Cannabis Insights Forever Conference Highlights

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The December 14, 2022, Cannabis Insights Conference was a brilliant celebration of the cannabis industry’s achievements with leading minds from in and around cannabis innovation. This year’s conference is happening on Thursday, October 19, 2023.

Read the conference booklet here.

Watch the full conference video here:

Currently, a just under 30 billion dollar industry (US) worldwide with market projections of hitting close to 200 billion dollars (US) in the next five years, the legal #cannabis industry remains an example of incremental and breakthrough #innovation around the world. The regulated North American cannabis market remains the largest legal cannabis market, even as there are mature and evolving programs elsewhere.

How can #brands#consumers, and #technologists leverage data to innovate faster, better and more sustainably in this complex fast-growing space?

How do market structures empower and restrict the future of legal cannabis? What does the #future hold for the #sustainable #productization#retail experience, #cpg#bigpharma#crossborder trade of #cannabis and all those in it?

We brought together leaders to discuss the global business dynamics, data insights and regulatory frameworks to maximize the potential of this ancient plant with its many fascinating compounds and implications for core and ancillary sectors. To access the ISO guidance in creating a safe regulated market, visit.

Thank you to our lead sponsors Cannabis Marketing Association, and supporters Plant Check and Gazelle Global Research.

Check out some highlights and reflections with clips from our showreel as it updates!

Four Year Look Back Look Ahead! What has Changed (in Legal Cannabis) in Canada and Around the World – Opening Keynote Panel

To begin, we launched the conference with introductory background on and Cannabis Insights Forever and what the day’s mission was through our founder. We wanted to discuss the unmet potential of legal cannabis and advise brands, creators, licensed producers, strategists, cultivars, retailers, researchers and technologists and all those invested in cannabis to gain critical insight to further their cannabis strategies. As a less understood category that has seen an evolution of stigma in both business and consumer circles, the legal cannabis space is full of surprises and novelties that must be leveraged for its success.

For the kickoff panel we had co-panelists Richard Carleton, President and CEO of the Canadian Securities Exchange, Abi Roach, Senior Manager of Product Initiatives at the Ontario Cannabis Store, Lone Kundsen Krogsboll, Team Lead at Invest in Odense, Pete Patterson, Chief Executive Officer at Valcon Medical, join the stage with Arundati Dandapani, Founder, and Founder and Chair, Cannabis Insights Forever to discuss the current state of legal cannabis in Canada and around the world.

Spotlight on Users and Shopper Insights

This section drew on research and insights about users and shoppers through the pandemic and since legalization. Craig Worden, President and Chief Innovation Officer and Mubashera Kothawala, Associate Vice-President, Pollara Strategic Insights discussed aspects like unique drivers and motivations of legal versus illegal cannabis buyers. Pricing, potency and purchase limits are the real deal and matter most for shoppers when it comes to where they get their cannabis from, according to data from the Pollara study that was presented. Watch the full video below, as a prelude to their larger Growing Green Study that releases in February 2023. The power of public opinion to change policy is often an understated one, and this presentation only expands on its potential as cannabis use grows but the legal cannabis market’s penetration is underwhelming in significant legal markets like Canada.

Then we moved the discussion to the US, to understand high level US market data, state level differences, consumer awareness about THC versus Hemp and then select consumer insights on consumer awareness of minor cannabinoids. Mike Luce, Co-founder and CEO of High Yield Insights shared data and stories about the more educated consumer and also stressed the importance of understanding the non-intoxicating minor cannabinoids better, while also carefully considering the regulatory challenges in the US. If you are experiencing sleeplessness and pain, and haven’t yet encountered the minor cannabinoids, Luce’s presentation discussed the less known cannabinoids CBN and CBG that were slowly gaining traction and awareness among cannabis consumers around wellness benefits. High Yields’ partnership with YouScan offered some social listening insights on CBG and CBN.

