Article by Javier Hasse published on Forbes.com, April 15, 2020.
In an exclusive conversation online cannabis marketplace operator Dutchie revealed it has been quietly processing Visa and Mastercard payments in Canada since Thursday, April 9, enabled by a partnership with secure payment solutions provider Merrco.
While cannabis is federally legal in Canada – unlike the U.S., implementing digital and/or contactless payment solutions continues to pose a challenge for most small businesses. Dutchie is among one of the first players in Canada to successfully launch Visa and Mastercard payments processing.
The COVID-19 Sales Spike
Cannabis delivery and curbside pickups have grown increasingly necessary amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as cannabis dispensaries have been categorized as essential businesses. In fact, Dutchie has reported a 650% increase in online orders since the COVID-19 pandemic started, with average order sizes up 32%.
Unfortunately, small businesses without the existing technology infrastructure or resources to meet the growing demand for delivery, curbside pickups, and digital payments, are being left behind. Small businesses are put at a disadvantage with the current set-up and lack of access to big financial partners.
Seeking to help address this, Dutchie created an easy way for customers to buy cannabis products from their favorite dispensaries, allowing for either curbside pickup or doorstep delivery.
Ross Lipson, co-founder and CEO of Dutchie, said, “Before COVID-19 we knew that easy-to-use online tools for cannabis businesses would help plant the seeds necessary to support their growth. This crisis we are all collectively experiencing has only reinforced the fact that cannabis businesses will need the tools and support to offer their products and services online, which is what consumers expect today and will into the future.”
Adding to these comments, Karan Wadhera, managing partner at Casa Verde Capital, a fund invested in Dutchie, voiced, “Cannabis is one of the most compelling investments of our generation and Dutchie is meeting the growing demands of customers and businesses for seamless online ordering, deliveries, and payments - especially during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Dutchie gives cannabis businesses of any size a distinct advantage to compete online and their massive growth continues to validate the scalable nature of the business model,” he concluded.