This company is the future of cannabis e-commerce
by Jason Smith
• Namaste Technologies wants to be “Your Everything Cannabis Store”
• Company employs AI and machine learning to optimize shopping experience
• A global revenue platform from over 30 countries that’s primed for growth
As countries across the globe either implement or debate some form of cannabis legalization, the race is on among cannabis companies to best capitalize on this growing market.
With the slogan “Your Everything Cannabis Store,” Namaste Technologies Inc. (TSX.V: N), aims to provide patients and customers with one-stop online shopping for all things cannabis. To that end, it has developed a technology platform that is already using AI and machine learning to enhance the user experience.
The company came into being as an online seller of cannabis consumption devices, including vaporizers and smoking accessories. It has online storefronts in over 30 countries, including Canada, the U.K., and Australia. That presence has allowed Namaste to build a database of over 1.5 million customers, with a high level of crossover for cannabis sales, as it becomes legal in various countries.
“Namaste is already successful as the largest online retailer of cannabis accessories and soon, in Canada, we are going to be the premier source for medicinal cannabis products as well.” — Kory Zelickson, Co-Founder, VP of Business Development and IR, Namaste Technologies
Health Canada Approval Imminent for Medical Cannabis Sale License
Canada remains a key market for Namaste and it is on the verge of receiving a Health Canada license for its CannMart site, which will allow for online fulfillment of medical marijuana prescriptions.
According to Namaste Co-Founder and VP of Development & IR Kory Zelickson, receipt of the license is imminent. “On July 31, we had our final inspection from Health Canada. We’re just waiting on an inspection report and we’re expecting to get our license in the very near future,” says Zelickson. Once that happens, Namaste will become the first non-producer distributor to sell cannabis through the medical market.
The company will wed that online ordering platform with NamasteMD, the company’s Health Canada-approved app for medical marijuana consultations. NamasteMD aims to provide anyone with internet access to access for free medical consultations. Patients will then be able to take their prescriptions to the CannMart site to find the best cannabis product for their condition.
Zelickson comments, “We’re making it easy for people to get their prescriptions online through the computer almost in real time, and we’re creating a marketplace where consumers can access a wide range of different cannabis strains, without having to bounce back and forth between licensed producers.”
Patients will soon have a seamless experience, where they can get their prescription online and then fill their prescriptions on the CannMart site. It’s a strategy for growth that Zelickson is excited about. “Namaste is already successful as the largest online retailer of cannabis accessories and soon, in Canada, we are going to be the premier source for medicinal cannabis products as well,” says Zelickson.
Using AI to Streamline the Shopping Experience
To make the shopping experience that much easier, Namaste recently bought Findify, a company that uses AI to analyze user behavior on websites. Namaste was initially a customer of Findify, but they had such a good experience with their services that they decided to buy the company.
The company plans to use Findify’s AI to study the impact of cannabis strains on medical patients so that its CannMart site can make better recommendations. Zelickson comments, “We envision a platform that will be able to recommend strains better than an actual doctor.”
To collect that information, Namaste has rolled out the Uppy Cannabis Journal — an online app that captures user data and user feedback on their experiences with various cannabis strains. Combined with the AI supplied by Findify, Namaste believes the Uppy data will help customers to identify the best strains for their symptoms.
A Platform for International Growth
Using Canada as its model, Namaste believes it can bring a similar shopping experience to other countries as medical and recreational cannabis legalization accelerates. Key among those markets will be the U.K. and Australia, where Namaste already has a base with its online vaping and smoking accessories sites.
In the U.K. alone, the company has several hundred thousand cannabis accessory customers that will be prime targets for cannabis sales as legalization progresses. Zelickson notes that the UK and Australia are both larger than the Canada market, adding “our goal is to launch a NamasteMD/CannMart-style platform in markets where we already operate.”
With an AI-enhanced shopping experience that is on the cusp of being a one-stop-shop for medical marijuana patients in Canada, Namaste (TSXV: N) appears ideally positioned for growth in this burgeoning market.