Lantern Archives - Green Market Report

Julie AitchesonApril 14, 2022
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6min13551

 New York Cannabis Project is a social equity incubator program launched by e-commerce marketplace and home delivery platform, Lantern. New York Cannabis Project is currently accepting the first round of applications for its incubator program, which gives aspiring entrepreneurs access to educational programming, technical services, mentorship and operational consulting as well as access to a resource database for real estate and investor/vendor connections. Applicants will be New Yorkers hardest hit by the war on drugs. 

As Akele Parnell (Head of Equity Partnerships at Lantern) explains, “whether it’s winning business or cultivation licenses, building brands and setting them up, our goal is to give social equity applicants the resources they need to build successful businesses in the industry.” Lantern has also launched New Jersey Cannabis Project, which shares its New York counterpart’s goals and objectives, as well as social equity incubators in Massachusetts (where Lantern “incubated” the first delivery couriers to be licensed by the state), Colorado, and Michigan (where it launched women-owned, Detroit-based company Calyxeum). Success stories include Massachusetts-based companies like delivery services Treevit and Your Green Package.

Ultimately, the New York Cannabis Project is hoping to help build a “community-based hub” of which the New York Cannabis Project would be a key partner and which would provide instructors, programming, education and other resources to get people into the licensed industry. As opposed to an incubator, which is targeted toward those looking to become business owners, the community hub would be an ongoing and permanent resource for those looking to enter the cannabis industry in any capacity but who experience barriers related to social equity issues. Resources would range from help with getting criminal records expunged to networking with others in the industry to identify, train for, and pursue job opportunities in cannabis. 

Lantern is not the only entity attempting to address inequity within the cannabis industry. Sacramento, California initiated the Sacramento Grow Green Program as part of the City of Sacramento’s Cannabis Opportunity Reinvestment and Equity effort. The program provides training, business plan development, mentorship and support to individuals and communities facing barriers to entry into the cannabis industry due to historical inequities in how cannabis laws have historically been enforced. Program applicants must fit into one of five classifications to be eligible, including income level, zip code, or possessing an arrest record for cannabis-related crimes either personally or through an immediate family member. 

Los Angeles-based LASER (Los Angeles Social Equity Reform), a program of cannabis technology company Growing Talent, consists of applicants who become “equity partners” upon acceptance to the program. These partners are taken through a 10-week curriculum with industry experts that includes training in best practices and business expansion as well as access to Growing Talent’s range of business resources. The San Francisco Office of Cannabis sponsors a program wherein businesses can apply to become equity incubators for qualified Equity Applicants wherein they provide rent-free space or technical assistance upon meeting incubation criteria. Equity Incubators are then listed on the website as resources for Equity Applicants. With so many new (and not so new) projects seeking to address the glaring inequities in access to capital, resources, mentorship and investor opportunities, the future looks brighter for those previously shut out of the licensed cannabis industry– an industry that stands to gain immeasurably from the skills, experience, and innovation of the very communities it has long excluded.


StaffFebruary 10, 2022

5min11520

Lantern

Akele Parnell, Head of Equity Partnerships at Lantern

  1. When did you formally enter the cannabis space? 

I entered the cannabis space in Feb 2018 when I joined Green Thumb Industries as an in-house counsel working on their market expansion activities.

  1. What made you decide to work in the cannabis industry? 

I entered the cannabis space for several reasons. For one, I’m a fan of the plant and its ability to foster human connection and creative expression. Another reason I joined the industry is that I wanted to help shape the industry to provide Black and Brown communities with the opportunity to build generational wealth from a plant that has been used to oppress our communities for generations. Lastly, I wanted the opportunity to own my own cannabis business.

  1. Do you feel there is more opportunity for Black Americans in the cannabis industry versus a more traditional industry? Yes or no and why? 

Long term I think there’s more untapped financial opportunity in the regulated industry for Black Americans than the traditional industry. And opportunities in the traditional industry will only decrease as time goes on. But given the current barriers to entry for Black Americans, it may make more economic sense for many to continue to participate in the traditional industry for the time being. So long term, there’s more opportunity in the regulated industry, but right now, it’s probably easier to make money, and more money, in the unregulated market. That said, obviously, the non-financial risks in the traditional industry are much higher for Black Americans than other races (risk of arrest, prosecution, asset forfeiture, incarceration, etc.), so it’s probably smart to start to make the transition.

  1. What is the most successful social equity effort in your opinion? Can be a charity or company program.

 To date, I think Oakland’s social equity program has been the most successful. To my knowledge, it’s brought the most Black and Brown cannabis entrepreneurs to market of any social equity program. Granted, the California market is extremely saturated so operating is tough for everyone. But at least Oakland-based Black entrepreneurs have a real shot at getting a license and the chance to compete.

