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Capturing Cannabis Patient Data with New Technology

With an estimated value of $10 billion in 2018, the cannabis industry is growing, but just catching up in terms of consumer data. By tracking and analyzing sales, businesses can learn what products work best for what conditions. New, “point of care” technology does just that by tracking medical marijuana sales by product, streamlining compliance and improving customer service.

Recreational cannabis markets on the west coast have swelled in recent years, and in places like Oregon, a supply and demand crisis has left many cannabis businesses defunct, with pounds of leftover bud. New cannabis tracking technology could be used to help cannabis businesses stay legitimate.

You can never have too much, weed, right?

In 2017 alone, Oregon produced 1.1 million pounds of cannabis. Prime real estate for both indoor and outdoor cannabis cultivation, this legal state offers some of the cheapest cannabis prices in the country due its large domestic supply that fuels both medical and recreational markets.

Before cannabis became legal for recreation and medicine, Oregon supplied much of the cannabis imported into less temperate states throughout the country on the black market. Alongside California and fellow west coast cannabis giant, Washington, Oregon’s rolling hills, warm climate, and moist air have always produced high quality cannabis.


Cannabis prices in Oregon are low because of the oversaturation of the market, and many businesses are going under due to heavy operation costs


Oregon’s Supply and Demand Crisis

Since the recreational market first began in 2016, Oregon has produced more cannabis than their entire population can consume in almost a decade. This means dispensaries are selling cannabis at lower prices than ever, and the boom and bust nature means many are folding.

Against my better judgement, too much of a good thing does indeed apply to cannabis. Unfortunately, Oregon offers a case in point of how too much pot can go wrong. Of the 1.1 million pounds cannabis cultivators produced in 2017, some estimates caim it may take six years before Oregon’s 4.1 million citizens smoke it all.

It’s almost like Oregon’s prepping for some sort of cannabis disaster. With a huge surplus, growing by the years every year, it’s safe to say that if armageddon strikes, Oregon likely will have plenty of weed to last over the next 14 to 21 years. But why is this?

When Oregon’s legal cannabis market began, licenses weren’t hard to come by, for they had no limit, unlike states like Colorado and Washington. According to the Daily Beast, as of November 2018, Oregon’s 2,065 registered cannabis businesses outnumbered both Washington (1,435) and Colorado (1,690), offering one pot shop for every 2000 citizens.


The amount of years of THC supply Oregon has racked up since mid 2016

 

Amy Margolis, founder of the Oregon Cannabis Association, described this ease of access early Oregon cannabis businesses found following legalization, “Almost everyone who applied has been able to get a license,” Margolis continued, “There were few barriers to entry.”

Due to this influx of new cannabis businesses, and prime growing conditions, Oregon has so much excess pot legal cannabis businesses are being forced to burn it. The swelled cannabis market has put many out of business, and their leftover and/or contaminated bud must be disposed of legally, and cannot be sold.

The amount of excess cannabis has many legitimate Oregon  retailers dipping into the black export market, and vice versa. Sending high quality Oregon cannabis to places like Idaho, with no medical or recreational laws, can be quite profitable. According to the Portland Mercury, only 30% of all Oregon cannabis sales were state sanctioned in 2017, creating an overall gray market.

One of the biggest reason why Oregon cannabis businesses fail, and resort to illegitimate sales, are the operating costs that maintain legality. Requirements like high budget security systems and digital seed to sale tracking technology, intended to ward off black market sales, led many retailers into the illegal export trade to cover these costs.

When met with oversupply. This problem compounded.

Donald Morse, chairman of the Oregon Cannabis Business council  described that after legalization, “you had old-time growers [who decided to go legal]. For these guys, a lot of the compliance is a major pain in the ass.” Morse continued, “You have to give the appearance that all of [the cannabis] is tracked and not going outside of the system—but the reality is there is no way do that on this scale.” That is, until now.


CB2 insights technology offers a cannabis specific electronic medical records platform

Electronic Medical Records for Cannabis

CB2 Insights “point of care” technology tracks medical marijuana sales by product. Their innovative system predictively analyzes patient and sales data to help learn what product types work best for what conditions. This offers numerous applications for both marijuana compliance and customer service.

CB2 Insights, a Toronto based medical cannabis data firm, provides what they call game changing solutions for cannabis clinics in medical markets. The company aims to gather insights into cannabis’ efficacy across numerous medical ailments, collect raw data, and improve overall patient care and satisfaction at the safe time. So how do they do this?

CB2 Insights gathers and enters all patient purchase data through their proprietary software into a wide reaching, direct cannabis electronic medical records platform, or EMR. They call it “point of care” technology.

For businesses who sign on with CB2 Insights, all sales data will be added to the EMR. This could provide compliance help to cannabis businesses, like in Oregon. Moreover, CB2 Insights’ tracking software notes significant patterns in product choice by patient, which offers valuable insights for cannabis clinic scientists and dispensary owners alike.


There are many different types of cannabis for many different medical ailments. CB2 Insights offers valuable look into what works with who

In an interview with Howard Glassman, CB2 Insight’s CEO, Prad Sekar, described the importance and prevalence of clinical cannabis data, stating, “There’s a lot of data out there when it comes to the efficacy and the usefulness of cannabis; from our purpose, we want to take it to the next level of validation.”

“We’ve had one mission in mind ever since we started,” Sekar continued, “our mission has always been transform cannabis into mainstream healthcare.”
With the call of national legalization approaching, Sekar’s words resonate with the belief that cannabis contracts with government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and medical researchers aren’t far off. When this happens, just as Oregon cannabis businesses found in 2017, clinical data must be tracked strictly. But Sekar’s technology offers more than just compliance.

CB2 Insights offers cannabis patients a phone application, called Tokein, which allows them to track their purchases, view predictive and real time analysis of different cannabis products efficacy for different ailments, and earn loyalty points from participating dispensaries.

A report by Technical 420 described that, “Through TokeIn, CB2 is able to capture patient-specific POS data after their patients leave their medical clinics and make purchases at dispensaries to close the loop on what products are most effective when used to treat specific ailments.”

CB2 Insights and Tokein technology have wide ranging applications for the cannabis industry as a whole. They can suit swelled recreational cannabis markets like Oregon, in need of tracking tech. Moreover, CB2’s tracking system and loyalty program could easily be adopted in both recreational and medical markets.

About the Author

Chris Matich is a professional writer, journalist, and editor living in Pittsburgh, PA. Chris blogs for Schenley.net. His writing interests include LGBT+ people/issues, sports writing, and blogging. Chris currently writes about web optimization, blogging practices, medical cannabis, and cannabis lifestyle. He writes fiction and creative nonfiction in his spare time. Linkedin, Twitter

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