There are so many technology bases businesses in the cannabis industry, each addressing a unique need. In this partner series, CUE Cannabis is speaking to Founders and owners within our network of partners.
CUE cannabis is a resource for dispensary owners, operators, cultivators, and anyone in the flower touching side of the business to find all the software that they need we can help you get connected with the best partners. We are highlighting not only what their business does but also what they are excited about for the future of the cannabis industry.
We recently caught up with dutchie’s Director of Strategic Partnership, Jon Bond to ask about dutchie mission to not only help dispensaries in this time of COVID-19 but also thrive. Strategies the cannabis industry as we move into the future with some of the e-commerce enablement, sustainability, and more. Check out the full written interview below.
Sean Glynn: welcome Jon, thanks for taking some time to meet with us today in our partner spotlight.
Jon Bond: Absolutely, I appreciate it, Sean, thanks for having us.
Sean Glynn: What Dutchie is enabling right now is ultra-important in the Cova-19 world. Jon, tell us about yourself and what you do at Dutchie and then some of Dutchie’s background and what you guys are up to you today.
Jon Bond: Ofcourse. My name is Jon Bond, and I appreciate you guys having us. I am Dutchie’s director of strategic partnerships, and I work hand in hand with a lot of our integration partners and ancillary partners that we work with obviously it being a super partnership heavy space it’s imperative we work for best-in-class organizations as we bring we like to think is a best-in-class solution to our customers.
Our CEO started one of the first online food ordering companies in the US when he was 19 years old while in Michigan State. Three years later, he sold that company to Grub and then moved to Canada, where he started Grub Canada, which became one of the largest online food ordering companies in Canada for about four years running. As you can see, we have a ton of experience in scaling a commercial or e-commerce consumer-facing platform. We brought that experience to the cannabis space where we are currently powering online ordering for over 1,100 dispensaries in the US and Canada both as their embedded menu and with our marketplace Dutchie.com
Sean Glynn: That’s great! I mean, that type of background is a crucial piece to Dutchie’s success. Let’s talk a little bit about delivery. Are you seeing anything with current or prospective clients where some of the states that are now allowing delivery? Are these dispensaries getting ramped up with delivery and leveraging Dutchie’s capabilities?
Jon Bond: Yeah, absolutely, and even more so now than ever. I say that is because there’s been no better example of how quickly things can change in terms of the industry then COVID-19. We saw about two and a half years of regulation change happen for about two weeks. An example of that is states like Colorado going to only online orders being accepted for a month and a half. Nevada switched to only delivery for about a month and a half. Even Michigan State passed a delivery ordinance on an emergency level that probably would have taken you a couple of years to get through legislation.
These are all things that won’t get undone, and it’s allowed us to support our dispensaries. Dutchie has the delivery logistics suite of tools on the back end that we have has helped our partners on that side.
Sean Glynn: Which states do you see the most traction in terms of implementing an online ordering solution?
Jon Bond: We operate in twenty-five states in the USA AND about 300 dispensaries in Canada; I would say that in terms of deliveries California, and Michigan has ramped up quite a bit. It’s really across the board since cannabis being deemed an essential business; we’ve seen a massive uptick over the last couple months in terms of the amount of orders that people are placing online versus coming into the store.
Cannabis has always been a fast-paced industry, and everything has been defined. We are very fortunate from infrastructure, technology, support, account management standpoint still to uphold the same level of service for our customers.
Sean Glynn: I can echo that statement. For us at CUE to recommend a partner like Dutchie, we do quite a bit of research- talk with your current clients current and make sure that all the bases are covered. Dutchie has consistently ranked high in all of those conversations with folks. CUE doesn’t allow anyone on our marketplace as we like to have the best-in-class, and Dutchie fits that bill so happy to be working with you guys.
How can Dispensaries take a step back from their different operations and take a hard look to make everything as efficient as possible? What advice do you have to those business operators, especially as it relates to like commerce, enablement, and delivery?