  1. What is your personal goal for 2022?
    My personal goals for 2022 are to successfully complete our first incubator cohort in NJ (the New Jersey Cannabis Project), launch an incubator in NY (the New York Cannabis Project), and get my dispensary and craft grow businesses up and running in Chicago. So I have a lot of work to do in 2022, but if all that gets done, I’ll feel pretty good going into 2023.


Julie AitchesonJanuary 27, 2022
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8min14921

The Covid pandemic has been impacting our economy in so many ways for such a while now that it’s hard to parse which marketplace developments are driven by a climate of uncertainty and crisis versus a myriad of other factors. Online ordering and delivery, which was already gaining ground as a popular mode of consumerism pre-pandemic, received a massive boost in popularity from the endless restrictions that Covid-19 has placed on our daily lives. 

But delivery’s spiking popularity is not solely due to attempts at avoiding Covid infection. Meadow co-founder David Hua, who notes that retail cannabis deliveries went up 50% in 2021 from 2020, anticipates that the continued growth of this trend will see ongoing benefits beyond staying Covid-free. These include heightened delivery times and expanded access to a greater range of offerings for consumers, while businesses can expect to see increases in the size of their customer base and boosted sales.

 A January report on delivery service trends produced by The Harris Poll for delivery management software company Onfleet found that over half of those surveyed stated that if they were going to purchase legal cannabis products, they would be much more willing to do so via delivery versus in person. The convenience factor and remaining taboos regarding cannabis use are likely factors here, but other safety concerns cannot be discounted. Christine De La Rosa, co-founder and CEO of The People’s Ecosystem, highlights the rise in instances of mob robberies at retail locations in places like California and Oregon, and predicts a commensurate rise in cannabis delivery services by small businesses “rather than face the risk to their safety, their employees’ safety, and their business safety in the current climate.” 

In several parts of the U.S., however, cannabis delivery services face a number of potential legal challenges. Recreational marijuana became legal to buy in Maine almost a year and a half ago, but weed shops and dispensaries remain relatively thin on the ground in Vacationland due to a slow acceptance of the cannabis industry in some areas. To leapfrog this slow thaw, some in the Maine cannabis industry are pushing for a legal door-to-door delivery system. Direct delivery is already allowed for medical cannabis in the state, and many legal businesses owners hope recreational cannabis delivery will give them an edge in competing with illicit operations. (Due to an eight-fold increase in calls for unintentional marijuana poisoning among children since 2012, many Mainers fear that door-to-door delivery will only place kids at greater risk.)

Not far from Maine, Lantern has thrived in Massachusetts. Lantern is among the leading cannabis e-commerce marketplace and delivery platforms in the U.S and was formerly part of the Drizly Group, a top alcohol delivery company. Lantern currently offers on-demand cannabis delivery for patients and adult-use consumers in MassachusettsMichigan, and Colorado.  In February 2021, Uber announced an agreement to acquire Drizly for approximately $1.1 billion in stock and cash. As part of the deal close, Lantern has transitioned to a separate corporate entity and received $40 million in capital from Drizly Group. The price paid for Drizly has certainly sparked dollars signs in cannabis delivery company’s eyes. Lantern experienced 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. Additionally in July 2021, Lantern became the first adult-use delivery platform to launch in Massachusetts and serve the Greater Boston area.

Eaze is one of the largest cannabis delivery companies and the best known. It is a vertically-integrated company with over 7.6 million deliveries completed to date and over two million registered customers. Eaze carries over 100 brands and 600 individual products on its menu and is a nationally-recognized leader in promoting social equity licensees, who have sold nearly $7.7 million in products via the Eaze platform. In July, Eaze launched the first-of-its-kind shoppable cannabis app for Apple. Eaze has also entered into the product side of the business as well and acquired a dispensary from the company Manifest Seven (OTC: MNSFS) in November for $6.7 million.

Despite these success stories, it isn’t all rosy in the delivery business. Stem Holdings Inc. (OTCQX: STMH) (CSE: STEM) sold its wholly-owned subsidiary Driven Deliveries, Inc. to Driven Deliveries’ founders in return for 12.5 million shares of Stem. At the time, Steve Hubbard, Interim CEO of Stem, commented, “After careful consideration with the Board, we have made the strategic decision to divest and discontinue operations of Driven Deliveries for several reasons. First, the delivery and e-commerce cannabis business in California has become increasingly more challenging due to oversupply in the market, which has reduced price per pound approximately 50%. More competition in California has also increased marketing expenses, which has resulted in low margin deliveries consistently. This divestiture will dramatically reduce our monthly expenses and improve our balance sheet, putting the company is a much healthier financial position to focus all of our resources on cultivation, processing, retail and our award-winning brands in California, Oregon and new markets.”

