Big data to shape the future of the cannabis industry

Oct 9 2018, 7:26 pm

Written for Daily Hive by Michael Burton, Corporate Communications Specialist at CB2 Insights.

Big cannabis is watching, collecting, and analyzing.

While the ancillary companies of the cannabis industry are blossoming, there is an emerging sub-industry within the cannabis space that is primed to shape the future of cannabis in a post-legalization world.

Packaging, cultivation, and even genetics have all grown as supplements to the cannabis industry, but what will drive the industry forward is rooted in the endless data points that cannabis consumers produce.

What strains and products patients consume, how much they purchase, the time of day they consume it, and the effects that are produced are all essential data points that the cannabis industry will need to leverage moving forward.

Data companies will be the next players to enter into the space as the mining of consumer and patient information into actionable datasets will help guide these companies towards positive and sustainable growth.

Looking forwards, licensed producers will seek great insight into the needs and desires of their consumers they are growing for. Both medical and recreational markets will need deep consumer insight into the products that are in demand, ultimately helping predict trends and plan for the future.

Medical cannabis patients, in particular, will benefit from big cannabis data. Mass amounts of patient data will provide answers to the many burning questions that the industry simply does not have answers to. Determining what strains and products work best for a specific condition could lead to extended wellness for patients worldwide.

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Making the most sense out of medical cannabis

Medical cannabis is still in its infancy and many questions remain regarding strains and their terpenes, what conditions a strain can offer relief to, along with the ideal and preferred consumption methods for patients. Big cannabis data will provide answers to these questions, collecting data points that will help doctors navigate the complexities of cannabis as a medicine, and help doctors dose it to their patients with confidence.

This data will be extremely valuable to the healthcare industry as they attempt to successfully offer the medicine as a treatment plan to patients. Medical cannabis has proved to be anything but simple for patients and physicians alike, and big cannabis data is poised to change that.

Ultimately, with the help of extensive patient data, doctors will be able to point to a single product and advise a patient how and when to consume it. Mass amounts of data will help map out the complexities of cannabis, and simplify the process of dosing and prescribing it to patients. Taking the guesswork out of cannabis will help change this medicine as an alternative form of therapy, and instead, make it an integral part of modern healthcare.

Insight into the emerging recreational industry

As for the recreational market, big cannabis data will help licensed producers see into the future, predict peaks in demand, and plan their production accordingly.

The state of Oregon is a prime example of an industry that could have benefited from actionable big cannabis data. Many producers in this industry were unable to predict the level of demand for recreational cannabis in this state. The result, a consumer landscape with too much product, not enough demand, and extremely low per gram price points. For many producers in this state, they are left with piles of product that have a reduced value, spelling out financial disaster.

Recreational legalization in Canada, of course, is under a global spotlight. The data that Canadian consumers produce from the purchasing of recreational products will be essential as new markets open up internationally. As places like the United States and Europe embrace cannabis both recreationally and medically, the data produced by Canadians consumers will help forecast supply and demand in new markets.

Shaping the future of the cannabis space

The businesses that can harness this endless data will be a guiding force for the industry. Actionable data can make or break a cannabis company, and those who are shooting for success will be in a desperate need for data that speaks to their business and guides them into the green.

Moving forward, those who have the most comprehensive sets of data will be able to shape the industry with their ideal vision in mind. New and existing cannabis companies can benefit greatly from the direction of quality data that maps out the future of cannabis, and begin to learn what consumers are using now, and what they will desire in the future.

The future relies on the numbers, and success will be determined by who can make the most out of consumer data.

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