March 3, 2015
“I come from an enterprise background. I lived in a corporate world for about six years, and to go from that world with all of your professionalism into the cannabis world is tough,” says Zach Marburger, CEO and founder of CannaBuild.
But tough isn’t impossible, and Marburger is a dedicated entrepreneur who knows what he’s doing; he’s already had a few successful ventures under his belt. In fact, he had just sold one of his previous companies when he got the idea to start CannaBuild.
He moved out to Colorado and thought that the dispensaries were interesting. Namely, though, he saw a lot of opportunity for success.
So, he dug into the legal cannabis industry through Arc View, who helped him raise capital for CannaBuild. But more importantly it connected him with major players in the industry like Leslie Bocskor, among others.
The feedback and counsel Marburger received was monumental, and it led him to formulate a virtual budtending experience. However, that was his first iteration, and it was too much to handle.
Consumers didn’t want that kind of attention, and dispensaries didn’t have the resources to make it happen. So, he sat down and began workout out precisely what his end goal was: get somebody to order something through the session.
As he thought, Marburger realized that customer support wasn’t the way to accomplish this goal though. Rather, he pivoted towards the world of transactional tools.
“I saw that there was a disconnect between consumers and cannabis,” says Marburger. “If you wanted information about the cannabis, you had to go directly into the stores.”
CannaBuild was adapted to sit in between the consumer and the dispensary in the form of a transactional API. Other companies like MJ Freeway have positioned themselves in similar situations, accessing inventory data through apps linked to hundreds of inventory points.
But Marburger recognized that the POS system is the one, singular inventory point that holds all the relevant data. On one end, CannaBuild connects directly to a dispensary POS system, and on the other end it faces the consumer.
Think of it this way: some companies make money when they process an order. Right now these companies have “X” dispensaries in San Francisco, but if they want more data they would have to send their sales reps to out-of-state locations to connect with dispensary owners and manually connect.
Or, they could tie into the CannaBuild platform and access hundreds of partnered dispensaries through the SaaS. As long as these companies use the CannaBuild API they can tie in data from any affiliated dispensary POS system.
When a newly designed cannabis app, like the WHAXY app built on CannaBuild, connects to a dispensary they can request access to the data. From that point on it will help build out the smaller app while fortifying the dispensary – it’s a win-win situation for everybody.
As they keep working towards success, CannaBuild is hoping to also implement an online ordering button that also ties into their API. In a sense, Marburger wants to unite all of the legal cannabis markets via dispensaries, via data.
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