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HIGHLIGHTS
  1. Company offers data insights into marijuana sales before they occur
  2. Canvass combines about 15 different data sets to understand consumer behaviour
  3. CEO sees “seven-figure” revenue opportunity

Multiple companies are attempting to cash in on the mountains of consumer data coming from legal cannabis sales, but Shawn Moniz believes his is the only one offering insights into pot sales before they actually occur.

“We are very different from what the other companies are doing if you look under the surface,” Mr. Moniz, co-founder and CEO of Cannvas MedTech, told Cannabis Professional Wednesday on the sidelines of the Cantech Investment Conference in Toronto. “We look at the precursor, who bought that cannabis product and why? How many other products did that person try before they came to you and will they repeat that purchase? That is the truly valuable data.”

Since going public in July, 2018, on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker “MTEC”, Cannvas has amassed huge volumes of data in hopes of understanding potential consumer behaviour. In addition to information coming directly from users browsing the educational resources on their website, the company combines information from 14 other data sources such as Canadian census data in order to build a single holistic data set.

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“We know for certain postal codes, we can determine that people there usually have a job in a certain field and they have this income and we can compare that with people who are registered on that street in our own system with what they told us, are they interested in muscle fatigue, do they seem themselves as a runner, or they are using cannabis as a lifestyle product versus a heavier user?” Mr. Moniz explained.

As the legal cannabis industry evolves beyond its initial focus on cultivation, anyone offering access to better consumer analytics is attracting multimillion-dollar investments from some of the sector’s biggest players. Aphria partnered last summer with Toronto-based UNOapp in order to “help brands connect, educate and engage consumers.” Earlier this month, Canopy Rivers, the venture capital arm of Canopy Growth, invested more than $4-million in Seattle-based Headset, which offers real-time analytics pulled directly from the cash registers of legal pot stores.

What Cannvas offers, says Mr. Moniz, is a way to determine where to locate those stores in the first place. He noted the data will be especially useful in jurisdictions such as Ontario, where many of the 25 stores due to open across the province as of April 1 have yet to pick their locations.

“It isn’t about saying okay we are selling a lot in this area, let’s put a dispensary there, it is more about finding out where are the people who are driving 20 minutes to a dispensary living and maybe we can put something that is only five minutes away for them?,” Mr. Moniz said.

While he declined to provide specifics on revenue – and the company has yet to publicly disclose its earnings – he said the potential to sell packaged data to licensed cannabis producers represents a “seven-figure” revenue opportunity.

“If cannabis is now a commodity where it is a race to the bottom on product pricing, $7 a gram then $6 then $5.50 per gram, then how do you distinguish yourself? Especially with the restrictions Health Canada has put in place on what you can market and advertise you really need to understand who your consumers are, where you are spending your marketing mix and that has been completely ignored but that is what we have been collecting for the past seven months,” Mr. Moniz said. “Now that information, totally anonymous, is bucketed up and then we provide analytics to say this is what the different demographic landscapes look like in different geographical areas.”

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