Christopher Dell’Olio is a 24-year-old entrepreneur with a passion for the cannabis industry. He is currently the CEO and co-founder of WebJoint, a software platform for cannabis retailers and brands. Established in 2014, WebJoint has become an industry-leading software provider for delivery services in the California cannabis industry and has since raised $4.5 million in VC funding.
After spending almost a decade developing web applications and software for his own startups, Chris knows what true innovation, security, and scalability consist of-and it’s not about being the unicorn of cannabis software or being first to market. It’s about truly connecting, creating a community and being the most passionate while maintaining execution.
I began building websites for dispensaries back in 2014 alongside my business partner, Art Abrahamian. As we built more and more websites, we identified an opportunity to build business management software that serviced retail operators in cannabis and kept them compliant with the state.
I will be speaking about the direct-to-consumer issue that we've identified here in California and why operators in Michigan need to be thinking about the direct-to-consumer issue as the state begins retail operations.
What is the direct-to-consumer issue exactly?
Brands have marketing dollars and loyal consumer bases in the 10,000s+ but cannot fulfill the order (only retail operators can). Retailers do not have the same marketing power as brands, but are the only ones that can fulfill orders. Consumers know what brands they want, but don’t know which retailer to purchase from.
As cannabis brands continue to grow, retail operators are going to want to know which products/brands to carry so they can sell more product. The future of the cannabis industry is following the direct to consumer model we see in other industries (postmates, grubhub, ubereats, etc.). That way, it's easier for the consumer to find the product they want, the brand can streamline the buying experience for their consumers, and retailers can increase their sales by leveraging the marketing efforts of the brands.
To achieve the direct-to-consumer model, brands must connect with retailers and vice-versa. Finally, retailers must be provided the tools they need to operate efficiently and maximize the opportunity for order fulfillment.