The intersection of timing, market dynamics, and technology remains unprecedented for the legal market for Cannabis in the USA, where a cultural shift is occurring.
The High-Octane Fuel Of Growing Investor Interest
The impact of the high-octane fuel of growing investor interest is culminating into a veritable green-hued field of opportunity from something that has, for over a century, been grown, bought, sold and consumed from within a highly-concealed international black market.
The technological opportunity can be best captured in a single question: “How does one truly know the provenance and efficacy of what they plan on growing and/or purchasing?”
Consumer and grower choices within the emerging market for Cannabis in the USA are currently based on folklore, stereotypes and hearsay. The market is rife with “known unknowns”. The American history of growing this ancient cash crop is a story of lacklustre rigour in product scholarship and development and a resultant ignorance that continues to this day.
Finding Opportunity In Known Unknowns
For most of the past century ‘outlaw’ consumers of Cannabis were rarely certain what they were actually purchasing, where or how it was grown, or what the exact effect would be from its consumption outside of what they were told by their dealer.
The value chain of this product, from seed to ‘baggie’, was fraught with unreliable information – in most cases purposefully, because it was illegal! It is only very recently that in the USA a purchase can be made with (seemingly) correct information about the exact strain with a (well-intended) note on its effect.
Making Choices Without Knowledge
This lack of trustworthy knowledge is easily ascertained by visiting the average legal dispensary and perusing their offerings. A visitor is quickly overcome with selections that seem to contradict and perhaps even blur the differentiation of strain and intended effect. Fifteen choices that “help with pain”, five specific to “migraines” – but wasn’t there a recently circulated article on pot and the potential for a (very bad) rebound effect with migraines?
So where does one go for advice? On average, a visitor will end up asking the person behind the counter for help. It quickly becomes evident that the assistance being offered is based on personal experience on preferences and hearsay that is ultimately traced back to the back alley folklore of American Pot. Known-unknowns abound. But this also spells opportunity.
Accurate information about botanicals; seed provenance, strain type as well as psychoactive effect is insufficient and based on insignificant data sets. More critically, the pharmacognosy (a meta discipline comprised of botany, ethnobotany, herbal medicine, chemistry, biotechnology, phytochemistry, pharmacology, and pharmaceutics) covering the legal Cannabis market in the USA is literally non-existent.
What can be done?
Genetica is a burgeoning business that is in equal parts sommelier, language consultant, history professor, and data scientist. Armed with a comprehensive library of current universal product knowledge, Genetica is combing through a tsunami of dispensary, cultivator, consumer, and global pharma research data with the goal of evolving and optimizing its prized knowledge base.
One method includes leveraging proprietary Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to detect and build formal and informal ontologies while incorporating complex etiological and etymological dimensions. By doing this Genetica is able to radically reduce or eliminate the engrained ‘underground’ figurative language and folklore and replace it with a repository of statistically-significant details about seeds, cultivation techniques and strains.
Not only is this what consumers need and want, but it will also be essential for the world economy if it is to formalize – and therefore regulate in order to tax – this growing green market.