Earlier this month, BDS Analytics, a Colorado-based market intelligence and consumer resource company seeking to gather comprehensive, accurate data for the cannabis industry announced that they have added Arizona’s medical dispensaries into their tracking platform.
But why now?
"We measure the opportunity, both in terms of the size of the market, and the presence of brands that are willing to invest in data on their markets," Greg Shoenfeld, Vice President of Operations, told Civilized.
According to Shoenfeld, Arizona simply reached the point where the local medical cannabis industry is large and robust enough that all of the necessary requirements are able to fall into place. Prior to the addition of Arizona to its roster, the organization measured data for California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, all areas that have made moves to either legalize or decriminalize recreational use.
By cementing its place among most cannabis-progressive states in the union, Arizona has shown tremendous growth in its acceptance of the plant. Especially for a state that, as recently as 2016, voted down a proposition to legalize the possession and consumption of marijuana by people 21 and up.
"What we’ve seen since the ballot measure was voted down is that there has been a steady and healthy increase in the number of registered patients in Arizona," said Shoenfeld. "With 133 dispensaries, the most common allowable conditions are in place, and the ability for all the product categories and presence of brands and so forth, It’s a fairly well-developed market despite being med only."
Still, the state does offer its share of limitations. On June 26, an Arizona judge ruled that marijuana extracts are not explicitly addressed in the state’s 2010 medical cannabis law, and are therefore outlawed. Shoenfeld said that this is poised to have a major impact on the industry at the state level.
"That has a huge impact on potentially freezing future investment in the state until the legislative process or some other mechanism can address those definitions and limitations," he said. "33 percent of the sales in the period we have data for so far came specifically from concentrates."
It remains to be seen how cannabis legislation will be affected by the information aggregated by BDS Analytics, but Shoenfeld offered his observations that solid figures can often help put these things in motion, even in the slow-moving world of US politics.
"There’s revenue for the state, there are jobs that are being created, and so I think that’s a very powerful argument, especially when you look and see that in states that have already passed adult use legislation," he said. "The sky isn’t on fire, crime is not increasing, cannabis has just been contributing to a healthy environment, both for the products, and for the tax revenue."