By Socrates Rosenfeld, CEO and Co-Founder, Jane Technologies

Marketplace technologies, the services that create a two-sided network connecting supply-side sellers with demand-side consumers, are often praised for their ability to provide curation and convenience for consumers while helping sellers extend their digital footprint to reach more people. 

But at what cost?

We’ve started to realize that often these marketplaces have a downside. Popular ride-sharing companies provide unparalleled convenience for consumers, but routinely underpay their drivers and refuse to provide benefits. Food delivery services have boosted take-out business, but their commission fees eat into a restaurant’s bottom line. A majority of independent retailers see large popular online marketplaces as a major threat to their survival, and only a small percentage of sellers have a successful experience. Certain marketplaces have even gone as far as to take its third-party seller’s data to copy products and rig search results in favor of its own sales.

As it matures, the cannabis industry continues to be in a unique place and has the opportunity to become a trailblazer by proving that online marketplaces and sellers can achieve more equitable partnerships that benefit all parties. The cannabis industry is serving as an incubator for what the future of omnichannel retail will look like. It is coming of age in a digital world, with no outdated analog systems to replace. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing practices have pushed more businesses online through e-commerce platforms. It’s clear that technology will be a major influencer in how the cannabis industry is shaped.

Emerging cannabis marketplaces – along with the retailers, brands, and consumers that do business with them – must be careful not to repeat the mistakes that create a “zero-sum" game where technology competes with retailers and brands. Instead, I believe we have the opportunity to reimagine a marketplace model that supports all stakeholders.

What could that look like?

Seller Fees Are Fair

Ever-increasing service fees are slowly draining small businesses. Take restaurant apps. …

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