As more cannabis brands come to the Canadian market, companies will need to ensure that their stock lines up with consumer demands. But the fragmented nature of the Canadian market—where each province has its own set of cannabis retail regulations—may create difficulties for producers, brands, and retailers that aim to go national in scale.
We caught up with Jae Park, Head of Business Development and Government Affairs at LeafLink International to understand how LeafLink’s wholesale marketplace can provide a one-stop solution for companies looking to optimize ordering and reduce administrative spend while remaining compliant with the regulations set out by Canadian provinces.
LeafLink International is a joint venture between Canopy Rivers and LeafLink that exclusively licenses and leverages LeafLink’s business-to-business marketplace and supply chain technology platform for deployment throughout regulated international cannabis markets outside of the United States.
LeafLink is a wholesale marketplace for the cannabis industry. We are working to empower growth by providing businesses around the world with the same quality tools, technology, and resources that other industries have today. That means helping licensed buyers and sellers save time by streamlining their order management, financial operations, logistical workflows, and more.
LeafLink functions like any two-sided e-commerce marketplace. Retailers can shop cannabis brands in their market all in one cart, 24/7. Brands can manage customers, keep track of orders and inventory, and monitor sales performance.
Before LeafLink International, everything was manual! Brands and distributors were using individual spreadsheets to manage separate relationships with what could be hundreds of retailers across the country.
Retailers faced a similar challenge. To stock their shelves, they had to manage disparate relationships with brands and distributors without any insight into live inventory figures or knowledge of new products available.
Photo: LeafLink International
As a marketplace, the network effect is crucial. Every new brand that enters the marketplace makes it that much more valuable to retailers, and vice versa. There are over 5,500 retailers and 1,700 brands across 26 territories currently live on LeafLink, and many of them are active in both American and Canadian markets. There is no other comparable wholesale cannabis marketplace in the world, let alone in Canada.
Navigating the ever-changing cannabis regulations, licences, and logistical pathways in each jurisdiction has been a fascinating challenge, and one that LeafLink faced from the beginning. Within the U.S., where cannabis is still federally illegal, each state has its own set of laws and nuances. For LeafLink, that meant building a bespoke platform in each market we entered.
When LeafLink International first entered Canada, we were able to translate this experience of adapting our technology for individual markets. In Canada, each province and territory has different laws regulating cannabis. For example, on one side of the spectrum, there’s Saskatchewan, which allows for direct relationships between brands and private retailers. On the other is Quebec, which has full control of inventory management in government-owned stores. Both in Canada and in other emerging markets around the world, cannabis regulation tends to fall somewhere within that spectrum.
Product innovation. No matter how established your business is, the industry is changing so rapidly that anyone can make an impact with new technologies and products. With micro cultivators and processors gaining momentum in Canada, we think it’s going to be important for retailers to keep an open mind to new products and categories to stay ahead of the curve.
Our rollout into Canada has been rapid, and we’re continuously expanding our team to meet that demand! Cannabis products are live on the marketplace in Saskatchewan and soon-to-be in Manitoba. Cannabis accessories and ancillary products are live on the marketplace across Canada.
LeafLink currently connects the largest network of wholesale cannabis businesses in North America, and we are growing alongside the industry. We currently process over $3 billion in annualized wholesale cannabis orders, making up 32% of the U.S. cannabis market alone, which we think makes us uniquely positioned to serve as a connector for the global cannabis community. As adult-use cannabis and medical markets continue to emerge, we’re excited to help push the industry forward by defining the supply chain.
We’re currently working on supply chain financing and logistics solutions, as well as advanced data reporting tools, and a growing list of integrations with various backend systems, from Quickbooks Online, to Metrc, to Salesforce, and more.
This is not an offer to sell or a recommendation to trade in any securities. This information is provided as of the date hereof. This document contains data obtained from third parties that Canopy Rivers has not independently verified. This document also contains forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities law, which is based on certain assumptions. While management believes these assumptions are reasonable based on information available as of the current date, they may prove to be incorrect. Many assumptions are based on factors outside of Canopy Rivers’ control and actual results may differ materially from current expectations. Forward-looking information involves risks, including, but not limited to, the risk factors set out in Canopy Rivers’ most recent Management’s Discussion and Analysis and Annual Information Form. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Except as required by applicable law, Canopy Rivers assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information to reflect new events or circumstances.
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