Why Someone Needs To Connect The Dots In Cannabis ✔
Joining these dots will likely result in the creation of a very valuable company
They say data is the most valuable resource in the world—surpassing oil.
So just how valuable would that make the data that cannabis producers use to understand their consumers?
(📸 / David Parkins)
The problem ❌
A problem I’ve found within the cannabis industry, one I’ve been thinking and talking about for quite some time now, is how disconnected the industry remains from its consumers—and the potential opportunity this presents.
One example is the impossibility of gaining access to products’ terpene profiles in the majority of provinces where cannabis is legal.
Surely it would benefit brands to delight their consumers by providing them with the product information they are seeking to obtain?
Every consumer should have access to key information that would help them navigate the market.
This problem is a symptom of a much bigger problem: the lack of insight into consumer behavior, and the missed opportunity this represents to leverage these insights into improving existing cannabis products and creating new offerings to fill gaps in the market.
A true seed-to-sale platform 🌱
“Seed-to-sale platforms” is a term that has been thrown around the cannabis industry for quite some time now, and while there are certainly platforms that offer these services, what I’m suggesting is very different.
The problem I’ve noticed is not the absence of a software platform that would help growers grow cannabis, but rather the absence of one that centralizes all of the data readily available from the moment a seed is planted to the moment a product is purchased—and ideally beyond this, to get a consumer's impression.
The foundation of cannabis as a CPG industry ✔
Another term that has gained increased popularity in the cannabis industry of late, likely as a reaction to the huge surplus of flower sitting in producers’ vaults, is CPG.
Although I am far from an expert on Consumer Packaged Goods, it’s abundantly clear that cannabis fits the bill: cannabis producers need to deeply understand consumers if they want to offer the products that will truly delight them.
At the end of the day, at the core of every successful CPG industry is a deep understanding of what consumers want, how much they want, when they want it, and how much they are willing to pay for it.
Yet this fundamental understanding is something the cannabis industry currently lacks, leaving much to be desired from a consumer’s perspective.
Where to begin ➡️
Knowing where to start is likely the hardest part. For anyone who may be interested in solving this problem, I would personally recommend the following approach:
Create an alignment of incentives with cannabis brands/producers. To succeed in solving this problem, you will ultimately need to build a two-sided information marketplace; to start, however, you will need to optimize for one side of your marketplace.
I recommend starting with producers/brands, as there are simply too many consumer-facing cannabis apps/websites, and if you're seeking to lure producers into your marketplace courtesy of the consumers on your platform, then anything less than 100k would probably not be taken seriously.
On the other hand, if you focus on providing value to producers and successfully convince fewer than 10% of the total number of producers in your chosen region, you will still stand a greater chance at succeeding.
Over time, as the data you accumulate becomes more valuable, it would be foolish not to leverage your solution.
My plate is pretty full right now, but if anyone does decide to build this, please shoot me an email at Matt@fourpm.co and my network will become your network.
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