Marijuana supply chain gets a B2B market
Legal pot suppliers and distributors in California now have a home to do business in the cloud. Today PlainView Systems LLC of Sonoma, Calif. launched its Compassionate Care Marketplace so licensed medical marijuana growers and dispensaries can more efficiently get their drugs to patients.
Although undoubtedly a disappointment to some, Plainview CEO John Lee cautions, "This is not an eBay for weed."
Given the ever-changing nature medical marijuana laws in the Golden State, Lee claims PlainView will give both growers and outlets "complete compliance and transparency" in regards to local and state laws. For example, California Proposition 215, which made medical marijuana legal, permits a licensed individual to have a minimum of six pot plants, but Sonoma county allows up to 31 plants.
Adding to the complexity of the law are the various efficacious effects of marijuana that dispensaries must manage for patients. That is, some pot prescribed to help people with pain or appetite management may need higher or lower levels of the THC or cannabinoids found in the plant. Matching a dispensary's patients' drug needs with available inventory can be daunting, Lee says.
Adding to that issue is the way in which patients consume pot. Some cannot smoke it, so they must receive it in ingestible form, such as through brownies; others with problems eating need to smoke it.
A major goal of the Compassionate Care Marketplace is to assure that the right type of the drug in the right form in proper quantities is available for those with legal access to pot, Lee says.
He says that PlainView also hopes to reduce the cash-oriented nature of the business today, which makes it more difficult for governments to oversee the market. The Compassionate Care Marketplace accepts only credit cards, electronic bank transfers and is working on a PayPal process. As such, Lee hopes to make it easier for local governments to tax the market as the city of Oakland has initiated.
The Compassionate Care Marketplace is a subscription based B2B market starting at $240 for six months, $300 for a full year. A 4% fee is also applied to each transaction.
September 8, 2009 - 2:46 P.M.
Mark Everett Hall
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