Cannabiz Media’s Ed Keating Discusses Cannabis Industry Data and POS with NCIA

Cannabiz Media’s Co-founder and Chief Data Officer, Ed Keating, joined NCIA’s Communications and Projects Manager, Bethany Moore, on The Cannabis Industry Voice, NCIA’s weekly podcast with guest members who share their experiences, challenges and successes operating cannabis and ancillary businesses.

During the interview, Ed discussed key findings in Cannabiz Media’s 2019 Mid-Year Point of Sale Software in the Cannabis Industry report, how the Cannabiz Media team keeps the data in the Cannabiz Media License Database current and reliable, and how cannabis license holders can access free regional subscriptions to the License Database.

You can listen to the full podcast using the player below, listen on, or keep reading for all the details.

Key Facts about POS Systems in the Cannabis Industry

Cannabiz Media’s 2019 Mid-Year Point of Sale Software in the Cannabis Industry report shared data and findings from the Cannabiz Media team’s primary and secondary research that gathered comprehensive data about the point of sale systems in use by cannabis license holders across the United States. The data about each license holder is available in the Cannabiz Media License Database with key facts included in the mid-year report.

Three of the key facts from the report that Ed discussed with Bethany during the podcast are:

1. It’s a Highly Concentrated Market

While Cannabiz Media identified 68 unique POS vendors in the cannabis industry (up 58% from Cannabiz Media’s POS report released at the beginning of 2019), a handful of companies hold 68% of the market. The remaining companies are fighting for 32% of the market.

2. POS Companies Benefit from Longevity

POS companies that have been around longer benefit from first mover advantage. This is especially true in states that have had legal cannabis programs for longer. However, newer states like Oklahoma have a different mix of providers. Still, the market leaders are doing well in newer states.

3. Brand Names are Moving from Canna-curious to Canna-serious

Brand names (i.e., well-known brands in other industries like NCR, NetSuite, Salesforce, and Quicken) have moved from being interested in the cannabis industry to entering the market. Some of these companies are big and powerful. Ed noted, “It’s still early, but it will be interesting to watch these big companies.”

How Cannabiz Media Keeps Data in the Cannabiz Media License Database Current and Reliable

When Bethany asked how Cannabiz Media keeps the data in the Cannabiz Media License Database current, Ed explained that a team of data analysts and researchers work every day to ensure the data is as accurate as possible through state analysis and ongoing research.

Analyzing and Categorizing States’ Cannabis Programs

Cannabiz Media categorizes states based on how they’re awarding licenses. Is the state awarding a lot of licenses? Are licenses awarded consistently or sporadically? Cannabiz Media uses that information to categorize states as:

  • Volatile
  • Active
  • Stable
  • In process
  • Prohibition

Cannabiz Media’s 4-Point Approach to Keep Data Fresh

Researchers and data analysts are assigned states and become experts on everything that happens in the states they’re responsible for. They work with regulators and use both primary and secondary research methods to keep the data fresh using a 4-point approach:

  1. Obtain data from the state
  2. Research to find more information to add
  3. Make phone calls
  4. Contact license holders to encourage them to update their own information

Ultimately, Cannabiz Media’s checks and balances system that cross-references data to ensure accuracy makes it the only CRM and verified source of leads for the cannabis industry.

Free Regional Accounts to the Cannabiz Media License Database for Cannabis License Holders

As mentioned above, the fourth part of Cannabiz Media’s method to keep license data fresh is to encourage license holders to update their own information. In addition to contacting license holders and verifying information about their licenses with them, Cannabiz Media also offers free regional accounts to the Cannabiz Media License Database to license holders who claim their licenses here.

There are two primary goal of the free regional accounts:

  • To help license holders build relationships with other license holders they may not know
  • To help license holders verify that the businesses they’re working with across their supply chains are licensed so they don’t put their own licenses at risk

“We think any way we can help collaboration and help license holders find each other will be great so they can complete their supply chains, vet potential partners, build out their businesses safely, and protect their valuable licenses,” shared Ed.

The free regional accounts for license holders also include a product review tool so license holders can review the products they’re using,” explained Ed. “They can also read reviews from other license holders to learn who is strongest in certain areas. “It’s a great way for the community to share information with each other.”

Bethany elaborated by describing a use case for free regional accounts saying, “Not only does this mean connecting with competitors, but it’s also about completing your supply chain with new edibles manufacturers or finding two or three testing labs so you can find the one that’s right for you.”

Where is the Cannabis Industry Going?

To wrap up the podcast, Bethany asked Ed where he sees the cannabis industry going in the future. In terms of licensing, Ed discussed additional complexities as states come up with new schemes and the related challenges of understanding things like on-site consumption licenses and tribal licenses, among others.

In addition, Ed noted that there is a lot of interest in what’s going to happen with hemp-derived CBD where the license threshold may be lower than it is for cannabis licenses. Currently, only one state is regulating CBD retailers, so this is an area to watch in the short- and long-term.

Cannabiz Media will be tracking all of the cannabis and hemp licenses in the Cannabiz Media License Database, so schedule a free demo and see how it can help your business.

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