Shopify COO says Canadian e-commerce company is moving into cannabis

The company that helped Kylie Jenner make almost $1 billion from selling her branded products is now moving into the cannabis space, its chief operating officer told CNBC on Tuesday.

Shopify, a Canadian e-commerce company that helps merchants set up online stores and sell products directly to consumers, recently announced that it would offer the same opportunity to Canadian cannabis merchants on the heels of the country’s recreational legalization.

Shopify is already known to have celebrity clients like Jenner, Kanye West and Drake. Now, the cannabis-related section of its website touts customers of pot-induced fame like Canopy Growth and Aurora Cannabis.

“The reason we started with Canada was there was clarity in Canada,” Harley Finkelstein, Shopify’s COO, told CNBC’s Jim Cramer. “We felt it was really important for us to act quickly and effectively to not only win as much of the Canadian market as we possibly could, but also to show the rest of the world as they begin to think about cannabis sales that we are the first phone call that they should be making.”

Shopify’s selling point for other marijuana retailers will be similar to its stated mission: to help sellers find, keep and sell directly to consumers. In the last year, its customer base has grown from 600,000 to 820,000 — and countries gradually normalizing cannabis use could be the next leg higher.

“Whether it’s the province of Ontario, or British Columbia, or most of the largest licensed producers like Canopy in Canada, Shopify is what’s powering those retail sales and we think that we can do a great job helping other countries and other regions do the same thing,” Finkelstein said on “Mad Money.”

Shopify’s stock edged higher on Tuesday, brushing off an earlier earnings report that missed forecast expectations. Shares closed up 1.11 percent at $232.37.

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