What’s a Chaski?

Managing a business is hard enough but running a cannabis business while navigating complicated laws adds a whole new layer of difficulties.

Having tools to make the process easier is a must for businesses of any size in this industry. That’s why at Ciclo, we created software solutions for cannabis companies to help them manage every aspect of their business, from regulatory compliance to their own internal operations.

Our software solution is called Chaski, an unusual name but one with surprising significance. Drawing from our founder’s indigenous Peruvian roots, the meaning of chaski relates directly to the needs of owning a cannabis business. 

What is a Chaski? 

The word chaski stems from the Incan Empire of South America. The Incas controlled an expansive area, stretching along the Andes mountains from Colombia to Chile. To connect the different regions, the Incans built a road system that was essential in moving supplies and information across the land.

Along this road was a special type of messenger called a chaski. The chaskis were relay runners tasked with delivering critical information. Because the Incas did not have a written language, the chaskis memorized the messages. 

The chaskis could run 6-9 miles a day, coming to a stop at a chaskiwasi, which was a small house where the next chaski waited for them. When a chaski approached the house, they would sound a shell trumpet to alert the next runner so they could quickly relay and exchange information. In this way, 25 chaskis could cover 150 miles in one day and travel the 1,250 miles between Quito and Cusco in one week!

The chaskis communication skills were so vital in keeping the empire connected that they were exempt from mit’a, or the Incan version of taxes.

How Chaski Compares to Cannabis 

Like how the Incan empire used a chain of chaskis to keep their matters linked, Chaski software connects everything, from cultivation to retail, to support cannabis companies.

With Chaski, businesses of any size can not only satisfy state regulations but operate more smoothly and efficiently from a B2B perspective. They can manage and track costs, inventory, and know exactly where money is coming and going to improve back-end processes and sales. 

For instance, just because a cultivator sold their product to a manufacturer or distributor does not mean they lose it. Instead of hiring a private investigator like how one cultivator did to track down their flower after a distributor neglected to pay or communicate, Chaski lets cultivators see what’s happening in the whole chain of operation. When all partners in the chain use Chaski, data is shared with everyone transparently. Cultivators can then log in and view its status in the distribution chain or which cultivar is selling the best in which dispensary.

Chaski also offers countless tools to help business owners and their employees get the job done, like integrated scanners, customized label printing, real-time inventory management, integrated test management, and QuickBooks integrations for reporting taxes.

With transparency of this scale, there is no more entering into blind contracts or losing sight of how certain products impact the market. It also sounds a trumpet to how the cannabis industry ecosystem can achieve more validation, efficiency, and trust.

Get your Chaski Running 

Connecting two remote cities across mountains using verbal messengers like an ancient blockchain system is an impressive feat that speaks to the ambition, innovation, and culture of the Incan empire.

By adopting these early ideas and repurposing them with technology, we can connect all aspects of a budding cannabis empire by giving them more power. 

Meet the Team

It wasn’t just seeing the need for more efficient software in the cannabis industry that inspired us to start Ciclo. It was when our CEO, Joseph Huayllasco, visited a cannabis farm and saw how technology could empower others.

While touring the farm, he overheard workers speaking in Spanish. Joseph, a first-generation American with indigenous Peruvian roots, excused himself from the group to talk with them. He asked if they knew any Latino business owners in the industry. They laughed – of course not. 

While the response did not come as a surprise, it was the dismissiveness and acceptance in it that impacted him the most.

Ciclo is about showing underrepresented peoples their participation in cannabis, a plant close to home for many cultures, isn’t limited to being workers or consumers. Instead, they too can be owners, and our software can help get them there by balancing access to resources and information. 

Why Our Values are Unquestionable 

Most of the leadership team at Ciclo comes from the tech and finance industries, from startups to Wall Street. As the sons of immigrants, the pressure to get an education and have a successful career was high. But eventually, we realized that life was about more than making money.

As Glenn D’Mello, Ciclo’s co-founder and CTO, put it, any company that wastes resources and devours bigger portions of smaller pies would be considered cancerous in nature.

Glenn became interested in building software for the cannabis industry after seeing how the established Wall Street firms he’d worked for did not feel any urgency to innovate. Now, Glenn can apply his creative, problem-solving skills to bring unlimited potential to an industry severely lacking in technology. 

Deciding on the values that would guide the company – transparency, innovation, inclusion, and community – was the quickest and easiest business decision we ever made. 

These values reflect the nonprofit Joseph created before Ciclo. Technology had captured Joseph’s interest as a child and was his incentive to get an education. Translating this passion into a youth foundation to inspire kids from low-income backgrounds to study STEM gave him an unquantifiable form of social currency.

Frank Arias, Ciclo’s VP of Customer Success, was also ready for something more. As a first-generation Colombian-American, Frank never saw himself reflected in the corporate environments he came from and had a nagging feeling that he could not be his true self. Joining a company where he could be himself and directly impact an underserved industry with the right team became Frank’s top priority.

Mutual aversion to the status quo and the yearning to do something significant made our values unquestionable. 

How Innovation and Transparency Breeds Equity 

In our experience, being transparent in all relationships yields better results. At Ciclo, we believe in showing all our cards to reach the best decision and build trust. 

Transparency and innovation go hand-in-hand, but they also work symbiotically with building stronger and more inclusive communities. It enables more people to see barriers and come up with innovative solutions to make meaningful changes.  

Just as innovation requires transparency, it also requires diversity – not only in race and gender but also in background, education, and perspective. This is why we asked Colleen King to be our VP of Growth.

Colleen is an expert in global supply chain and a farmer advocate. After spending ten years sourcing in the coffee farms in the global south, she saw firsthand how large organizations squeezed local farmers to the point of bankruptcy, and how the same is happening with cannabis and hyperegulation. Now, Colleen helps farmers write contracts that protect cultivator interests and educates them on how they can use technology to their advantage. 

Keeping the Door Open Behind Us

There’s always pushback when it comes to trailblazing, and the focus needed to kick the door open can be so consuming that it can be hard to keep it open for others to follow. It takes a deliberate effort to help them make it. 

That’s why we offer flexible pricing, management services to help companies that lack resources, and grassroots support to our community to enable others to forge their own path.

To learn more about our software and how it supports our values in action, visit our pricing page.