The U.S. cannabis industry is projected to be worth $100 billion USD by 2030, and MERCHtender is dedicated to helping smaller cannabis brands get their piece of the pie.
At a time in our nation’s history when we could very well see the federal legalization of marijuana happen within the next couple of years, MERCHtender gives the “moms and pops” of cannabis farmers, distributors, and brands a boost by helping them to better connect with their customers and each other.
Created by Jean Rousseau and Sean Knight, two friends who share a love for technology, cannabis, and branding, MERCHtender was born at the height of the pandemic. Over 1,000 miles apart and only seeing each other in person once in two years due to COVID restrictions, Jean and Sean are providing resources and support that could soon be overrun by Big canna-Business.
MERCHtender was originally intended to guide canna brands through everything from concept and branding to merchandise manufacturing and promotion.
“To boil it down to its essence, it’s like ‘you do flower, we’ll do merch’,” Jean explains, clarifying MERCHtender as a ‘non-flower touching’ business, “The merch stuff is a full-time undertaking, and it’s shocking how so few brands have merch figured out. We realize that brands are all spending more money and time than they probably have the ability to. We think that that process can be simplified for them by working with us and making us a part of their team.”
“We initially explored it more from the B2B side, thinking that the service would really be just us behind-the-scenes working with the brands,” Jean continues, “And then we had an epiphany: once we’ve created this merchandise for these brands, how about we also help them sell these items?”
And the concept for an actual on demand marketplace, the MERCHtender marketplace, was born. On demand means no minimum order requirements, no set-up fees, no inventory and no shipping to manage.
Now, MERCHtender is a fully realized “merchandise solution,” offering canna brands a variety of promotional, non-flower merchandise—from branded rolling papers to coffee mugs to apparel—as well as providing a space for cannabis aficionados and fans to purchase from their favorite brands and discover new ones.
With the cannabis industry getting more crowded by the day, “mom and pop” farmers and retailers need every edge to stand out from the pack. That’s where MERCHtender comes in. The California-based startup offers a merchandise distribution platform that helps their clients focus on what they do best while promoting their brands to cannabis aficionados worldwide.
As MERCHtender co-founder Sean Knight says, “Big businesses are rolling in…It’s important to help the little guys any way that we can.”
Here’s the full inside story of how MERCHtender came to be, and why their founders are fighting to preserve the cultural history surrounding cannabis. READ MORE HERE.
Header photograph courtesy of Chantele Leatherwood.