For new and experienced cannabis consumers looking for a new way to discover products, look no further than the Cannabiscope Wheel. Civilized caught up with co-founders David Schachter and Paul Shockley to learn how the idea came to them, what they hope for the future of the company, and how cannabis industry folk and consumers are already benefiting from the service.
How did you get the idea for Cannabiscope?
I had the idea while on vacation in Amsterdam in 2014 when I heard author Doug Fine (who's now an advisor to Cannabiscope) speak at the High Times Cannabis Cup. His speech was about terpenes—aromatic compounds found in cannabis—and how they should dictate the way cannabis is classified. That is to say, without attention paid to terpenes, sativa, indica, and hybrid classifications mean close to nothing.
This was the eureka moment for Cannabiscope. The world needed an online database of cannabis products that really demystified what cannabis is and how it affects the body.
While at the event, where I met a few men in suits who were representatives from Canadian companies starting to do online sales, it became apparent to me that with Canadian financing and national legalization, there was a lot of money being thrown at the cannabis industry. It was obvious that cannabis was becoming big business and that anything that touched the plant was already getting funded.
I had the realization that if plant-touching businesses were already a big thing, the next wave would be ancillary companies that support the mass distribution of cannabis once legalized. I felt that if I could build a truly unique way to shop for AND learn about cannabis, I could have a huge impact on the industry.
When did you establish the company? How'd you get started?
Immediately after I returned from the Amsterdam Cannabis Cup in 2014, I began my research and had the company designed in Tel Aviv. We felt that the biggest challenge facing the industry was the limiting belief many people held that the only thing cannabis did was get you high. Living in Israel, where medical cannabis is federally legal, allowing scientists to easily study it, it was clear to me that we needed to show the general public how multifaceted the plant really is and help destigmatize it. This was where I got the idea for a wheel that could help people find the right cannabis products for their specific needs, by giving them options to choose the kind of product or the kind of effect they're looking for.
Explain exactly how Cannabiscope works.
Cannaiscope is a turnkey SaaS (software as a service) platform that aims to be the future of cannabis menus, e-commerce and data insights. As a B2B (business to business) model, each business has their own customized wheel to display their inventory. Our content management system allows companies to host all their products including photos, descriptions, and official lab results. We designed the platform to work both online and in-store so that people can learn about and purchase cannabis, and feel confident in their decision.
The star of the platform is the Interactive Wheel, which allows people to shop and learn about cannabis at the same time. Anyone can have their own personalized wheel. Individual wheels are assembled from the products an individual bought or added to their collection. In the near future, patients will be able to log their experiences and review products in their "wheelhouse." This is a really important feature as medical cannabis is a very personal experience. The data insights of how the community reacts to products will be helpful for researchers and provide feedback to the brands.
What medical needs and/or cannabis products are included on the wheel?
Any THC or CBD product can be hosted within Cannabiscope’s system. More than 1,000 strains have been cataloged into the wheel, which categorizes the flowers based on their aromas and effects. As long as items are labeled and tagged properly, users will be able to discover them fairly quickly in a logical sequence.
When it comes to medical needs, the wheel can help users find cannabis products that cater to the "experience" they're looking for, be it mental or physical. This helps users find exactly what they want, while also helping them discover what kinds of symptoms cannabis may help them treat. To try the wheel for yourself, click here.
Who is Cannabiscope's target audience?
The target audience that we will be selling our services to are CBD and THC retailers. We also work with brands to display their products and show which retail shops they're available in.
The target audience includes anyone who is looking to buy cannabis, whether online or in-store. The instrument is meant to be simple for novice users, as well as interesting for more advanced consumers. Connoisseurs tend to spend the most time searching for strains based on aroma, while inexperienced cannabis, who may not be so familiar with the cannabis products already out there, click through the effects section to them find the right items.
What do you see as the most promising sector of the cannabis industry?
As a tech company we can work with anybody. We are an additional menu service, another channel to bring in orders. We are not replacing POS systems, which keep dispensaries in compliance, we are a front-end menu that provides a better shopping experience. As a tech company we are not restricted from operating in a single market. Businesses including retailers, suppliers, distributors, doctors, educators across the US and Canada are already using Cannabiscope. We plan on making the wheel available in other languages and making the information more accessible to support emerging markets in Southeast Asia and Latin America.
We also feel strongly that tracking, verifying and refining the Cannabinoid/Terpene ratios of products will allow the community to start unlocking groundbreaking products/strains for consumers. The more we understand how these unique ratios impact consumers both recreationally and medically, the more we can unlock the true potential of cannabis to improve people's lives. The combination of the information gathered from the market and particular products, along with the user feedback, will be very valuable to the community. We look forward to continuing to work with researchers, institutes, educators, and policy makers to provide more information to consumers so they can make confident decisions. We want to use data to prove how powerful cannabis can be to make a positive change in the world. Please join us at www.cannabiscope.com.