As more layers of the cannabis prohibition onion are peeled back, more demand for various products and services start to emerge within the industry. A software startup is meeting one area of need, offering customizable software to dispensaries and retail locations, with an emphasis on regulation compliance and attention to detail when it comes to specific customer requests.
That software company is called Meadow, and their platform is being called “the Amazon of weed” because they provide customers with a flashy digital storefront on the surface, and automated patient record management on the back end. While there are certainly competitors out there, Meadow believes they have the one piece of all encompassing, ‘done for you’ cannabis retail software that thinks of just about everything.
The Meadow software gives their customers online and mobile ordering, delivery logistics, point of sale services, and inventory management. The Meadow software also handles returns, discounts and keeps track of customer loyalty programs. In addition, the software automatically logs patient registrations and gives detailed analytics reports.
“The ability to accrue points gives the dispensary a tool to build a deeper relationship with the customer,” Meadow co-founder David Hua told TechCrunch. “We’ve seen a lot of dispensaries fail at managing a loyalty program. Creating one is easy, tracking it with inventory and your reporting often can be super onerous for the operator.”
Hua won TechCrunch’s 2015 Crunchies award for best bootstrapped startup, and also helped raise $2.1 million in funding for the startup in 2016. Meadow’s operations are located in a warehouse in San Francisco’s Mission District, and the company feels that their warehouse headquarters also doubles as a community hub and event space.
While Meadow has its similarities to the software Ease, its owners and employees believe they are in a different class. Hua stated that Ease does not offer the back-end software that helps legal herb businesses comply with hefty industry regulation. He says that dispensaries can rely on the software for checkouts to storing patient data securely.
“We still have plenty of runway. We’re good on funding. In fact, now that the 10-person startup can serve 70 percent of California counties that allow medical marijuana, Meadow is getting close to profitability,” Hua continued.
With cannabis legalization alive and well in a number of U.S. states, we will no doubt see more software companies like Meadow pop up. These companies will aim to serve the thousands, if not millions, of customers who support the ever-growing multi-billion dollar legal weed industry, despite the endless regulations and the plant-medicine’s federal illegality.