Introducing the Touchless COA For Cannabis Brands

Eliminating the administrative burden of COA and Regulatory Label Management, saving time, and removing errors in the process.

Lucid Green’s place in the supply chain puts us in a unique position to identify some key operational efficiencies possible in the current cannabis ecosystem and introduce solutions that not only drive better and more cost-effective processes, but also ensure consumer safety.

For the past 2 years, we’ve been solving the automatic generation of regulatory labels that include our unique LucIDs, and with now almost 5 Million LucIDs in circulation, we’ve ironed out almost all of the challenges! This journey has also led to the realization that our unique and automated systems can eliminate the need for ANY manual data entry of COA data received from labs all the way through the generation and application of the regulatory label on retail products.

How do we do it?

Brand Operation and Production Teams receive digital copies of COA’s (Certificate of Analysis) from participating Test Laboratories that are fully integrated into Lucid Green’s “THE SOURCE.” Once approved by the Brand compliance team, that test result data is stored, managed, and processed by Lucid Green’s THE SOURCE, which transforms it into the inputs required for regulatory label generation. From the Brand’s THE SOURCE  console, a production team member selects the approved SKU and Batch ID, enters a number of units to print, and THE SOURCE generates the complete regulatory label with embedded unique LucIDs and prints them automatically on-premises, ready for use.  There’s no more label template management and editing, manual data entry of test results on the plant floor, and certainly no more mis-types and mistakes made when generating thousands of compliance labels with dozens of numbers that change for each product batch and SKU. Plus, THE SOURCE keeps a digital archive of all approved COAs for future use.

Value for Downstream Partners

Creating Digital COA’s and storing them in a centralized system like THE SOURCE allows Distributors, Retailers and Consumers alike to access this data, and enables the Brand to demonstrate the authenticity of their product and the accuracy and precision of the lab analysis that backs up their quality.

We continue to challenge ourselves to help solve the biggest problems and reduce the inefficiencies facing our growing Brand base.


springbig Integrates Direct-to-Consumer Brand Advertising Platform With Lucid Green

Brands utilizing both platforms will have the opportunity to directly offer loyalty rewards through product promotions

BOCA RATON, Fla., July 7th, 2020 — springbig, a leading provider in cannabis CRM and loyalty marketing technology, today announced its advertising and loyalty partnership with Lucid Green, the premier trust and transparency platform developed exclusively for the cannabis industry. Effective immediately, brands that use springbig Brands and Lucid Green’s platform  will be able to directly text consumers about exclusive loyalty rewards, product specials and offers. 

Under this partnership, cannabis brands can boost loyalty points programs tracked through Lucid Green’s consumer app. Brands can tailor these offers to apply to specific products, line of products or across all product offerings. Brand based loyalty rewards generated through Lucid Green are eligible for customer redemption at participating dispensaries and on-line. Brands including 1440 Processing and Green Revolution are already utilizing the features of this program.

Brands and dispensaries alike can leverage Lucid Green’s reach across 26 brands and over 3 million products to create unprecedented retail synergies. Participating brands will have direct access to springbig’s 19 million active customers nationwide and have the opportunity to offer unique promotions to further drive sales and direct consumer connections. Retailers will not only be able to efficiently promote more products and brands, but also facilitate long-term customer loyalty by offering products vetted by Lucid Green’s LUCID ID. This partnership adds unparalleled value to the consumer experience and provides customers with critical product and safety information. 

“springbig was founded to help retailers skillfully bolster their loyalty programs while maximizing ROI, and we are confident that this new program featuring Lucid Green will benefit retailers and brands aiming to distinguish themselves in this competitive market, said Jeffery Harris, Founder and CEO of springbig. “Lucid Green has been a leading provider of product safety and authentication solutions, and their dedication to consumer well-being and improving the overall retail experience will be a boon to the industry at large.”

“We are delighted to work with springbig’s leading-edge advertising platform to bring trust, transparency and value to millions of cannabis customers,” said Larry Levy, CEO of Lucid Green. “Our main priority has always been to empower consumers to make informed decisions, and we are eager to equip even more consumers with our educational tools.”

