British Columbia is the wild west of cannabis production, but the sector hasn’t lived up to its great expectations. A partnership between the American provider of retail sales data and cannabis insights BDSA, and Vancouver based Buddi, provider of retailer technologies for the sector, aims to provide consumer data and market research to licensed producers and retailers so they’re empowered to fulfil their potential.
Buddi has been in the cannabis space for a decade, focused on the recreational market for the past four years by providing services to cannabis retailers. “The partnership with Buddi enables us to both tap into a vast network of retail partners, who help us build out our retail sales tracking data.” says Liz Stahura, BDSA’s president and co-founder. Alberta and B.C. will be the first market for this service.
Providing insight for a wide client base in the cannabis sector
Comparisons, insights and transparency derived from sharing data across the US and the provinces are shared on subscription, allowing operators to focus their product offer and development on their market. “Our client base tends to be focused on the operators within the space: the financial institutions, companies investing in the space and then the what we currently call industry adjacent companies,” says Stahura. “The lines are blurring quickly between companies that are, and are not, cannabis companies. Companies in the traditional CPG like beverage, alcohol, tobacco, and again financial services industries are interested in the cannabis industry, whether that be hemp, CBD or THC cannabis based products.”
The data provides insight into the size of the market and its potential for growth. “We break that down by province. We’ll soon release that in Canada by category as well basic product categories,” says Stahura. “So again, helping companies to understand where the growth opportunities lie over the next several years within both the THC and CBD based markets. And then further understanding within the various products, especially with cannabis 2.0 launching this year up in Canada.”
Using the data insight for new product lines
Those insights will translate into new product lines, helping industry eliminate uncertainty and develop products where they see demand. For example, the beverage category is a small part of the cannabis market in the US, 5-10 per per cent of total edibles. Beverages consumption in BC is already outperforming those benchmarks and will see the launch of some very sophisticated beverage companies coming to Canada. “There will be some pretty high profile, joint ventures and partnerships and investments from the beverage alcohol and other CPG companies focused on the Canadian market,” says Stahura. “So I think that’s going to be a really important trend to keep an eye on and British Columbia.”
While gummies have long been a best selling product in the US, it was chocolate, a product that was more readily available on this market, that quickly became a bestseller in B.C.’s cannabis 2.0 phase. Fifty eight per cent of British Columbians consumers prefer inhalables, while 32 per cent prefer edibles and 10 per cent prefer topicals. The sector is predicted to contribute to provincial sales of close to $1billion by 2025.
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