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Visit to Cannabis Big Data

Nestled within the CanopyBoulder startup incubator, above a bagel shop in the middle of Boulder, Colorado, lies Cannabis Big Data (CBD). On a bright Thursday morning, I visited @Henry Finkelstein, the founder of CBD. He gave me a tour of the office and introduced me to other startups who share the workspace in CanopyBoulder. He described their businesses in detail and it was clear that the shared offices provide unique collaboration opportunities.

The CanopyBoulder office open space

When we sat down, Henry talked me through the ins and outs of Cannabis Big Data. He explained that data analysis is like a very powerful spotlight for business owners and it is important to point the spotlight in the right place. His goal is to provide actionable data for business owners. This means he has to ask the right questions in order to bring back meaningful answers that improve client businesses.

Henry’s corner of the office, complete with dog crate for the traditional Boulder office pet.

Cannabis Big Data consists of several data modules, which live on the SQL Server provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Each module can be purchased separately. Generally new clients start with a single module in order to answer a single question. Otherwise, they may get lost in the data and become overwhelmed. After their first question is analyzed and answered, they’ll move on to other, more advanced modules and data.

Different modules within CBD

Additional modules include:

  • The “You May Also Like” module, which analyzes frequently made purchases and will recommend similar products based on type of product, potency, terpene profiles and even the genetic makeup of the strain. Using those factors CBD can figure out what new strains and products will appeal to which of your existing customers and help you target your promotions to the right people.

  • A module that factors in marketing costs against promotional returns. This module works to reduce marketing costs via precision targeting. Not only do companies save money on emails and flyers, but improve customer relations by not spamming them with offers that aren’t interesting to them.

Dispensary dashboard

Henry is a big fan of A/B testing, so he’s built that capability into the foundation of his software. One module can compare data segments against each other, making it easy to conduct experiments and see the results.
Any data source can be externally imported, which is often the most challenging part of a project for Henry. The lack of standardization in the industry means there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Henry has templates for common industry POS and Seed to Sale softwares, but his team is willing to approach any new software or data management tools that a dispensary or grow operation may be using.

Typically, businesses want to figure out what products are making them a profit, what products SKUs aren’t moving well, what the lifetime value of a customer is, and what products to stock so that the inventory is not backed up. The data is made available via a dashboard and/or alert notifications. Businesses can set thresholds to automatically alert the owner whenever an aspect of their business goes beyond a predefined parameter.

Drill down into your operating costs

Henry compares the parts of a business to three levers: Price, volume and costs. Each lever can be adjusted in order to compete with other businesses. Henry uses the data collated into CBD to make decisions on which lever adjustments will bring the best returns.

In addition to providing modules for retailers and dispensaries, CBD also offers analysis for producers, cultivators, investors and other ancillary cannabis businesses. Measurements from a growing or extraction operations are critical to keeping results consistent, costs low, and profit margins high.

In addition to providing cannabis startups the tools and expertise they need to succeed, CanopyBoulder also helps startups get the word out. Two demo events that CBD will be presenting at are coming up: Demo Days and Jumpstart. If you are in the Colorado area, make sure to check them out in order to stay up-to-date with the latest technology entering the cannabis industry.

An early prototype from Bloom Automation, one of the other startups who works out of CanopyBoulder

If you’re interested in learning more about Henry and Cannabis Big Data, make sure to register for his Ask Me Anything event tomorrow, May 9th at 10am MST. Register here.


So cool! I’ll be meeting with @henry later this month… can’t wait!


This is great, thanks for sharing!


I want to know more!

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