Updated: Aug 30, 2022
The Cannabis Review 29/8/22
In June 2016 Microsoft entered the cannabis industry via a partnership with Kind Financial. Kind, founded in 2013, makes software for cannabis growers, sellers, and government agencies to help them monitor cannabis from seed to sale. It collects and crunches data to ensure every bud gets processed in compliance with state law and federal guidelines.
In practical terms, the company ensures cannabis grown legally can't disappear into the black market, and entrepreneurs in the space are held accountable for paying taxes on the product they move.
When we think of the cannabis industry we do not normally think of software but this is the area where one of the current 'winners takes all' races in cannabis is underway in North America. There are now hundreds of software companies in the cannabis space looking to become the dominant player and although people may have heard about the likes of North American companies like Dutchie or Weedmaps, The Cannabis Review would wager that most European cannabis entrepreneurs would not know where to start when it comes to obtaining the appropriate software for their business, be it track and trace or POS systems.
Although North America may have the overwhelming majority of the cannabis software firms there is no guarantee that the platform they build for their markets can translate to a European market.
The Cannabis Review decided to ask some leading European cannabis software and cultivation experts who they thought were the players in cannabis software and what they bring to the table that is better than their competitors. Be under no illusion, that a small handful of software companies will rule the global cannabis software industry in due course. Who that will be is still up for grabs.
LUC RICHNER (CEO CANNAVIGIA) https://cannavigia.com
Will each European territory have their own software platforms or will be there a European wide main player?
"We believe that there will be an overarching standard to which the different software platforms will then adhere. We have clear reporting that needs to be done to the UN around the Single Convention Act. We speculate that software platforms will plug into that directly in the future or through the government reports of those countries. I do not think that each European territory will have its own software platform and I do not think that there will be a European-wide player but there will be a mix between both."
SONNY MOERENHOUT (CEO CULTIVATORS) https://www.cultivators.nl
Who has the best software?
"There are so many companies claiming they have the best product but only a few can do the real job. Most of them lack the connection to cultivation which will make it difficult to survive if you ask me. Actually, it is a rat race as so many companies are active in this field but it will be the one which can integrate into the most systems and other platforms who will survive."
MIKE SIKORSKI (CEO TRUSTT) https://trustthq.com
Is Europe capable of competing against the North American software companies?
"Looking from the perspective of a technology company providing compliance, production optimization, and trading solutions for the European cannabis industry, I’m confident that understanding the developing and still fragmented European market can give a strong advantage to our regional technology providers.
With so many changes happening in all European countries, we can keep our ear closer to the ground which can help us to understand the needs of our clients better.
From the very beginning, we observed a lack of technology transfers between the US/Canada and EU, which I think can be contributed to N. American tech companies are tied in their local markets by fast overall legal industry growth combined complexity of different regulations between states, which requires them to customize their platforms before entering each new state. This situation will hardly change before cannabis goes legal at the federal level.
In addition, historically European clients and companies that want to target Europe always preferred to work with local solutions due to a better understanding of their needs and specificities of how the EU works. Not without importance, especially in our case where EU compliance is the priority, is the fact that we design our products with these aspects and a deep understanding of our market in mind. This helps us to better serve our clients with customer support, consultancy, and quicker responsiveness.
All of the above means that European companies can respond better to your client and industry needs, recognize upcoming opportunities and prepare for the next stages of market growth, making them more competitive."
SHIRLEY CREAGH (CO-FOUNDER OLEO) https://www.oleo.ie
How do Oleo view software for the cannabis industry?
"Oleo's patient app will create real-world patient data to better understand patient journeys, treatment plans, and cannabis effectiveness. We hope our app will provide higher-quality clinical encounters while reducing hospital visits."
Europe is on course to create world-class software that the European cannabis operators and governments can rely on to track an entire industry where a product may cross many borders and pass through multiple national databases on the way to patients.
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