About springbig

springbig is the leading provider in customer-loyalty and communications solutions for dispensaries and cannabis retailers. Founded in 2017, springbig offers state of the art CRM programs that capture key customer data and seamlessly integrates with existing dispensary POS systems. The platform also develops custom cannabis loyalty software embedded with advanced marketing tools to retain customers and sends targeted and personalized SMS campaigns based on customer interest with a 99% open rate. springbig is helping dispensaries & cannabis retailers keep their clientele connected and engaged while allowing the store owners to track their inevitable success and ROI in real-time. For more information, please visit www.springbig.com.

About Lucid Green

Lucid Green was founded in early 2018 by data veterans Paul Botto and Larry Levy with a singular mission of building a standard for trust and transparency in the cannabis ecosystem. Lucid Green’s revolutionary information platform provides brands a channel to connect directly with both consumers and retail staff; enabling brands, distributors, and retailers to provide the most accurate product information and improve their customers’ experience. Lucid Green's total transparency platform allows consumers to verify product authenticity, understand effects and usage recommendations, view test results, scan reviews, and track their experience – delivering a safe, predictable, and enjoyable experience. For more information, please visit www.lucidgreen.io.

Media Contact

Noah Bethke

MATTIO Communications

springbig@mattio.com


Big Isn’t Always Better - Especially When It Comes To THC

Does the THC arms race even make sense?

Public perception is that both cannabis flower and concentrates that come in below a certain THC percentage are “less desirable” than products that come in higher in THC percentage. This has focused product development on delivering high THC levels with less focus on other, arguably as important, cannabinoids. Cannabis producers dread reading certificate of analysis (COA) results when a large batch of concentrates, flower or distillate comes in below the expected THC ranges. They know they’ll hear all about it from either purchasing managers or customers directly.

According to a study by CU Boulder researchers, higher THC levels are not necessarily the driving factor in how high cannabis users get. And according to this study published in the Journal of Cannabis Theraputics, cannabis is more of a sum of all of its parts vs one major component in THC. If it’s not just about THC strength, then how do brands develop new products? How does the intended effect coincide with the actual consumer experience?

There have been a number of attempts to collect usage data from consumers, but most have been too difficult to scale. The most common technique used by brands has generally been sampling out different variations of new products to staff and gathering feedback based on desired effect, taste profile etc. This results in a very small data set and a new product that is a “winner” in staff testing, might not work out when it rolls out into the general population

One of the most intriguing value propositions for cannabis brands through the utilization of data platforms like Lucid Green, is the opportunity to do true data-driven product development at scale, that directly benefits the user, as well as potentially allowing the Brand to maximize lower THC yielding crops. 

Lucid Green users get to add their dosage and effects as part of their overall experience with that Brand’s product. It’s not an add-on or a separate step they have to remember to take. Allowing users to record their dosage for future reference, as well as providing them with valuable information on the products they’re consuming, makes it more convenient for consumers to provide this feedback. There’s real value in showing consumers that they have a very similar experience when they consume a high strength vs medium-strength THC Sativa dominant products. It’s also really useful to know that consuming products with more than 4mg/g of limonene leaves some consumers with sensitive skin, whereas their skin feels great when dosages are below 4mg/g. As consumers log more usage, they’re able to dial in what works for them and what doesn’t. Ultimately platforms like Lucid Green may help consumers discover the right blend of terpenes and cannabinoids, as they consider their next product purchase. Having both user documented effects and the detailed chemical composition of the product (COA) consumed, yields valuable insights when analyzing the correlation between dosage/effect and full cannabinoid/terpene analysis. These aggregated insights could prove invaluable for a Brand’s future product development.

There’s a promising new data set for brands and consumers alike, that drives home the goal of providing consistent and enjoyable consumer experiences….. even if that means lower THC numbers!


BRANDS - NOW’S THE TIME TO ACQUIRE CUSTOMERS, NOT JUST MAKE SALES


Cannabis digital marketing was pushed into overdrive thanks to the Covid pandemic. Like traditional retail before it, cannabis retail is moving rapidly towards a more digitally integrated experience and consumer behavior is changing along with it. Thankfully for cannabis brands, there’s a tried and tested brand marketing blueprint to follow in order to build out their Direct to Consumer (
DTC) digital strategy.

Traditional Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) marketers used to operate much like cannabis Brands do now - focused on shelf-space and managing retailer relationships, but the internet changed that dynamic. With the accelerating digital shift and where two-thirds of consumers now expect to connect directly to the Brands they buy, CPG companies have turned to building and managing direct customer relationships, taking advantage of the efficiencies of the digital landscape to do so, rather than fighting to hold back the tide.  While strong retailer relationships help drive sales for cannabis Brands, it contributes very little to increasing the Lifetime Value of the Customer (LTV), allowing the fickle consumer (and retailer) to switch Brands with alarming regularity and no easy way for the Brand to intervene.

