Last Thursday, October 3, 2019, Square Inc. announced its plans to provide payment processing services to cannabis retail companies. Square Inc. initially opened its digital payment solutions to CBD businesses as part of its beta program.
The payments processor company opened its services to a number of CBD businesses last May 2019. The warm reception urged the company to roll out its program to more businesses in the field. The initial roll-out allowed approximately 1,000 partners to use Square’s services on an invite-only basis.
Square’s partnership with businesses that sell CBD products aims to provide more accessible financial services to those in the industry. Under their programs, a variety of cannabis-based firms can bill their customers using different credit card companies. The list of services also includes hardware, inventory management, and payroll assistance.
Sivan Whitely, general counsel at the company, says the “purpose is economic empowerment, and we’re always looking for ways for people to thrive and participate in the economy. This is an industry that’s been underserved,” she added.
In one of their press statements released, Square sad “we believe everyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy. Today, we’re thrilled to launch our CBD early-access program, which allows businesses in the U.S. to sell CBD products on Square quickly, easily, and securely.”
For products to qualify for selling from the Square platform, goods must contain less than 0.3% THC in compliance with the Farm Bill’s conditions.
The company’s decision to open its doors to the cannabis market stems from the continuous demand for marijuana products in the market. Based on the article released by Bloomberg, the legal marijuana industry is slated to make a whopping $13.8 billion next year. Come 2025, the market is expected to grow by a massive 24%.
Cannabis businesses who wish to take part in Square’s services will be charged 3.9% and 10 cents fee per transaction using a physical tap or swipe of a credit card. Meanwhile, online purchases will charge merchants with a 4.2% and 30 cents fee.
While the cost of placing products on the platform come with higher fees, these reportedly allow CBD brands to showcase their offerings on a much larger scale. In addition, Hudson Gaines-Ross of Plant People, a CBD brand, believes the fees allow companies to invest in different sectors necessary for success in the business, including digital strategies, hiring, and marketing ploys.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Cannabis Industry
The AI (Artificial Intelligence) industry is expected to make significant contributions to the cannabis sector. The rise in the number of investors and the amount of funds can potentially aid marijuana-related organizations in adopting innovative tech, including AI.
CROP Corp. CEO and Director Michael Yorke remarked that AI can aid in the cultivation and monitoring processes of cannabis growing companies. Artificially intelligent sensors combined with high-definition cameras have the potential for keeping track of inputs in the cultivation site. This includes monitoring various growing aspects including water, pH level, and CO2 levels, as well as temperature, humidity, feeds and light.
With an AI keeping an eye on these factors, cultivators can cut down the time spent monitoring their crops, while still ensuring the quality and quantity of yields. Moreover, trimming and de-leafing is also seen as a viable area in which AI can be applied.
Other parts of the cultivation process that can be automated by machines and codes include planting, detection of diseased plants, healing, and removal of sick crops and prediction. AIs can also be taught to identify the sex of crops for propagation. This technology can also enable the creation of new strains and strain customization to achieve desired effects.
Technology can also help in the aspect of sales and marketing of Cannabis products. Apps, websites, and social media platforms are just some of the avenue where technology can be used in the cannabis industry
All these predictions about the use of artificial intelligence in the cannabis world are likely to lead to the more immense growth of the sector.
Cannabis Legalization and Artificial Intelligence
However, experts note that the lack of federal legalization can stand in the way of these developments. With the current state of marijuana legalization in the United States, cultivators are in need of advanced tracking mechanisms in order to comply with the complex regulations currently in place.
Nabis Holding president Mark Krytiuk said that the current regulations “[require] businesses to follow detailed rules that govern every area of the industry.” He also emphasized that “even the smallest error can cost a cannabis business thousands and incur harsh punishments such as losing their cannabis license.”
Because of this, automation technology cannot be implemented without ensuring that every regulatory law will be considered. It is important to note that compliance is one of the biggest reasons that many marijuana businesses fail.
Meanwhile, Krytiuk said that AI can aid in tracking state-by-state regulations, allowing retailers to keep an eye on any development with regards to marijuana laws in their respective states. This will enable them to grow, package, distribute and sell their products knowing that they are following updated regulations.
The Role of Cannabis in the Podcasting Landscape
Emerging in the early 2000s, podcasting is a relatively new industry. In a way, it is an offshoot of the more mainstream television talk show and radio broadcasts. From the first podcast launched in 2004 and to the thousands of podcasts available today, the industry has definitely grown into something immutable.
In recent years, especially with the legalization of marijuana, more and more podcasters are more open in expressing their use and favor of the plant. The effect of this openness is like a two-way street: cannabis affects the podcasting industry and podcasts affect the cannabis industry.
