As the name of a quickly emerging upstart, CanIDeal has the sound of a question – nearly rhetorical in nature – with the simple answer of “Yes you can.” And you can get a leg up by utilizing CanIDeal’s new B2B platform that is clearly differentiated from its limited competition in design, scope and economics.

The abbreviated history of CanIDeal is already steeped with seasoned tech veterans lending their input and the team keeps getting stronger, with e-commerce guru former VP / CIO of Nike, Roland Paanakker joining their Advisory Board to guide and further hone the company’s digital platform.

Amazon of Wholesale Cannabis

When speaking three years ago to a cannabis broker about the idea of a robust B2B platform, CanIDeal CEO and founder Joseph Farruggia was surprised to learn that no such thing existed. He leapt at the opportunity, starting by consulting his uncle, Albert Maione. Maione has an important place in tech history, playing an integral role while a scientist at Bell Labs, now a part of Nokia (NYSE: NOK), as part of the team that turned voice into digital packets and sent them across fiber optic lines.

Fast-forward three years and the CanIDeal platform is live as a young Amazon of cannabis. The platform connects U.S.-based cultivators, dispensaries, processors and manufacturers in the legal cannabis industry, regardless of location. In fact, the program uses geo-fencing to identify a user’s location to ensure that all business is transacted under the laws for each individual state and any federal policy, where applicable.

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The CanIDeal platform provides all the necessary tools for a company’s online operations, including accounting tools for tracking orders and fulfillments, sales tax reporting, regulatory reporting, auditing and support for multiple forms of payment.

In a highly fragmented market owing to federal prohibition of cannabis relegating regulations to states to navigate independently, CanIDeal is a viable solution to help companies big and small achieve efficiency and scale by leveraging the compliant wholesale marketplace. By communicating directly with the government, CanIDeal gives buyers 100% confidence that all products moved through the platform are compliant, vetted, lab tested and safe.

Against the backdrop of bronchiolitis obliterans, or “popcorn lung” as it is colloquially called, attributed to vaping black market pods, the idea of a safe supply chain is more critical today than ever before. CanIDeal provides that.

The power of the CanIDeal platform is that, unlike that of peers, sellers can list their products for free and buyers can buy for free. CanIdeal collects revenue by keeping 2.5% of every sale made through the system. That creates a truly open market where everyone from majors to mom-and-pops can participate, provided they are licensed for their respective operations.

Roland Paanakker

Roland Paanakker is a seasoned, respected leader in the Digital Technology space. He has the type of C.V. that could land him a job with any Fortune 100 company, so him choosing to take an Advisory Board position at CanIDeal speaks loudly to the opportunity he sees within the burgeoning legal cannabis industry.

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Paanakker brings to CanIDeal a wealth of experience gained over more than two decades working for Nike (NYSE: NKE) and Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE: LEVI) where he was transformational in building each company’s e-commerce business and other technology-based growth initiatives. Simply, he has exactly what CanIDeal needs with his deep experience in designing, implementing and running highly complex, large-scale e-commerce IT systems.

During his 18 years at Nike, he ascended to Vice President, Chief Information Officer, where he was responsible for Nike’s global IT functions, including online sales. While with Nike, Paanakker grew the sports apparel behemoth’s IT portfolio, including direct-to-consumer channels, digital stores and operational digital platforms globally.

Most recently, Paanakker served as SVP and CIO at Levi Strauss, where he oversaw all aspects of the denim icon’s IT.

As Chairman of CanIDeal’s Board of Advisors, Paanakker will do what he does best: provide oversight to all of the company’s IT function as the footprint and functionality of the B2B digital marketplace is expanded and implemented.

“Roland’s experience employing technological strategies at scale is invaluable for us as we continue to develop solutions that will connect the pieces of a fractured cannabis market,” said Farruggia in a news release on the hire. He added, “Roland has a pattern of excellence, which shows from his time at Nike and as the senior vice president and CIO of Levi Strauss. Our aim is nothing short of becoming the Amazon of the cannabis industry — something we can only do by bringing people of his caliber on board.”