Unlocking a latent, powerful marketing channel Brands never knew they had

What if Brands could change all that by creating their OWN marketing channel using their existing widely distributed packaging?  The digitization of cannabis Brand packaging, which requires a tiny footprint, but creates a highly engaging experience right off of every package, gives that power to the Brand almost instantaneously.  Want to deliver a deep branding experience along with all the knowledge required to have the best, most predictable, and enjoyable Brand experience on every product?  Consumers simply point their camera at the packaging.  No app to download, no registration required, no typing, just point-and-click.  Within one production cycle, a Brand can
create a DTC channel, start building a relationship with those consumers, and drive Brand affinity, loyalty, and ultimately repurchase behavior. 

Building a relationship with consumers is not easy, but this is where it gets really interesting.  An integral part of that same, simple packaging interaction is to deliver a call to action for things like product authentication, Brand loyalty, dosage and product tracking, which, of course, requires consumer registration.  When the consumer signs in to access these details, they connect directly with that Brand.  Successful cannabis Brands adopting this digital strategy have amassed tens of thousands of consumers and add hundreds more every day. They integrate their social media, web site, sales collateral into campaigns that both drive higher sales volume AND capture consumers on their digital platform.

There’s no disputing that digitizing cannabis brand packaging works, but how do you, as a Brand, know how much to spend on these tools, loyalty, and promotion?  This is where many young Brands get stuck, but successful traditional brand marketers have already figured this out.

To LTV or Not to LTV - That is the question

Lifetime Value vs Customer Acquisition Costs.  This simple ratio breaks down the complicated consumer journey by accounting for what you spend to acquire a consumer and what they are worth to you.  Simply stated, a 1:1 LTV:CAC ratio would mean you only earned what you spent over the lifetime of a customer - a questionable strategy. The best marketers figured out the “ideal ratio” of 3:1, which means you sell 3x what you spend to acquire each consumer - that’s Brand-building gold!

This is where digitally integrated cannabis packaging really shines. Brands are regularly seeing LTV:CAC ratios of 10:1 or more, even when accounting for the cost of a digitally integrated packaging platform like Lucid Green and the cost of the loyalty program.

The digital trends in cannabis may seem daunting in a new industry with so many aspects of the business still evolving, but one thing is clear, the post Covid retail landscape has changed consumer behavior forever, leaving it impossible for Brands to ignore digital marketing.  This no-brainer first foray into digital marketing allows Brands to gain an enormous advantage from that direct consumer connection, allowing Brands to take control of their brand affinity, loyalty, and drive up that all important LTV ratio.

If you want to see how these numbers play out with your own assumptions, email info@lucidgreen.io to contact your Lucid Green representative, who’ll help calculate your LTV:CAC ratio.  

 


Greenlane Launches Consumer-Facing Product Verification Program G-Verify Powered by Lucid Green

Greenlane Holdings, Inc. (“Greenlane” or “the Company”) (Nasdaq: GNLN), one of the largest global sellers of premium cannabis accessories, child-resistant packaging, and specialty vaporization products, today unveiled G-Verify, a consumer-facing, scannable verification program that allows brands to communicate product information directly to consumers. Powered by Lucid Green’s Lucid ID platform, G-Verify can be used by brands to confirm product authenticity, share manufacturing certifications, child-resistant compliance details, reviews, dosage, and educational content through unique QR codes.

G-Verify harnesses the power of Lucid Green’s 36,000 registered users and up to 600 daily scans per brand to provide reliable product, safety, and educational information directly to consumers and retailers. Each G-Verify Lucid ID is conveniently printed on product packaging and can be easily scanned with any smartphone camera. Greenlane’s latest offering in partnership with Lucid Green assures consumers that every aspect of their favorite products, from the packaging to the hardware or cannabis itself, is verified and compliant, and provides critical information regarding lab testing and safety.

BRANDS
Greenlane brands that opt into G-Verify will have direct-to-consumer control over their own brand narrative. Each G-Verify brand landing page provides real-time updates regarding product information, compliance testing results, marketing assets, and brand messaging. G-Verify Lucid ID codes seamlessly integrate into existing compliance labeling machinery and easily prints directly within existing compliance labels. In addition, brands will receive monthly consumer data reports that can be leveraged to update marketing content and drive sales. Most importantly, G-Verify proactively verifies that a product is authentic, protecting brands from intellectual property theft.

