3 Important Characteristics of a Cannabis Analytics Solution

by | May 1, 2024 | Cannabis

Reading Time: 4 minutes

There are so many elements involved in data analytics that it can sometimes be overwhelming for organizations to think about. Deciding which of those elements is most important can lead to decision paralysis when it comes to settling on a solution.

When organizations consider the expense involved, it can make that decision even more difficult because the stakes are so high. The cost of not using analytics when making business decisions, though, could be even higher. A couple of recent examples from the cannabis industry illustrate just how important the right analytics solution can be, and which characteristics an organization should stress when looking for one.


One of the things that makes the cannabis industry unique is the fact that new opportunities come around often. When a state makes recreational marijuana legal, a new industry opens up to potential business owners. Sometimes those are established entities, either because the organization is involved in the possibly already-legalized medical marijuana aspect of the state, or because it is a large organization that has operated in other states. But many times, it is small business owners trying to establish themselves amongst those bigger businesses that take advantage of the new opportunities.

Between all of the legal regulations and the everyday costs of running a business, that entrepreneur can be on tentative footing for a long time. Analytics can certainly help someone separate themselves from the competition, but the tiniest error can ruin all efforts. Being able to trust the data an organization is using is paramount.

Recently in Mississippi the state health department revoked the license of a company doing medical marijuana testing. The health department’s investigation found the company “deviated from regulatory standards and approved procedures.” The company is one of two licensed testing labs in the area, so the months-long investigation and then decision to revoke the license caused a disruption for many dispensaries. Products couldn’t be sold unless they were re-tested, making sure the data was such that organizations—and their customers—could trust.




Because of its legal status, the cannabis industry is filled with all different kinds of regulations. Each state has its own rules, and what works in one state could be a model to follow…but it also might not even be applicable to a situation in a different state. Sometimes the regulations in your own state can change. In any case, you need a solution that is flexible enough to change with a fluctuating industry.

At the beginning of 2024, new testing regulations went into effect in California that were designed to help make sure customers were getting accurate and consistent information about the cannabinoid content in their products. When the calendar turned, less than half of the state’s licensed testing labs were compliant with the new procedures. Flexible analytics can help those labs with their own data, but it can also help in the decision-making of the organizations that work with the labs. Some of them would have needed to move fast to change the labs they worked with to make sure they were compliant. Others might have used data to make a proactive move before the new regulations went into effect. A flexible solution is able to adjust when the rules change.



Actionable data

That’s where actionable data comes into play. The accumulation of data, no matter how trustworthy it is and how flexible organizations are in how it is collected, doesn’t mean much if it isn’t put into a form that can result in effective decision-making. For many organizations this is something that can guide the data collection in the first place. Knowing what decisions you want the data to help with can inform exactly what kind of digital transformation should take place. Organizations need to have an end goal in order to make starting decisions.

The ideal analytics solution is one that can take trustworthy data from a variety of sources and produce comprehensive and customizable reports for all stakeholders. When it comes to the cannabis industry, there could be many data sources involved, from growers to distributors to retailers. There are also all of the different regulatory guidelines that need to be adhered to, and on top of all of that, business owners need to worry about where they stack up in relation to their competitors in the industry.



There is only so much an organization can do for itself. If a lab isn’t meeting the regulations its license depends upon, that can cause an unexpected problem. But an organization can take many matters into its own hands and be proactive about important decisions with the help of analytics.


John Sucich
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