On one side, cannabis affects the flourishing podcasting industry by adding a very important topic into the larger conversation enabled by podcasts. The plant could also contribute to the industry by lending its creative, cognitive and energy-giving properties to podcasters.
On the other side, podcasts offer a platform to conduct discussions about cannabis, its social, political and economic implications. Podcasters talking about marijuana have enabled conversations that help shed some light about what the plant has to offer, making it a more mainstream, publicly accepted and more understood topic.
5 Cannabis-Focused Podcasts You Should Check Out
As marijuana becomes a more accepted topic not only in TV and radio but also in podcasts and other modern venues across the world and the internet, you can bet that this plant is being tackled in a more in-depth manner in these platforms. If you are looking for podcasts that openly talks about the plant, its use, and many other marijuana-related topics, then you should definitely check out these shows.
- Cannabis Industry Voice by the National Cannabis Industry Association (Cannabis Radio)
Entrepreneurs who are looking to enter the marijuana sector will surely appreciate NCIA’s show. Released weekly, Cannabis Industry Voice launches meaningful discussions with people who have been working in the legal marijuana sector.
Hosted by NCIA Communications Project Manager Bethany Moore, Cannabis Radio invites guest members that provide valuable insider knowledge in different aspects of the marijuana industry, from businesspeople to recruiters and other individuals who work in and benefits from the legal sector. Some of the guests are affiliated with the business, medical, journalistic and government organizations.
This show is perfect for people who are looking for professional and highly informative content, especially as it looks at various aspects of the cannabis world.
- Great Moments in Weed History with Abdullah and Bean
Marijuana has been regarded as one of the oldest crops that humanity has been tending to for thousands of years. So, it follows that the plant has been around during great points in human history. This is probably the reason why this weekly show tackles, well, great moments in the history of the plant.
Cannabis journalist Abdullah Saeed and marijuana author David Bienenstock talks about the significant role the plant plays throughout history. With only 12 episodes to date, the hosts gave fun and informative discussions about important points in history in which MJ is involved. This includes the story about Bob Dylan and the Beatles, the arrival of hashish to Europe and even the claims the Jesus used cannabis oil to perform miracles.
The best part is that the two talk about the plant while smoking it, making the chat a lot more fun and relevant. In fact, the two even encourage listeners to smoke up while listening. Unfortunately, there are no new episodes of the show since the end of season 1 back in May 2018.
- Getting Doug with High by Doug Benson
One of the most popular effects of the plant is that some varieties of it can make users euphoric and less inhibited. If this is the feeling you are familiar with, then listening to Getting Dough with High is probably a great option.
This show features comedian Doug Benson blazing up with other comedians while talking about anything and everything. Benson invites two comedians for every episode to try out the strain of the day. The podcast has featured a wide variety of strains including the Red Fire Cherry Tangle (sativa) and Gelato (indica). With 241 episodes and counting, Benson and his comedian friends have tried a whole lot of strains.
So, if you are looking for light-hearted fun featuring whatever cannabis strains they have that day, then you should definitely check this out.
- Dude Grows Show Cannabis Podcast
With legalizations left and right, one of the best ways to build up your stash is to grow your own. Those who will cultivate their own plants, Dude Grows Show is the podcast for you. Now on its 895th episode, DGS has given countless valuable tips and tricks when cultivating the crop.
Aside from offering guides, DGS is also known for tackling various matters important to marijuana growers including the use of carbon filters, the issue of pruning and new innovations.
- The Todd L. Levitt, Marijuana Law Podcast
Lastly, you should probably check out The Todd L. Levitt, Marijuana Law Podcast, especially if you are an avid cannabis enthusiast or a medical marijuana patient. This show talks about the legal aspect of marijuana in light of the conversations surrounding the legalization of medical and recreational use of the plant.
Host Todd L. Levitt has tackled a whole lot of marijuana-related law topics including licensing, growing rules and regulations, as well as recent developments in marijuana laws and their implementation. This podcast will surely be useful for those who frequently consume the plant and those who are new to the marijuana world.
Other Podcasts that You Can Enjoy Better with Cannabis
Besides MJ-focused podcasts, you may be looking for shows that talk about things you are passionate about – aside from cannabis, of course. Well, out of the thousands of broadcasts out there, you are sure to find shows that you will surely enjoy better while consuming MJ products. Here are some of them.
- The Secret History of the Future by Tom Standage and Seth Stevenson
Those looking for stimulating discussions about history and its relevance to the present and the future, then this is one of the best choices. This podcast talks about different events, inventions and ideas from the past and how we can use this information to prepare for the future. The hosts, Standage and Stevenson also make it a point to discuss how our ancestors received these developments to understand the present.
