By Sourasis Bose
(Reuters) – Square, a unit of fintech company Block Inc, said on Wednesday it would enter the Canadian cannabis market through a partnership with e-commerce platform Jane Technologies.
The payments processing firm — founded by Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter (now known as X) — said it would launch an early access program in the Ontario province for licensed dispensaries to test its retail point-of-sale offerings.
Those who sign-up with Square for payments systems in physical stores would also be able to use Jane’s platform for selling their products online, the companies said.
Jane had entered Canada by partnering pot firm High Tide in 2021.
“We are focusing on one province first as we want to take the time to get it right and then expand on something that is stable,” Roshan Jhunja, head of retail at Square, told Reuters.
Despite strong growth initially following legalization of pot in Canada in 2018, the country’s cannabis industry faces intense competition from cheaper marijuana that is sourced illegally.
The goal for the companies is to provide a platform to the sellers to make their products nearly as accessible as the illicit market, Jane CEO Socrates Rosenfeld told Reuters.
Last month, U.S. health officials had recommended easing restrictions on marijuana, the first step towards wider legalization in one of the biggest cannabis markets in the world.
Rosenfeld said when regulations would allow for it, Jane is prepared to move this partnership beyond Canadian borders.
(Reporting by Sourasis Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)