Despite the inevitable legal challenges and logistical complications that come with expanding cannabis delivery systems, Onfleet’s report paints a promising picture for a rising use of (and reliance upon) delivery for all kinds of consumables. With 55% of America’s Gen Z and 60% of Millennials owning up to having more delivery apps than streaming services on their phones (and older customers having grown more comfortable with delivery apps during the pandemic), delivery is a field ripe for innovation. That is, as long as that innovation doesn’t rely on robots or autonomous vehicles. According to Onfleet’s survey, It’s a brave new world, but not that brave. At least not yet. 

 


StaffJanuary 13, 2022
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3min10540

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.


Debra BorchardtJanuary 6, 2022
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10min17490

Cannabis data providers have weighed in on the 2021 holiday sales for dispensaries with some surprising results. The data included the Thanksgiving holiday and then tracked sales through to the end of Christmas. Most agreed that sales increased in 2021 despite the resurgence of the new Covid fear with the variant Omicron. Consumers upped their cannabis shopping throughout the month of December causing Christmas week comparisons to be less strong than in the past. Still, sales remained elevated leading up to Christmas in both the Canadian and U.S. markets.

Increased Sales

Headset said that its data showed that Canada saw a rise in sales of more than 26% while the US saw an increase of 17% during the holiday month. Headset reported that in Canada, sales were up by 8.9% versus the previous four Fridays. In the US, sales increased by 6.0%. In Canada, Saskatchewan had the largest increase in sales, up 12% over the previous four Fridays. In the US, Michigan had the strongest showing with a 13.7% increase in total sales. 

LeafLink is a wholesale cannabis platform and as such has visibility into orders that licensed retailers place from the brands they carry. In December, sales through LeafLink increased by 6.8% when compared to the average growth rate over the prior three months – signaling that the holiday season positively impacted sales this year. 

Cannabis delivery company Lantern said it saw consumers start stocking up their holiday stashes earlier this season. Specifically the company noted that sales started to increase the second weekend of December with a +56% increase in daily order volume. “That trend continued through December, a +26% lift in order volume and +7% increase in AOV the week before Christmas, peaking the day before Christmas Eve with a +51% lift compared to our daily average. Lantern reported a +110% lift in order volume the three days before New Year’s Eve vs. three days prior, peaking three days before NYE with a +56% lift in daily order volume.

Springbig reported that starting from a week before Christmas and going into New Year’s Day, it saw (excluding Christmas day) $276 million in total sales with a daily average gross of $20.82mm. This was an 11% increase over the same period last year.In terms of how big the increase was, as compared to normal days of the year, we see that last year had a roughly 50% increase over normal while this year we only saw 21%. This could be due to the major Covid outbreak that has occurred recently. Another hint that this may be the cause is the fact that last year Jan 1st saw $15 million in sales while this year only saw $13 million.”

Flower Power

While some of the ingestible categories got big lifts, flower continues to command the market. Leaflink said that flower was the most popular category, making up around 32% of sales through LeafLink in the month prior to the holidays. Cartridges were the second most popular, at around 24% market share. Leaflink said that both were relatively consistent with the previous month, showing that buyers did not significantly change their purchase habits into different categories for the holiday season. The most popular Flower subcategory in the month leading up to the holidays in 2021 was Packaged Flower at 15% of sales, and the second most popular was Bulk Flower at 14.7%.

Jushi (OTC: JUSHF) also reported that Flower remains the number one category leader in demand and interest from patients and consumers. “However, we saw an aggressive uptick trend in disposable and edible sales in 2021,” said the company. 

Discreet products were also big winners. Perhaps consumers wanted to have their cannabis but not be obvious about it when visiting friends and relatives. Lantern said, “What’s interesting about our trending products in Boston for the holiday season, was that our most popular products were discreet and designed to share – predominantly edibles, drinkables, and pre-rolls (typically flower products are our best-sellers). Similarly in Detroit, pre-rolls were our most popular holiday product (party-ready for individual sharing and more discreet).” 

Headset’s data seemed to agree. Their data from Canada showed that the categories that saw the largest sales increase on New Year’s Eve were: Tincture & Sublingual (+30%), Concentrates (+23%), and Beverages (+21%). In the US, the categories with the largest sales response were: Beverages (+18%), Flower (+8.5%), and Concentrates (+7.8%).