- The Philosophy Guy by Brenden Weber
As the plant is known to provide a boost in users’ cognitive functions, you might want to listen to The Philosophy Guy for your dose of mental exercise. Hosted by Weber, this podcast creates conversations out of various cultural and social products, from movies, shows, cartoons and books, even public figures and issues.
While some may find philosophy boring and pretentious, this show makes it more interesting by tackling philosophical ideas presented through these contents and current affairs. So, of if you are looking for philosophical insights about pop culture and many other things you see in the media, then this will perfectly go with your CBD-rich strain.
- Another Round by Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton
Another Round is a great place to start for women of color. The show hosted by two women of color themselves, this show offers a place to converse about different aspects of human life such as race, gender and culture. The best thing about this is that the two makes meaningful discussions all while drinking booze! So, while the hosts drink up, why not join them and make your own drink made from CBD products? This way, you can keep up with their vibe while listening to their ideas and banter.
- Welcome to Night Vale
For individuals who are looking for a fictional podcast to listen to, Welcome to Night Vale is a good choice. Released twice every month, this show brings you the Night Vale community radio show hosted by Cecil Palmer. This show paints a fascinating picture of a dessert community in which weird things happen to weird people. From the Sheriff’s Secret Police and the Vague, Yet Menacing Government Agency to the mysterious hooded figures and John Peters, you know, the farmer, you will surely find the daily fix of uncanny, creepy and fun ‘updates.’
You will definitely find Cecil’s voice soothing and relaxing, perfect for the calming effect the plant has to offer. Plus, those who love music will find it awesome that the show features superb music from independent artists. Should you find yourself longing for more Night Vale related content, you can purchase cannabis books set in the community.
Both the podcasting and cannabis industries have been thriving in the past years. With the two sectors making significant contributions to each other, you can definitely expect both of them to continue flourishing in the future. In the meantime, enjoy listening to these podcasts while consuming your favorite cannabis strains and products. To make the experience more enjoyable, why not grab some edibles or drinkables to go with your listening session?
How to Use Technology in Marketing Cannabis Products
News of cannabis legalization continues to create buzz around the world, particularly in the United States, Canada, and even Australia. Technology plays a great role in this booming industry – from cannabis production to e-commerce websites, the digitization of the industry knows no bounds.
With the industry slated to reach a whopping $4.5 billion in sales come 2021, it comes as no surprise why many individuals and companies alike are venturing in this industry. Further down the road, economic and business analysts foresee that the industry has the potential to hit multibillion-dollar returns.
One of the key players in the marijuana business today is the development and the increased used of technology. As a matter of fact, there are a number of technologies and developments which have invariably shaped the success of the field. Some of the businesses are already utilizing all sorts of technologies – from cultivating marijuana plants to extracting CBD oil to selling and marketing products.
Increased Demand for MJ and CBD Products
Aside from the continued fight towards legalization and regulation, the main reason why there is an increased demand for cannabis products is that more and more individuals are getting acquainted with the benefits that this herb can bring. While many people opt to use and smoke this plant for recreational purposes, most individuals who are seeking the aid of this miracle plant often use this for medical and medicinal purposes.
Following this increased patronage and demand, businesses are opening and launching their foray into the field left and right. Everywhere you look, you may see dispensaries, cultivation sites, and even stocks being sold under this.
With marijuana’s success and reach expected to grow steadily over the number of years, using technology to your advantage is a skill that must be mastered. While learning state laws and federal regulations come in handy, there is nothing like earning a profit from this sector using expertly crafted social and digital marketing strategies.
Below are excellent ideas that allow you to use technology and marketing products to your advantage.
Create Cannabis-Themed Content
While seamlessly made pictures and witty captions certainly capture the eyes of your target audience, such content can easily get lost in a market that is already permeated with countless brands. To set your offerings apart from others, setting up a website or a blog that highlights the benefits of cannabis or even CBD oil will help draw attention to what you are trying to promote.
Before launching a website or blogging platform, carefully examine the angle you are going for. Would you like to provide information to the reading public? Or perhaps you want to promote and highlight certain products or simply supply your readers with the latest news? Whatever angle you wish to take, know that creating targeted content will increase the people’s trust in you through the level of expertise and knowledge you impart.
You may also delve into product reviews, thereby providing more insight and clarity on the various CBD products that exist on the market today. However, venturing into this sector entails knowing not just about the products you intend on reviewing, so be wary.
