Meet the unofficial arbiter of the MMPR
Brad Martin’s infographics have started to attract the industry’s attention. Since becoming a medical marijuana patient under the MMPR, Martin has been collecting and compiling data on all of Canada’s licensed producers. As the scope of his analytics has expanded from sales and cannabinoid content to invaluable consumer-facing data, he says, “the possibilities are endless.” Martin, who studied biochemistry at Dalhousie before establishing a career in housing market analytics, sees many similarities between the country’s cannabis data and the metrics he’s accustomed to studying. We caught up with Martin to discuss his infographics, motives and projections for the future of an industry he spends his nights dissecting.
You serve as something of an unofficial arbiter to the Canadian cannabis industry. Are you comfortable with that role?
It’s something I’m comfortable with but I always encourage people to ask their own questions and conduct their own studies. I’m just trying to contribute to a knowledge base, and it doesn’t work if only one person’s contributing to it.
What’s your motive? Why are you compiling the data?
I became an MMPR patient and started looking at all these cool metrics like price and composition of THC. I’m a spreadsheet guy, so I started putting my LPs into a spreadsheet in thinking, ‘If I want to get the best bang for my buck, where am I looking at?’ Once I figured out my own LPs, I started looking into other LPs and breaking things down into comparative data. Really the only metrics I’m offered are THC, CBD and price, which don’t really tell the whole story. But it tells part of the story. That’s where it started.
Your earliest work focussed almost exclusively on THC and price and you’ve started studying CBD of late. Do you plan to expand the scope of your research?
Absolutely. I’m learning that I can apply the metrics from the housing market to the MMPR. Really the possibilities are endless for me, in terms of the ways I want to show the data. I’m starting to look into production costs, land costs, seed costs and the cost of a square metre to grow a certain strain. I have consumer-facing data that I’m starting to generate and producer-facing data that I’m starting to log and use to project market trends.
What’s the significance of those two sets of data?
There’s not a Canadian household mortgage financing company for the MMPR right now that gives structured data. So I’m kind of piecemealing it from Health Canada on market velocity. Until I can get somebody to really open up their books, I’m really guessing at this point.
How can we quantify important elements like the entourage effect?
We’re talking about the relationship that THC and CBD has with the other terpenes in the cannabis. I think that remains unexplored right now and we have a lot of ground to make up into the actual biochemical processes of how the cannabinoids work with the terpenes, and how the terpenes cause the experience to change. I don’t think we’re there yet. I’d love to get into a lab for the next 20 years and figure out what that is.
Are you being funded by anyone in the industry?
It’s just me. A bunch of people have reached out to try and get my data, but I’m doing it just to do it. I’m doing it because the information’s there and nobody else is putting it out.
These data sets are extensive. How long does it take to compile your analytics?
It’s definitely taking my nights up. I’m working my regular job and then I’m working at night to do these infographics. I love it and it’s the way I want to spend my time, but to mine the data it takes me one to three hours every Friday night, depending on how much I want to look at.
Your analytics have attracted the attention of a number of pivotal players in the industry. Has the response been favourable?
It has. Only one person asked what my qualifications were, which I’m happy to be totally honest about. At this point it [the industry] is so grassroots that most people want to cultivate a knowledge base and share in knowledge. So most people that have reached out are saying, ‘Hey this is what I’m doing, and I love what you’re doing.’ It’s really positive.
Where do you see Tweed stacking up against other LPs in your studies?
The data junkie in me wants to know how sales increase your velocity. The other thing that you guys do really well is the number of selections. You’re within the top three of number of selections. So for me as a patient looking to plan my week, that really matters.
Follow Brad Martin @pancakenap420
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