It may have taken six years, but but B2B cannabis platform LeafLink just crossed the $1 billion transaction threshold as its payments solutions, like the cannabis industry itself, continue to mature and grow.
According to the company’s Wednesday (Sept. 21) press release, LeafLink now provides payments transactions for over 1,700 operators in 22 different markets, with more growth and business services expected to follow.
“LeafLink looks to the future of cannabis and constantly strives to elevate the ways retailers and brands transact with each other,” LeafLink CEO and Co-Founder Ryan G. Smith said in the release. “As cannabis rapidly evolves, it is essential that our platform keeps up with the changing needs of our customers as we provide critical liquidity to the industry.”
LeafLink’s platform offers flexible and direct payments that let retailers and brands choose when and how they get paid, according to the release.
The platform also streamlines other parts of operations for brands, distributors and retailers with tools that help them create, manage, pay for and ship their orders.
“Not only has LeafLink’s financial offerings enabled us to schedule out our cashflow with ease,” Jake Brookes, COO of Ladybug Farms said, but the company’s “easy-to-navigate platform and full flexibility and outlook into pricing, confirmations and AR availability” has been a positive asset for his business too.
In addition to reaching the payments milestone, LeafLink processed $5 billion in annual orders last year, accounting for 42% of the wholesale cannabis trade in the United States, compared to $1 billion in annualized orders and 16% of all U.S. wholesale cannabis orders just three years ago.
“We are incredibly proud to reach the $1 billion milestone in payments transactions and look forward to further expanding the LeafLink community in the coming years,” Smith said.
To be sure, there are still challenges facing this industry, not least of which is the fact that the federal government has not updated its statutes and still considers cannabis to be a Class-1 controlled substance, a reality that poses challenges concerning payment processing or even deposits by retailers at any financial institution that has a federal charter.
That said, as PYMNTS reported in July, recreational or adult-use cannabis is now legal in 18 states, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, while another 13 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands have decriminalized its use. Several other states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have approved marijuana for medical use. Canada, Mexico and numerous foreign countries have also established regulated marijuana markets, in a trend that has spawned its own cottage industry of business services, ranging from legal advice to taxation to community relations, banking and even employee benefits and retirement plans, all of which cater to the unique regulatory and financial needs of cannabis growers, processors, distributors and more.
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