Most new businesses recognize that e-commerce has to play some type of role in their operation, and it’s often a critical one. Smartphones and computers are ever-present in everyday modern life. As of 2013, worldwide business-to-business e-commerce sales topped $1.2 trillion, and an estimated 40 percent of internet users purchase products via the web. These figures are expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, and many industries have downsized their brick-and-mortar operations in favor of e-commerce platforms (think Macy’s, Sears and Kmart). People want to click and buy.
Cannabis e-commerce, meanwhile, has yet to really take off here in the U.S., and for good reason. It’s true that e-commerce can help to optimize a buying experience by clearly putting the price, product, features and purchase in front of consumers so decisions can be fast and easy. However, the product sold by marijuana dispensaries – and the federal law surrounding that product – makes e-commerce a difficult if not impossible prospect, at least for the moment. This is true not just for companies selling the drug itself, but related items, such as pipes, storage containers, bongs, vaporizers and other supplies.
These legal items can often be found on Amazon and other big e-commerce platforms. Other items may include irrigation controls, piping and lights, fertilizers, hydroponics, harvesting and farming equipment and oil extraction supplies. Pretty much everything except the seeds or the plants themselves can be sold online. However, with the exemption of hemp products, marijuana and derivatives of marijuana are not able to be sold online without restriction. It’s important for recreational marijuana retailers to consult with skilled marijuana lawyers before taking their business to the web, to make sure their practices are above-board and in compliance with the law. Continue reading