October 17, 2018
Weed Advisor first to offer a legal, retail credit card platform for cannabis products in Canada
TORONTO--Weed Advisor, a cannabis platform service that supplies the latest access to products, information, business solutions and consumer insights to the cannabis industry, has launched a first-to-market legal retail credit card payment processing platform for hundreds of products and counting, available at weedadvisor.com.
While other online cannabis-focused sites offer sales through e-transfers, C.O.D. transactions and third-party channels such as PayPal, as of Canadian cannabis legalization today, Weed Advisor will offer the same type of PCI compliant transactions utilized to purchase music, furniture, computer hardware & software, food & beverage, and clothing, to name a few industries – virtually everything people have come to grow accustomed to when buying online.
"Consumers look for convenience, insurance and a sense of overall security when shopping online – regardless of the product or service they plan to purchase," says Gregory Luciani, President and CEO of Weed Advisor. "Legalization doesn't always equate to a comfort level of use, which is exactly the problem we are addressing, as industry-wide understanding continues to evolve. We're providing a trusted source for online purchasing that offers significant options and substance."
This allows Weed Advisor to offer direct consumer benefits, as well as a quick and simple sales channel for retailers that may or may not have a bricks-and-mortar presence. Once a license is legally produced and accepted by Weed Advisor, it is just a matter of hours that products are filtered – as another legal step in the process – at the Weed Advisor site and ready for sale.
"This is a new business frontier in Canada, so we were careful in our approach to building block partnerships," says Danny Gurizzan, Chief Executive Officer at PSP Card Services. "Weed Advisor's offerings, original approach and ongoing commitment to customer service align with our own business model, which is why we chose to work with their team right out of the gate."
Supported through multi-million dollars of investment through private equity firms, the initial rollout of the credit card payment processing platform will immediately provide select offerings upon legalization, while products will continue to be added to the in-stock listings going forward.
An early adopter and partner of the Weed Advisor platform is Snowy River International, a world-renowned cyber security firm based out of Alberta that critically ensures safe sharing of information and cyber integrity.
"Snowy River International prides itself on our work behind safety of web-based transactions," says Wayne Ronhaar, CEO of Snowy River International. "Adding our expertise to the Weed Advisor experience in this evolving cannabis market assures we are resilient and responsive to customer needs."
Two other timely initiatives that complement the new payment processing platform include:
> In-house Weed Advisor financing options for businesses interested in the company's proprietary B2B and B2C suite of solutions; and
> Soon-to-be-offered Weed Advisor credit cards, offering all the benefits and security of your typical credit card.
Along with its payment platform initiative, Weed Advisor also conducted an independent national survey through its extensive database to identify and explore trends within the Canadian consumer marketplace.
Three key findings reveal:
Despite potential for lack of brand familiarity with new, wide ranging options, 63 per cent of respondents say this won't keep them from purchasing through dispensaries and online sites, citing the upside of safety, stability, ingredient information, and a chance to try something new.
> Legalization will open doors to friends trying/re-connecting with cannabis, according to 60 per cent of those surveyed, based on the ideas surrounding increased access and acceptance.
> Due to long-term stereotyping and decades of negativity around cannabis use, 85 per cent believe a certain stigma will remain even after legalization.
Other survey results include:
> 25 per cent plan to purchase cannabis using all three main channels – their black market source, dispensaries and online
> "Only through web-based sales" shows the most individual promise for sales at 27 per cent, with "only at dispensaries" at 26 per cent and "only via black market" at 23 per cent
> 62 per cent are somewhat informed about the new street laws, but feel it's too early to truly tell what will take place regarding enforcement of legal specifics
> "Clearly, Canadians have strong opinions on legalization and their approach to the changing environment around cannabis," says Krishnan Wignarajah, Chief Operating & Information Officer at Weed Advisor. "It's encouraging to see definitive positions taken and especially motivating for the industry since there is strong support for dispensaries and online purchasing. It speaks to Canada's open-minded approach to this ground-breaking position on acceptance."