Products

Insider Intelligence delivers leading-edge research to clients in a variety of forms, including full-length reports and data visualizations to equip you with actionable takeaways for better business decisions.
Reports
In-depth analysis, benchmarks and shorter spotlights on digital trends.
Learn More
Forecasts
Interactive projections with 10k+ metrics on market trends, & consumer behavior.
Learn More
Charts
Proprietary data and over 3,000 third-party sources about the most important topics.
Learn More
Industry KPIs
Industry benchmarks for the most important KPIs in digital marketing, advertising, retail and ecommerce.
Learn More
Briefings
Client-only email newsletters with analysis and takeaways from the daily news.
Learn More
Analyst Access Program
Exclusive time with the thought leaders who craft our research.
Learn More

About Insider Intelligence

Our goal at Insider Intelligence is to unlock digital opportunities for our clients with the world’s most trusted forecasts, analysis, and benchmarks. Spanning five core coverage areas and dozens of industries, our research on digital transformation is exhaustive.
Our Story
Learn more about our mission and how Insider Intelligence came to be.
Learn More
Methodology
Rigorous proprietary data vetting strips biases and produces superior insights.
Learn More
Our People
Take a look into our corporate culture and view our open roles.
Join the Team
Contact Us
Speak to a member of our team to learn more about Insider Intelligence.
Contact Us
Newsroom
See our latest press releases, news articles or download our press kit.
Learn More
Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities
Reach an engaged audience of decision-makers.
Learn More
Events
Browse our upcoming and past events, recent podcasts, and other featured resources.
Learn More
Podcasts
Tune in to eMarketer's daily, weekly, and monthly podcasts.
Learn More

US cannabis market provides greenfield for digital payment startups

Startups worth watching: Payment startups are tapping the cannabis industry with solutions aimed at digitizing the historically cash dependent sector.

  • CanPay. The Colorado-based startup’s app lets customers at more than 800 cannabis dispensaries make Automated Clearing House Payments (ACH) payments by scanning a QR code at checkout. Partner merchants are required to bank with CanPay-approved financial institutions (FI) that are compliant with federal guidelines.
  • SuperNet. Customers can use the fintech’s card to pay for products at 100 California dispensaries. SuperNet also processes transactions for the dispensaries and offers a loyalty program.
  • POSabit. The Washington-based fintech offers point-of-sale hardware and software for cannabis dispensaries. POSabit recently expanded into several states, including Georgia, Texas, and West Virginia.

Why it matters: The cannabis market is huge—but federal regulation prevents mainstream FIs from offering payment services to customers and merchants.

Legal cannabis sales in the US hit a record $17.5 billion in 2020—a 46% year-over-year (YoY) increase, per data from BDSA cited by Forbes. Overall sales are likely significantly larger if illicit marijuana sales are taken into account. Cannabis is also growing more popular as an investment: 43% of US investors currently hold at least one cannabis-related stock, according to a 2021 MagnifyMoney study.

But because cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, banks are hesitant to offer transaction services for the industry.

  • Legislators have tried to address this: The Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would prohibit federal regulators from penalizing FIs for serving legitimate cannabis-related businesses, has passed in the House six times—only to burn out in the Senate each time.
  • This is why major banks have yet to serve the cannabis sector—though smaller regional banks and credit unions tend to be “more comfortable” serving the market, Dan Muller, founder and CEO of digital payments firm Aeropay told Banking Dive.

The big takeaway: Startups like CanPay, SuperNet, and POSabit see an opportunity to fill the digital payments gap in the cannabis space.

The overwhelming majority of cannabis transactions (legal or not) are cash-based, per TechCrunch. This creates security issues for dispensaries, and managing these transactions requires a lot of time and effort. Offering digital payment acceptance and processing solutions can mitigate these issues—and the startups enabling those solutions can capitalize on a mostly untapped market.