In her address at the O’Cannabiz Conference and Expo, Merrco Payments CEO Fern Glowinsky considers the coming challenges and opportunities of the exploding new industry.
Less than a year after legalization, the Canadian cannabis industry has come a long way, with new players and possibilities continually emerging.
To realize these possibilities, players still struggle with industry challenges, including supply shortages, regulatory evolution, stigma, and the established business community that has been slow in finding ways to work with the cannabis industry.
The challenges, opportunities and learnings from operation during the first year of legal cannabis are the themes that were addressed by Merrco Payments CEO Fern Glowinsky, on Friday, April 26, at the O’Cannabiz Conference and Expo. Held at the International Centre from April 25th - 27th, in Toronto, O’Cannabiz is one of the country’s premiere cannabis business conferences.
“The landscape is changing fast. Retail stores are now open in Ontario, the country’s largest market, and things are poised to really open up with the coming legalization of edibles and drinkables, in October, 2019” says Fern. “But the changes mean that participants have to keep up with a strict regulatory environment that is in constant flux.”
Evolving with the Cannabis Industry
Legal cannabis businesses, whether they are licensed producers or retail merchants, whether running an online or brick-and-mortar store, require payment options that evolve with industry requirements and regulations.
As a leader in cannabis payment processing solutions, working with the legal medical cannabis industry before the legalization of recreational use, Merrco is uniquely positioned to help clients stay compliant with every new wave of changes. We support cannabis businesses by offering seamless, secure and convenient payment options with both in-store and online payment solutions.
To work in the dynamic cannabis space, payment methods must ensure quality and safety for legal buyers, prevent purchase by minors, limit the quantity purchased by a singer buyer, and, overall, support the government’s stated aim of eliminating the illicit cannabis market.
Merrco’s innovative e-commerce and in-store payment solutions have been recognized with a nomination for the Best Software in the Cannabis Industry, at the O’Cannabiz 2019 Awards show.
With the second wave of legalization, new cannabis product categories, will help drive new consumer spending as they also bring up new regulatory challenges.
“Estimates are that the Canadian direct cannabis market will grow by more than 50% in 2025, to $11 billion,” says Fern. “To make the most of this exciting opportunity, we need innovative fintech solutions that keep up to date with regulatory changes while making payments smarter, simpler every step of the way.”