A slew of cannabis software services has cropped up with the advent of marijuana legalization, from point-of-sale systems to advertising networks to product-review platforms. As businesses angle for a piece of the cannabis-tech pie, retailers have a lot of options to choose from.
The big problem with all these services? None of them talk to each other. And that’s what Baker, a CRM and e-commerce platform, is hoping to address with the launch of its new API.
The API currently has 25 integrations, including point-of-sale systems (MJ Freeway, Green Bits, Flowhub), product reviews (Leafly, PotGuide, Cannabiscope), and digital signage providers (BudtenderTV, BudBoard, GreenScreens).
“We’re not generating revenue off of this,” said Baker CEO Joel Milton, explaining that the company will not charge for API calls. “This is purely designed to add value for our clients.”
As Baker expanded to more than 800 dispensaries, the company started seeing similar challenges facing its clients across nearly 20 state markets.
If a retailer wants to list its menu on Leafly, Weedmaps and PotGuide, a staffer has to manually enter and update the information in each of those platforms. Not only does this take up valuable man-hours, it increases the chance of human error that can lead to disgruntled consumers (“but Leafly said you had that product in stock!”).
Baker’s API and integrations makes life a lot easier for dispensaries, while also getting rid of a barrier to adoption for many businesses in its software ecosystem. Its partners will have access (with a retailer’s permission) to real-time inventory and customer data. Dispensaries will be able to use the data to better understand what’s working for their business.
“We are so happy to partner with Baker to build an integration,” Scott Daly, VP of client services at MJ Freeway, said in a statement. “Like Baker, we want to provide more value to our clients and working together has allowed us to create a more effective and efficient solution for the industry.”
The API is semi-public and Baker is vetting its partners. “We’re looking for best-in-breed tech vendors for our clients,” said Milton.
He also emphasized that no personal customer data is being shared, and the information is secured on HIPAA-compliant servers. “We don’t want to make [the API] completely public,” said Milton.
While data in the cannabis industry can be sensitive for legal reasons, Milton explained that Baker’s API can help a dispensary’s secure its data. “[Retailers] are not tech companies and it’s not right to ask them to handle [data security] on their own.”
Meanwhile, Milton says Baker isn’t looking to enter the point-of-sale market. “We’re proudly enhancing our relationships with all the other points of sale… and [making] that data available to these other tools who want to build software on top of it.”
The API launch comes two months after Baker announced it had raised an $8 million Series A round. The company just opened new offices in Seattle and Los Angeles and moved into a new headquarters in Denver.
“Baker is not just a CRM company anymore,” said Milton.