Jessica McKeil   |   October 26, 2022

How Two Legacy Operators Are Changing the Technology Behind Cannabis Delivery

After making nearly 1 million deliveries, this cannabis delivery company is changing the game.
Jessica McKeil is a cannabis writer based in British Columbia, Canada. She has a passion for cannabis tech and scientific breakthroughs, which has led her to work with some of the industry's biggest brands. She is the owner and lead-writer…

"You want to control your own data, you want to control your own SEO, and you want to have the technology be nimble enough to launch new segments - to customize." At least, that's what Jessie May wants from any technology that supports cannabis delivery.

Jessie and her partner, Robert Spearin, are co-founders of Mountain Remedy, a cannabis delivery company in the Bay Area. Throughout making nearly a million deliveries, they experienced more than a few frustrations with the status quo.

Now at the helm of Greenrush, a technology platform for delivery companies, Jessie and Robert are working to put control over the delivery experience back into the hands of the businesses and brands serving cannabis consumers. 

From a Delivery Service to a Delivery Service Technology Company

Jessie and Robert are longtime players in California's cannabis industry. Over the years, they have witnessed the state evolve from the Wild West into the world's largest legal weed market (The Economist).

Along the way, they have experienced both the highs and lows of the market's evolution. They've weathered the storm of legalization, the unexpected adjustments of COVID-19, and now the post-pandemic downturns better than most.

How? They have always been ahead of the curve when it comes to market trends. Long before delivery became cool during the COVID lockdowns, Jessie and Robert had established Mountain Remedy, a cannabis delivery company in an ever-expanding number of neighborhoods in and around Oakland, California.

Established in 2017, Mountain Remedy quickly became the region's go-to source for cannabis delivery, thanks in part to Jessie and Robert’s push to customize the backend software they were using — Greenrush — to better fit the delivery model.

Mountain Remedy became Greenrush's number one client, and eventually, Jessie and Robert became outright owners when they bought the company during the pandemic. Now, they are taking their direct experience as a last-mile delivery service and applying it to the Greenrush platform.

Through their leadership, Greenrush has been specifically designed to solve the real-world challenges of cannabis delivery. It's not a repurposed technology from the dispensary side of the industry—instead, it's tailored to specifically support cannabis deliveries.

Jessie explains that they developed it to be "easy from the start, almost like a template," customizable not just for their own purposes but soon for other companies in the delivery space. It is a true plug-and-play platform. 

All the frustrations Jessie and Rob have had over the years running a cannabis delivery service in California have been channeled into improving Greenrush.

That means an ability to manage multiple inventory locations, a secure and siloed customer database, detailed intelligence to drive marketing efforts, and better facilitation of customer communications.

Out With the Old, In with the New: Green Rush Puts Businesses Back in Control

The choice to pivot into cannabis delivery technology wasn't spontaneous. It was a need for more control over their future.

As anyone in recreational cannabis knows all too well, the only marketing strategy available to many cannabis businesses has been Weedmaps. The eCommerce platform has become the default way for dispensaries and delivery companies to get noticed by customers.

But Jessie saw the red flags with Weedmaps as far back as 2018. As the platform wrestled more and more profits out of them, "taking a chunk out of every single sale," Mountain Remedy was noticeably not getting any better returns. They didn't get any better customer data, data security, or access to important metrics like impressions and conversions.

After bidding started, and Jessie saw her advertising costs on Weedmaps more than double in a year, it became apparent that for all but the largest investor-back brands, Weedmaps was no longer a feasible marketing strategy.

Today, Weedmaps is more of a necessary evil than a useful marketing strategy. Many retailers, brands, and delivery services have found that having all their eggs in the Weedmaps basket essentially puts a third party in control of their business, puts their employees at risk, and dilutes customer service.

Jessie knew that a better tech solution had to "offer advertising that is free from the constraints of typical weed advertising – which is basically just Weedmaps." It had to be individualized and support SEO so that delivery companies could build their own business and not rely on a third-party website.

Again, just as they were ahead of the curve with delivery, Jessie and Robert made a choice to go all in on an alternative platform: Greenrush.

Foresight Into Market Trends Helps Weather the Downturn

You could say it was sheer luck that led this team to where they are now, but their track record says otherwise. They have long been pioneers in consumer trends and technological pivots.

Both Mountain Remedy and Greenrush are weathering the storm of post-pandemic spending habits and high inflation rates by staying in control of their data and in tune with their customers.

How? Jessie shared a few lessons learned from the past few years:

Marketing Intelligence

To start, she crunched the numbers on every marketing channel. What made sense? What wasn't demonstrating real ROI? This, of course, was made easier thanks to the invaluable insights supported by Greenrush.

Ongoing Consumer Insights

Secondly, she continually monitored the preferences and needs of their user base. This is a core tenet from their legacy days. They intimately know their customers.

Jessie highlights a recent customer survey they conducted, with over a thousand responses. It helped determine what products they brought in and allowed them to address any pain points.

Control Over the Customer Journey

Finally, because their delivery company is no longer beholden to the whims of a third party, Mountain Remedy actually has control over its customer data. That means Jessie has increased the ability to directly advertise to those customers.

She also gets insights into impressions, clicks, and other basic tenets of SEO to constantly improve the customer experience from the very first click. 

Legacy Players Making Positive Change for Cannabis Delivery

Jessie is a strong advocate for all the companies persevering through California's market turmoil. She believes that "there are a lot of big players coming into this industry, and they are making it very difficult for some to stay afloat. The more people are working together as one, the more it's helpful for everybody."

And it's largely through this lens that the Greenrush model has taken shape. It's an easy plug-and-play model that makes it easy to manage inventory, data, and customer communications, yet it remains nimble and highly customizable.

Greenrush is keeping each delivery company in control of its own business, from advertising efforts to customer data. And in the end, it keeps everyone throughout the last mile of delivery happier and safer. Jessie and Robert are planning to open the Greenrush solution to others in the cannabis delivery industry soon.

 

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