Supporting cannabis operators with the Business of Cannabis

May 7, 2021

As the official Insights Partner of the Business of Cannabis, Headset is proud to have the opportunity to share our industry insights with the growing community of cannabis professionals. In our partnership, we will provide data and insights from our platform to the Business of Cannabis audience. Phil McDonald, Headset's Senior Director of Strategic Operations, discusses the opportunities this partnership brings and what the future holds for Headset and the Business of Cannabis.

How did the partnership with Business of Cannabis come about, and what exactly does it entail?

Jay Rosenthal (Co-Founder and President of Business of Cannabis) and I met at an event in the early days of federal legalization and had kept in touch ever since. Headset participated in a couple of early Business of Cannabis events and had been impressed by the caliber of programming and the community they had built. When the opportunity to become Official Insights Partners presented itself, we felt it was a great opportunity to share our industry insights with an engaged and growing community of cannabis professionals. Specifically, you’ll find Headset content in their newsletter, video series, and events. We will be sharing several Headset bestsellers by category and market with Business of Cannabis. The high-level market information will provide market size, growth, basket size and metrics. This information will be dropped monthly for all the markets we cover. Overall, it’s a win-win partnership that underscores our mission of empowering cannabis operators and stakeholders.

Name some of the biggest opportunities to look forward to in this on-going partnership.

We really value the opportunity to regularly share timely insights, whether that be our top sellers by market, our industry reports or data tidbits that can help inform the industry. Jay and his team are always looking for ways to innovate and increase engagement with their audience. One great example of that is their new monthly retail series in partnership with the Vetrina Group. This is exciting for us because it is a great opportunity to share retail-specific insights with retailers across the country. They’ve also introduced networking opportunities via virtual breakout rooms that allow us to connect directly with the cannabis community.

Are there any upcoming projects or announcements that will be highlighted exclusively by Business of Cannabis?

Absolutely! I can’t share too much at this moment, but I will give you a few teasers of what’s currently in the works. There are talks of bringing back in-person "Data Nights”. In the past, Headset would host a forum where members of the cannabis community would come together and we would educate everyone on analytics and share market insights. We want to partner with Business of Cannabis and bring this back to life in certain markets in Canada virtually. In addition, we will continuously work on elevating Cy’s profile throughout Canada.

Why is data so important to cannabis businesses today, and how will Business of Cannabis amplify this?

As the market gets more competitive with an increasing number of retailers, brands, and products entering the market, those who leverage data as an input to decision-making will be most successful. Whether you’re a retailer looking to stock the right products at the right time to drive incremental sales while minimizing carrying costs, or a brand looking to better understand and reach their consumers, data and insights should be central to informing winning strategies. Business of Cannabis is similarly invested in the success of the industry and will help amplify those insights to ensure we are reaching a large and engaged audience.

Why should cannabis businesses trust Headset’s data as opposed to others?

Headset prides itself in the accuracy of our real-time insights. In an industry that moves at breakneck speed, we believe having timely actionable data is a source of competitive advantage. It is made possible by our underlying technology, forecasting methods, and rigorous analyses from our data and analytics team. We also make it a practice to share our methodology and forecast assumptions so there is shared understanding within the industry.

In what ways are Headset and Business of Cannabis combining forces to better support retailers in Canada?

We are trying to highlight more Canadian focused content during our video retail series. We have yet to do so, but it’s a work in progress.

Finally, let’s learn a little bit about you. What got you interested in working in cannabis and data? How did you end up at Headset?

Working at the intersection of technology, data and cannabis is truly exciting for me. I have always been naturally curious and a bit of a data nerd and also a big advocate for data literacy, which led me to co-found Rotman’s Business Analytics Club (RBAC) while pursuing my MBA.

I always look at three key areas when evaluating new work opportunities - the industry, the role itself, and the team; Headset really hit the nail on all three. First, it’s rare to work in a nascent industry. Being on the ground floor helping to shape the industry is extremely exciting to me. Second, my role entails growing and scaling the business sustainability across North America. It has been great seeing how far we’ve come as a team and organization since legalization and I look forward to what the future holds. Lastly, I really hit it off with the team when I was interviewing for this position. I was impressed with the caliber of people working at Headset. Everyone is incredibly smart and empathetic, coming from all different walks of life.

What’s your relationship to the region (Canada) that you’re managing?

No two days look the same, but that’s part of the fun! Working in a nascent and growing industry, we are constantly adapting. Each day, I keep a pulse on the micro and macro trends to find opportunities for Headset to better serve the industry and our clients. I interface with clients and prospects to show them how to best leverage data and connect the dots to really advance their business objectives. I teach them that it’s not just analytics for the sake of analytics. Clients need to take a deep dive and correctly discern the data to find their own unique trends and information, then translate that into an actionable strategy.

I also increasingly spend time with a growing number of partners, bringing new capabilities to the platform. Everyday, I work towards laying the foundation that will allow us to scale from coast to coast.

We're looking forward to our continuing partnership with the Business of Cannabis. Keep an eye out for Headset data on Business of Cannabis newsletters, videos, and events.