How Big Data is Influencing and Shaping the Medicinal Marijuana Industry

in #big4 years ago (edited)

We all know that medicinal marijuana is a controversial topic right across the USA. It still has a stereotype of being used by students looking to get high, rather than the medicinal benefits that marijuana can offer its users. But, as time moves on, more and more states are for the first time allowing cannabis to be used both medicinally and recreationally. You may be wondering what role big data has to play in this industry? Let’s look at this in greater detail.

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We all know that big data is a useful tool to help businesses, both big and small, grow. Big Data can be best described as the collection of all the data that an organization or industry collects. When all this data is fed into a computer and programmed algorithms are applied, it is possible for the company to make predictions and analyze trends. It could be argued that big data keeps a company one step ahead of the competition.

As of 2017, there are 36 states in the USA alone that now have some form of medicinal marijuana program. It is thought there are currently 1.5 million medicinal marijuana users across the states. But at the moment, there is not a lot of data available on effectively providing and recommending cannabis dosages with the correct mix of cannabinoids. It is vitally important to collect data to ensure the industry understands and analyses the most effective way to use cannabis, because research is patchy at best, so there are no standards for medical professionals to stick to. Big data therefore has an important part to play in essentially improving the success of medicinal marijuana.

The Opportunity for Software Developers

We know that the medicinal marijuana industry is littered with regulations and laws which govern its usage. There is a constant battle for all companies to ensure they are adhering to the latest regulations. This ongoing problem should be an opportunity for software companies to make this process simpler for these companies.

As an example, one such company called Flowhub has created a POS software system. It was created to make it simple for dispensaries to keep accurate stock and sales records, and compile the data to automatically generate METRC reports. These reports are necessary to ensure that the dispensary is complying to the regulations. These programs also allow the dispensary owner to keep track of their customers to ensure they are not going over their prescription limit.

There is certainly scope for other software companies to provide their own solution to compete with Flowhub.

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If it’s good enough for Walmart…

Walmart is a company that uses big data extensively to ensure it offers the best prices to maximize their customer experience to its millions of shoppers. Up until quite recently, many dispensaries were on their own when trying to set their prices and control inventory. But, this has changed!

A recent software offering from Headset, has created a big data program for the cannabis industry. It works by offering real time insights into the industry by using data from dispensaries to show what the current trends are with regards to what is being bought and for what price.

As you can see, big data has an important part to play in the medicinal marijuana industry, and this reliance on big data will only increase as the industry grows and matures.

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