In creating targeted content, one of the most effective ways to drive traffic is by using search engine optimization (SEO) tools, such as keyword ranking. By utilizing keywords and other forms of SEO marketing strategies, you can slowly but surely increase your website ranking. At the same time, it will allow you to reach underserved sectors that people look into when they talk about this industry.
Market Cannabis Goods Online
Seeing CBD beauty products and CBD oil edibles on various websites and social media platforms have become a norm nowadays. From seeing manufacturer’s claims to product raves, reviews, and feedback, marijuana-based products are not uncommon. In order to attain this kind of reach and traffic, putting up your business on the world wide web is a must.
The most affordable and perhaps manageable way to use technology is starting your own e-commerce site. This is where you can sell your cannabis-based products such as CBD infused beauty products, cannabis edibles, and even CBD oil vape pen starter kit. As waves of legalization take over the country, you may want to explore selling artworks, t-shirts, and accessories.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media plays a huge role in influencing our purchasing and consuming patterns. At times, these platforms also serve as avenues for news and other relevant information. Because of this, taking advantage of these different platforms to promote your wares will be a great marketing strategy on your part. Besides reaching more individuals across various parts of the globe, you will also increase your engagement and visibility over time.
Take for example Instagram and Facebook. In a highly digital age, you would be hard-pressed to find individuals who do not have accounts on these two essential platforms Reach like-minded people by taking snippets of your cannabis-related content and post it on these sites. Make sure to include a link to your article. Doing so will certainly invite more traffic and customer engagement.
Provide Engaging in-Store Experience
Marijuana dispensaries are designed to give both medical and recreational users access to cannabis. More than this, dispensaries serve as centers where individuals can gain more information about the benefits of marijuana and how this can aid in their everyday life, particularly those who suffer from certain kinds of illnesses.
To make visits fun and exciting, providing customers with unique in-store experiences should not be missed. This allows you to keep user interest at a maximum, thereby encouraging more customers to come in and see what you have to offer on the brands and products you have on hand.
For one, you can offer product demonstrations on newly acquired CBD oil vape pen starter kit you have or simply have a walkthrough certain types of buds. Since customers are all about having unique experiences, it might be useful to have displays or devices that engage their senses, such as providing avenues for interacting with certain types of buds or tasting new kind of cannabis edibles.
At the same time, make your store beginner-friendly. A television screen showing new products, an iPad allowing newbies to browse through offerings, or a tasting station will all surely provide an engaging and exciting in-store experience that will keep these loyal patrons coming back every so often. Even hosting events at your local dispensary will encourage both regular and new customers to come in, so make sure to take advantage of these events to widen your network and collect mobile numbers or email addresses which you can add to your directory listings.
Give Digitized Payment Methods and Ways of Communication
People rely on their smartphones, tablets, and other similar devices for means of communication. To reach these individuals, directly sending push messages via text or sending notifications via email would be a great help. Apart from building customer relationship and increasing database, brands working in this sector also reach their target audience and encourage more product sales.
Alongside digitizing and streamlining these modes of communication, make sure to elevate and enhance payment solutions as well. While we all know that cash is king, in a highly digital world, convenience and accessibility reign supreme. With this, making mobile and online payments available to customers will not only allow them to retain brand loyalty but also foster a deeper sense of connection and awareness.
Utilize Seed-to-Sale Technology
According to the press release by FinancialBuzz, seed-to-sale technology makes use of a unified system which allows businesses to track and report cultivation and sales of cannabis. Through this, distributors provide information regarding audit trails, ensuring they are fully complying with the laws in place. This type of software also allows marijuana companies to store records for auditing and inventory purposes, helping these businesses grow while still maintaining secure transactions.
What makes seed-to-sale technology attractive in light of the legalizations is the ability for the government to track and enforce rules and regulations while still allowing dispensaries to sell marijuana. It restores the federal government’s and state’s trust in the industry.
More than this, dispensaries and other trading institutions involved in this type of market can benefit greatly from this technology by creating individual consumer profiles, automating data entries, and providing automated discounts and loyalty programs. With this software under your care, you can lessen, if not totally eliminate risks for human error, but also enhance customer relationship – all with a single, efficient action.
The Future of Cannabis Under Technological Developments
As the marijuana industry continues to take the world by storm, it would not be surprising to see the future of cannabis flourishing under the limelight thanks to the technological advancements and developments in the field of marketing. From content creation to furthering in-store experiences, there are numerous ways this specific market could progress and reach the heights of success. For now, we believe that with cannabis legalization and technology taking center stage, the future is certainly looking brighter than ever before. So, dispensaries and businesses of all sizes, start taking notes.
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