How Cannabis Wholesalers Can Use Data Analytics for Smarter Decision-Making

by | May 3, 2023 | Cannabis

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Cannabis wholesale has always been a complicated and nuanced industry, but with rapidly evolving state legislation, these nuances have only grown in complexity.

To succeed in today’s evolving market, cannabis wholesalers need to be able to make timely and meaningful decisions based on accurate information. In response to these modern challenges, wholesalers have begun to invest more in their data analytics strategies.

Supply chain disruptions

Supply chain disruptions, while not new, have grown in both frequency and scale in recent years. Whether it be a global pandemic (looking at you, COVID) or union strikes, wholesalers have witnessed how devastating even a single obstacle can be. However, much of this damage can be mitigated with proper planning and an adaptable response strategy.

Preparing for these potential disruptions requires real-time insight into a business’s supply chain. By analyzing data related to cultivation productivity, inventory levels, and customer demand, wholesalers can develop contingency plans to ensure continuity of operations. Or better yet, using advances in predictive analytics, businesses can even predict some of these disruptions and how they may unfold.


Compliance remains a top priority for cannabis wholesalers, with businesses needing to ensure they’re meeting regulatory requirements at every stage of their operations. To that end, compliance organizations such as Metrc utilize data analytics to track products as they move through the supply chain.

Likewise, cannabis wholesalers should be employing their own data analytics to track compliance-related metrics and ensure that their operations remain aligned with evolving guidelines. Failure to do so could result in costly regulatory penalties and failed audits, a risk that many businesses can’t undertake in an already fiercely competitive industry.

Sales programming

Due to its complicated legal status and inherently volatile nature, optimizing accounts can be very frustrating for cannabis wholesalers. Overcoming these challenges and identifying which accounts are worth prioritizing requires a comprehensive understanding of their sales data.

Wholesalers can use sales and inventory data to pinpoint revenue opportunities and develop tailored market strategies. Moreover, analytics can track goals, allowing sales teams to measure their progress and evaluate the effectiveness of their tactics in real-time.

Many analytics platforms also offer automated reporting, enabling wholesalers to monitor their sales data as it comes in. This transparency allows reps to align inventory with sales programs while also providing the context necessary to answer nuanced market questions. In contrast, manual processing often leaves wholesalers with inadequate visibility into their program performance, which can prevent them from responding to potential issues or opportunities in a timely manner.

Inventory management

The success of a cannabis wholesaler depends heavily on its ability to align supply with consumer demands and avoid overstocks and stock-outs. However, for most wholesalers, managing so many different feeds and attempting to consolidate them manually into a usable interface is simply too time intensive. Moreover, due to cannabis being a perishable product, wholesalers need to ensure that their stock isn’t collecting dust on warehouse shelves.

With enterprise analytics platforms, wholesalers can consolidate multiple data streams into one central location, making it easy for sales teams to quickly evaluate what products they should be prioritizing. Moreover, businesses can also determine which products should be sold first to prevent having to throw away excess inventory.

Data analytics can also help wholesalers evaluate performance trends across different products and lines. This information can guide decisions about which products to prioritize during future restocks and production efforts.

Improving efficiency

For cannabis wholesalers, time is money. To maximize their ROI, businesses need to be able to move as much of their product as they can and as quickly as possible. By analyzing data on order fulfillment, shipping times, and warehousing, wholesalers can identify opportunities for improvement and implement changes to streamline their operations.

More specifically, wholesalers can use data analytics to identify bottlenecks in their order fulfillment process and implement changes to reduce processing times. This can be anything from improving scheduling to using assistive AI to aid in how products are stored and loaded at their warehouses.

Choosing the right analytics platform

Unfortunately, not all analytics platforms possess the specialized reporting necessary to meet the nuanced needs of a wholesale operation. Transforming data into actionable insights across a business’s entire wholesale strategy requires a platform that provides the real-world results sales teams need.

CannaBI Analytics, backed by more than 25 years of experience in product distribution, functions as a one-stop shop for all of a cannabis wholesaler’s needs, including:

  • Seamless integration
  • Comprehensive data governance
  • Program management
  • Mobile access

To learn more about how analytics can help your business, check out CannaBI or our whitepaper—”How Analytics is Empowering Cannabis Cultivators and Manufacturers.”

Trevor Branch

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