Coming soon: new online marketplace to minimise risk of trading CBD
B2B platform designed to fill a perceived gap in the market by making cannabinoids ‘less boring’, reports CBD-Intel
A new online trading platform will soon facilitate B2B CBD transactions within the EU, filling a gap the company behind it says has so far remained almost unbridged.
The Atalis platform will be launched by London-based cannabis market intelligence company Prohibition Partners in October – initially just as a “shop window” for sellers. It will then open registrations for buyers before the end of 2022.
Atalis will be one of the first dedicated cannabinoid B2B (business-to-business) marketplaces and will bring a new approach to B2B sales by de-commoditising the sale of products such as CBD, according to Barbara Pastori, the project’s director of strategy and data.
The website will provide information on brands and products after they have been tested. Data on the products will be displayed at batch level so buyers will know exactly what they are getting.
By allowing for a detailed description of properties at batch level, Atalis will give sellers an opportunity to explain what their product is about and help buyers make informed choices, Pastori said.
Other platforms have so far applied a commodity approach to cannabis, which is not suitable because properties are not the same for every product, she said. “You’d need standardisation for that. Oil is always the same, a commodity crop is always the same, and nobody cares about their brand. Cannabis is different.”
To make Atalis different, products sold on it will have to have – at minimum – a test for cannabinoid content at batch level, while buyers will be able to double check what they buy through test purchases.
“Cannabis is a live product and inconsistencies can happen,” Pastori said. “This is why buyers will be able to purchase the test and if the product is not fine they will get a full refund.”
All platform users will be able to test their products through one single ISO 17025-certified lab, Pastori said. This would be done at subsidised rates such as €35 for a microbiological test, she added.
As a launch promotion, the first sellers who subscribe to the platform won’t pay any transaction fees and will get free tests. Those who bring their own clients to the platform will not have to pay transaction fees, helping them set up their store.
Pastori hopes the greater array of information will help to combat the misinformation and resulting stigma the industry faces.
“Because cannabis is under such spotlight, I sometimes say that what we want to do is make it boring,” she said. “We worked on how to minimise the risk so that people can focus on more interesting aspects, such as what they want to buy.”
Pastori added that Atalis was initially intended to be a data platform, but its purpose changed based on companies’ requests and interests. After conducting interviews with around 70 companies, the platform’s creators realised there was a widespread need among both buyers and sellers with business in Europe for clearer information and safer and cheaper transactions.
“We would keep receiving requests from producers who had no access to buyers and, on the other hand, food and wellness companies who had trouble finding compliant producers,” Pastori said.
Now the hope is that tracking the transactions generated by the platform will enable Prohibition Partners to increase market knowledge.
“When we aggregate transactions on the platform, this will also help generate data and, once a critical mass is reached, we will be able to generate trends,” Pastori said.
The dataset on market activity generated by this process will make it possible for sellers and buyers to make data-driven decisions, using customisable dashboards and charts.
“We call this Atalis iQ,” Pastori said. “It’s something that is sorely lacking in the European cannabis industry, especially at wholesale level.”
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