Jon Bond: We’ve always been solid in the stance that we want to focus on one thing and do it insanely and Integrate with other best-in-class technologies. Cannabis Industry is extremely fragmented in terms of restrictions that are placed on the business. We have a team of incredibly talented people who have fanatically focused on doing eCommerce the absolute best, so we have a best-in-class solution. We also like the idea that that partnership-based approach creates a ton of accountability for the individual partners. We integrate with every major point of sale as well as texting and loyalty platforms. If, for some reason, Dutchie isn’t living up to that standard, it’s effortless to move in another direction versus if we were handling all three of those for you and you like two of them you know that puts the customer in kind of a precarious spot as a dispensary. We offer our product at a price point where it makes it a no brainer, and knowing that other systems need support it has been, I think a huge part of you know our ability to get to the level of success we’ve had supporting our customers so far.
I’ll be the first to tell you that there’s nothing proprietary about e-commerce you know people have been doing it for a long time now. I will say that there are absolutely companies that can shorten that path from the time somebody decides they want to buy something to when they pull the trigger on it. Without going into too much detail that’s something, we pride ourselves on how we expeditiously release new features. For example, our new curbside notifications and scheduled orders for pickup and delivery features. Most dispensaries handle a lot of their deliveries themselves. It can result in negative customer experience if you get you to know your first 300 delivery orders at the beginning of the day, and you can only fill a hundred of them because of the way you have it staffed, and you might have 200 upset customers. We build features like being able to order limits, buy time slots of that scheduled order, accept X amount of orders to support the amount of staff operational—small things like that to make a massive impact. We got major features coming down the line as well that we’re excited. Help identify the KPIs and ROI that dispensers are looking at and determining whether or not they’re achieving their goals along the lines of retail optimization.
Sean Glynn: Here’s more of an industry question. I just wanted to get your take on it, given your role and access to the whole ecosystem from dispensary owners to all the different integration partners. How do you see the cannabis industry fitting into the global recovery going forward?
Jon Bond: From a social standpoint, it’s been great to see that we’re able to still get people their medicine in a timely manner, and dispensaries could stay open. There’s a lot of people that are using cannabis as a medicine for a particular element, so that’s going to continue, and I think there’s been higher importance placed on that. From an economic standpoint, there’s a lot of businesses that haven’t had the fortune of staying open over the last couple of months. The ability to keep people employed and provide an outlet with a sense of positivity in a world where a lot of things may not be the most positive at present has been a massive piece. I’ve always really enjoyed the cannabis industry is just the sense of community that’s created here, and I see Dutchie fitting into that really nicely. In cannabis, you’ll find a common denominator you don’t find in many other industries in terms of things that people have in common or that motivate them and a passion for the industry. Whether it’s the culture around the cannabis industry or the medicinal value of the plant or the ability to be a part of the fastest growing industry that we’ve seen in our lifetime, there’s a place for all of those people within the cannabis space. I’m a part of something that I can get behind I don’t feel like I’m dragging myself out of bed every day, and we work really hard to continue to instill that culture too.
Sean Glynn: That was all I had for you today, Jon is there anything else you wanted to share with the audience?
Jon Bond: As we are continuing to bring on dispensary partners, we’re excited to be able to grow with the industry. We’ve got some cool features without giving too much away coming in the next couple months that is going revolutionize the consumer shopping experience focusing on shopping behaviors. So keep an eye out for us over the next few months and obviously if you’re a dispensary that is in need or maybe has a solution already we always tell people we recommend that everyone uses every online ordering Avenue that they can if it’s going to make them money versus what they’re paying for it and it’s not going to be a pain to implement and so even if you have a solution currently please feel free to reach out to us we’d love to talk to you about it and have you featured you know on our platform for the consumers to find you yeah
Sean Glynn: That’s an excellent point. We’ll keep our eyes peeled. We love working with you and admiring everything you’re doing., we’ll make sure that we’re getting any potential dispensaries over to you. On a final note, I encourage dispensaries to please take a look at all of your aspects of operations, especially anything that touches the customer and allows them to purchase from you more accessible. That’s the reason, CUE wanted to get you guys spotlighted here today, so I appreciate your time today, Jon. We appreciate you and everything you’re doing in the cannabis space.
Thanks, Jon, for answering our questions!