Data Driven Weed Businesses

Medically reviewed by Alexander Tabibi, MD
January 29, 2021
Weed Businesses Data Driven
Weed Businesses Data Driven

Weed Businesses are Becoming Data Driven?

Today’s cannabis industry is almost unrecognizable to anyone who was buying bud in the late 60s, 70s and 80s, as it has become more advanced than ever before, thanks to large investments into cannabis companies along with stunning displays of modern technology that improve cultivation, production, and distribution.  Cannabis companies of the 21st century must work harder to compete, and as demand grows, so do the expectations when it comes to quality.

Any successful cannabis company relies heavily on data in order to improve every aspect of their business, from the developments of particular strains to the shipping process that allows customers to receive fresh supplies directly to their doors.  Thus, why we will be talking about the various roles that data plays in the cannabis industry.

Cannabis in the 21st Century

Cannabis has been used for thousands of years, but never before has it been a global industry with a highly competitive market.  With the legalization of hemp in the United States and other countries around the world, combined with marijuana legalization efforts, cannabis is destined to become one of the fastest-growing markets of the 21st century.

What this means for consumers is that there is better access to high-quality cannabis than ever before, along with a wider selection of products catered to more specific needs.  What this means for suppliers is that the pressure is on to keep up with fast-changing trends and consumer demands.  And, keeping up with these things relies on the use of data, which is more advanced than it was just a few decades ago.

Data is the key to guiding manufacturers and farmers through every step of the process in order to meet the demands of consumers.  Data quantifies aspects of the process that were once considered unpredictable and too complex to track with accuracy.  When used properly, data also reduces spending as it allows for a more efficient process from seed to sale.

Data-Driven Methods for a Better Market

Now, let’s look at the specific utilizations of data in today’s cannabis market, as each integration has benefited the cannabis industry in immeasurable ways.


Analytics has changed how businesses operate in the last couple of decades, and the cannabis business is no exception.  Analytics software automates the input of data and displays it in ways that allows business owners to observe trends and interpret complex series of information.  With analytics, less time is wasted manually inputting data, and there is less room for human error when it comes to interpretation.  It presents beautifully organized information regarding supply and demand, market trends and the effectiveness of specific strategies.  It can also be used to improve consumer relations, pricing, distribution times and more.

Part of the analytics process is identifying consumer buying habits.  This information is critical to any business that wants to succeed.  Many are surprised when they observe consumer trends, as they can indicate habits and behavior that weren’t expected.  The reality is that the market is so unpredictable and difficult to keep up with that data is the only way to have a clear picture of what buyers want, how much they value a company’s products and how much they’re willing to spend to get the cannabis that they want.

Marketing Strategies

Cannabis companies’ marketing budgets are higher than ever, but using those budgets wisely is critical, and can only be done with the use of data.  Marketing strategies of today rely on clearly identifying one’s target customer and using the right channels of communication to increase sales.  It also requires a good deal of knowledge about demographics and engagement so that you can target the right people at the right time, using keywords and media that appeals to each demographic according to their preferred form of communication.

Marketing strategies are complicated in such a competitive industry, but data makes things easier by almost automating the process of reaching out to the consumers who are most likely to engage.  For instance, data-driven systems can tell a company the age demographics of their social media followers and develop a campaign that appeals to this specific age group.  This is especially important for the cannabis industry, which has appeal across many demographics at once.

Cultivation Data

Data also directly benefits the cultivation process.  For one thing, it informs farmers on which seeds are the most likely to yield the desired crops based on past performance according to local growing conditions.  It helps determine which strains perform better than others, and which cultivation techniques are the most successful.  It analyzes the effects that certain conditions have on the levels of THC, CBD, and other compounds.

Data also allows farmers to test the soil with perfect accuracy in terms of the nutritional composition, which can inform farmers on how much organic material and fertilizer they need to give the plants the exact nutrients that they need to perform better.  It streamlines the growth process by recording data on growth time and yield, so that farmers can make better choices when planting their seeds.  All of these factors work together to produce the most successful hemp plants possible.


Testing has become more critical than ever, especially with strict laws in place that have developed as legalization has become more and more common.  Federal and state laws demand specific THC levels in hemp plants, for instance, and so cultivators must work hard to stay within these limits.  Testing comes in handy because it accurately and efficiently reports the chemical breakdown of a plant sample and allows farmers to know which methods they should stick with in order to keep things consistent.

Testing also allows farmers to learn more about how the conditions of their growing yield specific results.  For instance, they can track the THC levels in cannabis so that they can determine which practices are giving them the THC levels considered ideal for the strain that they are growing.  Also, they can keep track of terpene profiles based on breeding practices that they have employed.

Testing also allows farmers who have a full breakdown of impurities, which can enter the plant through nonorganic materials.  Companies that work with hemp extracts, meanwhile, can track impurities that may enter during the extraction process.  This is crucial as impurities can lower the quality and stability of a particular product.


Distribution of cannabis must be managed by data, to ensure the fastest distribution and shipping times, as cannabis is organic and therefore prone to oxidization that greatly decreases its value over time.  Data can provide a more efficient means for tracking the shelf life and ensuring proper turnover.  It can also be used to maximize shipment loads so that more product can be sent out within a short period of time and can be used to streamline the process of sending products out to dispensaries.

AI-Based Prediction Software

Predictive analytics, managed by Artificial Intelligence (AI), benefits the cannabis industry by making the entire operation more efficient.  It relies heavily on historical data, paired with consumer trends from external resources, to accurately predict consumer behavior so that businesses can focus their attention on that which is the most likely to be profitable and successful.  It allows businesses to spend more time finetuning that which customers want, rather than wasting time on products and development that will not be as successful.  This ultimately results in products that have been developed with more care, attention, and resources, that are destined to satisfy consumer demands.

Our Final Analysis

The cannabis industry has survived for a long time, but its widespread commercialization in recent years would not have been nearly as successful without the help of advanced data-driven methods that begin with the early stages of cultivation and end with the shipment of individual products directly to consumers.  Data has streamlined every process of the cannabis business, allowing it to run more efficiently and profitably, while satisfying the most precise needs of consumers.