Jane Technologies noted that edibles online sales were up over 10% in December 2021 compared to the previous three months and topicals online sales were up over 9% in December 2021 compared to the previous three months. They noted that Airo Black Mamba Specialty Pod online sales were up over 290% in December 2021 compared to the previous three months and Incredibles Cookies & Cream 100mg chocolate online sales were up over 200% in December 2021 compared to the previous three months

Christmas Coupons

With so many shoppers, it was a wonder why anyone would offer a discount, but then people love a bargain. Plus competition is heating up in some markets. Flowhub said that dispensaries were discounting for the holidays, but the discounts themselves weren’t huge.

Flowhub reported the following discount data:

  • Typical Day = 18% of transactions include a discount 
  • Christmas Eve = 39% of transactions included a discount 
  • Christmas Day = 40% of transactions included a discount 
  • New Years Eve = 39% of transactions included a discount 
  • New Years Day = 38% of transactions included a discount
  • Across the Christmas and New Years’ holidays, the average discount amount stayed consistent at $5.00 off their total amount. 

Headset’s discount data found a modest increase in discounting on New Year’s Eve in both Canadian and US cannabis markets. Noting that tThe average discount in Canada on New Year’s Eve was 4.0%, up by about 10% over an average of the previous four Fridays(3.6%). The average discount in the US on New Year’s Eve was 21.1%, up by about 13% over the previous four Fridays (18.6%).

Cali Sober

After all that holiday drinking, many people look at January as a month to sober up and give their bodies a break from all that alcohol. Lantern said, “As we head into the new year, we’re seeing consumers really embrace “Dry January” with our record-best Monday, +29% lift in daily order volume.”

 

 


Debra BorchardtFebruary 1, 2021
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5min32560

While many consumers put down the bottle this month for Sober January, some have picked up a cannabis-infused beverage instead causing sales to rise in this emerging category. The market experienced a similar substitution as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which has been notable for its effect on the respiratory system. Edible sales jumped higher in 2020 as consumers traded in inhalable forms of cannabis for other consumption methods. 

In a study published in the National Library of Medicine success during Dry January was predicted by measures of more moderate alcohol consumption. The study revealed that success during Dry January was best predicted by a lower frequency of drunkenness in the month prior to Dry January. The report also determined that people who were successful with the challenge of not drinking for a month also drank less going forward. So, there’s a real reward to managing not to drink for a month, and if cannabis helps, all the better. Some even call it “Cali Sober,”  which means no alcohol or drugs except for cannabis. 

Lantern is an on-demand, cannabis home-delivery platform that provides legal, convenient access to cannabis dispensaries and their products for state-issued medical marijuana cardholders. In January, Lantern said it has seen a significant uptick in sales of cannabis beverages specifically.

“It’s exciting to see how new consumers and canna-connoisseurs are exploring alcohol alternatives in the first month of the new year and turning to cannabis-infused beverages,” says Meredith Mahoney, President of Lantern.  “With support for cannabis legalization at an all-time high and the increasing state-by-state legalization that we witnessed last year, consumers are becoming more health-conscious and open to cannabis products as they look for new ways to relax and unwind.”

Fluresh is a cannabis brand that launched on Lantern’s platform in November and has quickly become one of their top-selling brands overall. Fluresh said it has sold more product in January 2021 than in November and December of last year combined

“Alcohol replacements are certainly top of mind during Dry January, however we have seen this larger trend of replacing a glass of wine with cannabis to wind down at the end of the day, no matter the time of year,” said Lindsay Levin, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer, Fluresh. “As part of our recently launched Fluresh Collection, a standout has been our groundbreaking Fast-Acting Drink Enhancer, uniquely designed to create a customizable cannabis cocktail with an accelerated activation in as little as 15 minutes. While there has been an increased interest in our Drink Enhancer in January, sales have been strong since the product launched this summer. With very few calories, total taste and dose customization and none of the after-effects of alcohol, Fluresh Fast-Acting Drink Enhancer is quickly becoming a go-to alternative to alcohol.” 

 

“To our pleasant surprise, our January sales thus far have exceeded even our December sales. Trading high alcohol, high-calorie drinks with zero alcohol, low calorie Saka Vinfusions is Dry January’s best accompaniment,” said Tracey Mason, Co-founder and CEO of House of Saka. Saka Vinfusions are cannabis-infused beverages made from select vineyards within the iconic Napa Valley appellation. Consumers can drink a Saka infused beverage that tastes like their favorite wine, but it has no alcohol in it. “Saka vinfusions have proven to be the perfect antidote for those of us who practice dry January –  myself included. Our sales this month are actually stronger than our December sales.”


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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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