When Brad Martin became a medical cannabis user in 2016, the data points provided to him ignited the researcher inside.
Price per gram. Cannabinoid concentration. These were just scratching the surface of the metrics he would soon be analyzing and comparing in great depth.
“I guess it really started from wanting to know how much money I was paying for the active content in cannabis,” Martin told BotaniQ Magazine of his website where he reviews products, pancakenap.com, as well as the market analysis he shares at cannstandard.ca.
“I would look at all the LPs from that standpoint and just decide who was the best in terms of the price perspective,” he noted.
Fast forward three years and Martin has been tracking cannabis availability across North America, tracking well over a million listings per day from several hundred vendors.
“I come from a real estate background so I’m basically doing competitive analysis for the cannabis industry the way I would do it when I’m analyzing a neighbourhood or a town for competition in the real estate market,” Martin explained. “Basically I come from the qualitative approach for my reviews, then I back it up with a bit of a quantitative analysis with the rest of the market.”
A quick scan of pancakenap.com reveals a plethora of reviews: Strawberry Jager grown by Kootenay Craft, or CBD Kush by Acreage Pharms, then there’s “home grown” cannabis he has reviewed, such as “God Bud 2.0 by Jamaican Rios.”
From scent, flavour, price, cannabinoid profile, terpene information, THC and CBD content, the reviews are in depth and often include a video.
And, Martin said all reviews are unsolicited, with not a single review on his website that has been bought or paid for, by any person, business or producer.
Hopping over to cannstandard.ca is even more data to peruse, with extensive market research available for the taking.
You can review his work, and he’s created sections tailored to those who are after specific information, such as “top 10 by price” and “top 10 by cannabinoid content.”
He also produces market reports, such as one recent one titled “Pricing and content summary for dried cannabis listings in Canada” and another, “High level summary with producer/brand focus for all stores listing dried cannabis.”
With his research, he includes infographics, such as one that accompanies a report showing the historical average price per gram for dried cannabis products based on listings from web stores.
Martin chuckled as he said he likes to think he’s “a unique snowflake in the industry.”
“Certainly from a qualitative standpoint, there are different reviewers but not from the quantitative standpoint I don’t think. I try to scrape every single listing in the market and I don’t know if anybody has gone to that length,” he said.
What has the feedback been like?
“I’m happy to get any response,” he mused. “With that being said, it depends if the voice is negative or positive, but I think from a consumer perspective the response has been pretty positive. Just because I’m scanning a large amount of listings and trying to derive some values from them, and I think I have uncovered some areas of good value using that method. I’ve had some negative comments as well from a few stock people.”
Martin said he sees value in what he’s doing, and is excited to share that knowledge with the larger cannabis community.
“When you approach a dispensary or a list, you don’t have the same omniscient point of view that I would have because I’m looking at summary data,” he said. “Low hanging fruit explanation, that’s why I’m valuable, because I’m able to show you the context of the listing I’m talking about inside the market, with respect to market averages. Market average cannabinoid content, market average price, is it a unique listing? So from that I’m using qualitative and quantitative, but from the quantitative standpoint, I think I’m pretty valuable.
“I’m happy that anybody decided to read my work,” Martin added. “It’s been pretty thrilling to see how much it’s been taken up by the community. So I’m honoured by that point.”