A new weed app for the iOS promises to track cannabis products down to individual SKUs.
Last week, California-based Jane Technologies launched the Jane app for Apple devices. According to a press release, the app enables “users to discover products based on local inventory, verified reviews, feelings & effects, and personalized recommendations.”
OK, that’s all pretty standard stuff for weed shopping services. What makes Jane unique?
“We’ve been a boring company for some time, and we’ve been focused on developing proprietary technology,” Socrates Rosenfeld, the CEO and founder of Jane Technologies, told Tech Crunch.
“And we have a lot of IP now that can cleanse and locate a single SKU in real time,” he continued. “So, to put that in perspective, we’ve seen many tech providers struggle with finding a specific SKU sitting on a store shelf in real time.”
For the readers fortunate enough to have never worked in retail, an SKU or stock keeping unit is a scannable code attached to commercial goods. This code maintains inventory records by tracking where the product goes, where it’s located, and where it’s sold.
In regulated cannabis markets, all licensed pot shops can only sell products stringently tracked by statewide inventory systems. Not only does this normalize the weed industry like any other retail business, it also ensures licensed operators aren’t double-dealing by diverting cannabis products to illicit street dealers.
While SKUs are great for maintaining compliance to state law, they’re convenient for pot shoppers, too. According to Rosenfeld, the Jane app can prevent short inventory headaches. For instance, many cannabis stores don’t regularly update their website menus. With the Jane app, even if a store doesn’t update its menu, the app can still tell a user whether or not a specific product is available there, such as that particular strain someone hunts for every week, or an edible someone only enjoys in a particular flavor.
The Jane app also contains a Collections feature. According to a release, Collections allows users to personalize their shopping recommendations based on their preferences. In other words, the app can feed users new product suggestions for sleep, energy, or giggles, if that’s what they’re looking for.
“Now we have the foundation upon which we can layer on a marketplace and provide a shopping experience that we think is the shopping experience for how people will shop for cannabis for generations to come because it replicates other CPG verticals like Amazon and Drizzly," Rosenfeld said.
Regardless of what Jane can do, this latest release signals a sea change with digital apps and popular mobile operating systems. In 2021, Apple began allowing cannabis shopping and delivery apps on its iOS devices, after maintaining a strict ban on anything cannabis related for years. Meanwhile, Google and Facebook continue to discriminate against cannabis businesses and consumers, despite legalization at the state levels.
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