Cannabis Business Management Platform Leaf Trade Raises $4.5M

By: ELLEN GLOVER

Leaf Trade, a platform that streamlines orders and inventory management in the rapidly growing cannabis industry, raised $4.5 million this week.

Co-founder and CEO James Yi, a Chicago native, developed the idea for Leaf Trade after Illinois legalized medical cannabis in 2013. He spoke with some people who were operating dispensaries and learned that communication with vendors was often time-consuming and inefficient.

“If you were a retail dispensary and you needed to stock your shelves with products, you were literally just texting all of the cultivators in your respective market asking, ‘Hey, are you guys live yet? What products do you have?’ And it often took a week or two for a single delivery to arrive,” Yi said. “Both parties were spending half their time just managing these orders. That was really a lightbulb moment for us.”

Leaf Trade was created to be a one-stop-site for businesses in the cannabis industry to optimize their supply chains and integrate inventory management systems. The platform allows vendors to clearly communicate about their product to retailers and track the progress of their business. It also helps dispensaries build their brands and better monitor their transactions with suppliers and customers. 

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