Sustainability Tracks: Health is Wealth, and Harm Reduction Issues

Then we moved on to the Sustainability track, beginning with Dig Insights Executive Vice President Robin Brown’s presentation about the Health and Wellness Cannabis Consumer. He shared US consumer data, even though a lot of their work is in Canada, owing to the federally legal status creating market structures that allowed so. Brown noted however that the wellness consumer phenomenon was both a trend in US and Canada and shared his insights from the need states, occasions and product format preference that would drive category growth overall. He described why innovation in this space is still untapped because of branding limitations and also lack of understanding of the need states.

This was followed by Habtamu Nagawo‘s presentation on Combusting Cannabis and Harm Reduction Issues, a scoping review of the likelihood of contracting respiratory diseases for cannabis smokers. The effects of cannabis smoke on the likelihood of contracting respiratory diseases is inconsistent, but the synergistic studies combined with the effect of tobacco smoke definitely provide evidence for much harm. What does this mean for the future of format, given that bud / flower is still the dominantly used format across the continent and world? As the fast-growing wellness consumer particularly gains more of a stronghold, as demonstrated in the other presentations as well, other formats like edibles will truly take over / displace the flower (even as the vaping crisis and the pandemic were not enough to do so).

Regulatory Trends and Market Structures

Having talked enough about consumers and users, with still lots more to learn as consumers, markets and educational initiatives and consumption / possession and branding regulations evolve, we wanted to set the regulatory foundations right and hear more projections for the future. So we turned the floor to our dedicated panel on Regulatory Trends and Market Structures. We invited Axel Bernabe, Chief of Staff of the New York State’s Office of Cannabis Management, Dr. Lucas McCann, Chief Scientific Officer and Cofounder at CannDelta and Adriana Hemans, Director of Marketing, at Chorus Compliance to come together and participate on our panel and weigh in on regulations in the United States mostly, with some Canadian perspectives and comparisons offered by Dr. McCann, who we asked to moderate this panel for his vast knowledge, experience and success with launching over 300 cannabis businesses in North America. The big news going into this panel was the successful launch of New York State’s retail rollout. The purpose of their discussion was to analyze regulatory trends and market structures across the states in how sustainable, equitable, and scalable they were, and how effectively they would displace the illicit market, by bringing them on as partners, including detailing the bottlenecks and opportunities.

Navigating the Grey Markets Around the World

Then we needed to hone in on the often difficult conversation about grey markets particularly with businesses that have been operating in the grey because of cumbersome procedures, wait times, or lack of clarity around regulations. We invited Dr. Ruth Fisher, Cofounder of CannDynamics and a book author on medical cannabis, to share her research on the evolving grey markets and Pete Patterson, CEO of Valcon Medical, who has one foot in BC and another in Denmark, to break down for us what the future of cannabis grey markets will look like together.

Future of Cannabis Marketing : Closing Keynote Panel

This brought us to our final session of the conference.

We wanted to look outwards and go back to brands, brand perception, brand performance, the competitive set, brand metrics and industry metrics to paint a memorable story of this industry. What matters to marketers of cannabis today, particularly in North America? We invited our lead sponsor to the stage Lisa Buffo, Founder and CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association and Rachel Colic, Co-Chair, National Cannabis Business Coalition at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. We couldn’t have ended on a higher note with these power-packed champions convening on the future of cannabis marketing. Thank you to all our speakers and presenters throughout the day as well, for all their insightful genius in helping make our Cannabis Insights Forever Conference memorable.

Next, get excited for our October 2023 cannabis insights gala! We are happy to announce the Cannabis Marketing Association as our returning sponsor for the 2023 conference. Would you like to sponsor or be a partner of our annual Cannabis Insights Forever virtual conference in October 2023 and see and be seen by the leading businesses, retailers, licensed producers, non-profits, activists, decision-makers and researchers in this space? Get in touch about opportunities for you and your brand at this signature event to be held in mid-late October. We would love to discuss ways to create a winning cannabis strategy for your business or organization at this popular knowledge-filled confluence of diverse leaders with lots of opportunity and insights to boot.

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