legal markets.

“There is great opportunity for the Canadian industry to offer a wider variety of products to serve patients and consumers with different preferences, while capitalizing financially,” says LeafLink’s Ryan Smith, “The demand for non-smokable product categories like beverages will only increase as long as people pursue the wellness benefits of cannabis.”

As for mood33’s plans, they want to see cannabis-infused beverages hit the mainstream: “we are eager to help develop a national framework where manufacturers and marketers can develop mainstream inspired, regulated cannabis food and beverage products that could one day sit on a Whole Foods shelf.”

 


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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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