(Screengrab via AKCannex)
There's a new commodity exchange seeking to fill a void in Alaska's cannabis industry. The new exchange is called the Alaska Cannabis Commodities Exchange, or AKCannex. According to the AKCannex homepage, the exchange's role is to "facilitate transactions between licensed cultivators, manufacturers and retailers in the legal Alaska marijuana industry."
AKCannex is positioning itself to be "Alaska's wholesale marijuana marketplace," allowing cultivators and retailers in the state to have a more streamlined transaction process instead of timely phone calls.
A Tool for Hedging
The benefit for cannabis growers is not just the convenience, it's the potential for product price improvement. Just as the NYMEX allows drillers like Exxon to lock in prices for their crude oil production, AKCannex allows cultivators the ability to "sell their goods at a fixed price, or they may use an auction format to encourage competitive bidding."
That benefit of potential price improvement also extends to the cannabis retailers. The ability to bid on competitively priced wholesale marijuana allows them to pay the market price rather than an arbitrary or inflated rate.
The new platform also allows the two parties to communicate back and fourth for negotiations. "Sellers define payment and transportation terms on their posts," and once deal terms are agreed upon, both parties get a purchase agreement outlining all the details of the transaction.
Beyond just the parties involved in the transaction, cannabis commodities exchanges will help the whole industry. The increased price transparency of a centralized exchange will help the entire cannabis industry by offering pricing benchmarks, historical transaction data and more.
While AKCannex is the only exchange of its kind operating in Alaska, there are other companies serving similar roles in other states with legal marijuana industries.
A "B2B cannabis e-commerce platform," LeafLink just raised a $3 million in a seed financing round to expand to green states beyond Colorado and Washington, which they currently serve. Other companies looking to create the leading B2B cannabis platform include Amercanex, ReUP and more.
While AKCannex is the first exchange to target the Alaskan marijuana industry, it is too early to tell which of all the B2B cannabis platforms will become the leader. The inability to move marijuana across state lines keeps the markets fragmented, making each state just one piece of a larger pie.