Data Can Help Provide Equal Footing in Cannabis Space

by | Apr 3, 2024 | Cannabis

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Data can be the difference between one cannabis company finding success and another one struggling. The industry is still emerging, even in states where it has been long-established, and any advantage that a company can get can help set it apart. The major problem when it comes to data, though, is how expensive it can be to obtain.

The state of California is one of those markets where recreational use cannabis has been legal for years, but the industry is continually evolving. California recently evened the playing field a little bit when it comes to data. In February, California’s Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) made public four data dashboards to display essential licensing, harvest, and sales statistics for the state’s cannabis industry. As it says on the DCC’s website, “These dashboards transform raw data from DCC’s licensing and track-and-trace systems into valuable insights to inform consumers, cannabis businesses, policymakers, local government officials, and researchers.”

Vital information

The dashboards use numbers from the past few years, and are made up of statistics including data compiled from licensed cannabis businesses in California all the way through information about the supply chain.

Among the numbers the dashboards provide access to are the price per unit of all types of cannabis products, including flowers, vape cartridges, edibles, extracts and other concentrates, and monthly sales for all product categories. The harvest report can be searched by county, license category, and facility type, and it can be broken down by month, quarter, or year. The report provides a glossary page that defines terms, and includes information like plant counts, waste weight, and data about moisture.

The cannabis product data dates back to January 2020, and the DCC expects that data to update quarterly. They will update the information on licensees and licensed businesses weekly.



What the data can mean

For existing business owners, access to this type of data could inform whether there is an opportunity to expand, and for those looking to break in to the industry, it can offer a look into what that they might be able to expect. It offers transparency into the overall health of the cannabis industry in California. The dashboards use information that retailers enter into the track-and-trace system to provide statewide sales summaries, allowing for a comparison of, for example, total sales from adult-use customers at licensed dispensaries versus total sales from medical cannabis patients.

For an industry that is so regulation-driven, the transparency into the product is important. It allows a company to know exactly where its plants are coming from and how they were grown. For the DCC itself, “We’re using a lot of this information to drive policy development, and inform policy development, to better understand the cannabis industry in California and how our licensees are operating, so that we can develop better policies and federal regulations. “So internally, there’s tons of value for this data, but also externally, the public dashboards are really aimed at benefiting our licensees. We’ve heard a lot from our licensees about more access to data.”

Organizations in other states might find some value from the California databases. If nothing else, they could use it as a starting point to figure out what they want for themselves. One important feature of the right analytics solution in the cannabis space is flexibility. Having the same data as every other organization in your state, the way DCC is providing California’s cannabis companies, certainly has its benefits. But being able to scale the product to suit your company’s individual needs is what can truly set your organization apart.

John Sucich
Follow me

You may also like