DISPENSARIES
G-Verify acts as a virtual brand ambassador that can be easily utilized by budtenders to provide product expertise at point-of-sale. In addition to enhancing in-store customer experiences, G-Verify provides comprehensive employee training and guidelines regarding best practices and ongoing product education. G-Verify brands seamlessly integrate with existing retailer POS systems, which allows retailers to verify product authenticity, certifications, and compliance, and even review product testing results in real-time. Upon registration, retailers will gain access to brand marketing assets which can be used to drive sales and customer engagement.

CONSUMERS
Any consumer with a smartphone can access critical product information including dosage recommendations, reviews, ingredient breakdowns, batch information, and certifications. Consumers can even track their personal experience with products without downloading additional applications. G-Verify’s landing page also allows consumers to explore verified customer reviews, industry articles, and related blogs about participating products or brands. Unlike other compliance solutions, the G-Verify platform also acts as a digital wallet that tracks purchases and rewards points, allowing consumers to redeem exclusive gifts and offers.

“The legal cannabis retail environment is still challenging space for consumers, brands, and dispensaries to navigate,” said Aaron LoCascio, Co-Founder and CEO of Greenlane. “The illicit market is actively competing with legal companies for customers, which is a serious threat to consumer safety. G-Verify’s partnership with Lucid Green delivers a vital platform that allows cannabis enthusiasts to buy and sell consumption products with peace of mind.”

About Greenlane Holdings, Inc.
Greenlane (NASDAQ: GNLN) is the leading global platform for the development and distribution of premium cannabis accessories and lifestyle products. The company operates as a powerful house of brands, third-party brand accelerator, and omni-channel distribution platform. Greenlane serves the global markets with an expansive customer base of more than 11,000 retail locations, including licensed cannabis dispensaries, smoke shops, and specialty retailers. Greenlane’s world-class team provides services including product development, go-to-market strategy, sales and marketing support, customer service, direct-to-consumer fulfillment, supply chain management, and distribution. As a pioneer in the cannabis space, Greenlane is the partner of choice for many of the industry’s leading brands, including PAX Labs, Storz & Bickel (Canopy-owned), Cookies, Grenco Science, and DaVinci. Greenlane also proudly owns and operates a diverse brand portfolio including packaging innovator Pollen Gear™, the K.Haring Glass Collection by Higher Standards, Marley Natural™, and VIBES™ rolling papers. Higher Standards, Greenlane’s flagship brand, offers both a high-end product line and immersive retail experience with groundbreaking stores in both New York City’s Chelsea Market and Malibu, California. Greenlane also owns and operates both Vapor.com and VapoShop.com, two industry-leading, direct-to-consumer e-commerce platforms in North America and Europe respectively. For additional information, please visit: https://gnln.com/.

About Lucid Green Inc.
Lucid Green was founded in early 2018 by data veterans Paul Botto and Larry Levy with a singular mission of building a standard for trust and transparency in the cannabis ecosystem. Lucid Green’s revolutionary information platform provides brands a channel to connect directly with both consumers and retail staff; enabling brands, distributors, and retailers to provide the most accurate product information and improve their customers’ experience. Lucid Green's total transparency platform allows consumers to verify product authenticity, understand effects and usage recommendations, view test results, scan reviews, and track their experience – delivering a safe, predictable, and enjoyable experience.


ONE CODE, ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES FOR CANNABIS BRANDS AND RETAILERS

It’s not often that you get the opportunity to have your cake and eat it too…. and it gets better. For very little upfront effort, Cannabis Brands can unlock a host of operational, sales and marketing opportunities.  All from this tiny pattern of dots on a regulatory label!

 

ENTER THE FUNGIBLE CODE

The “fungible” on-pack code, meaning a single code can be used for many different functions and by many different users, allows for incredible flexibility and efficiency for Brands.

A unique code, automatically included on every item, allows brands to unlock a wish list of capabilities: from inventory check-in optimization for their retailers, real-time sell-through data for brands, to product authentication, product safety, recalls, usage guidance, budtender training and incentives, and even fully featured consumer loyalty.  Consumers and retailers alike don’t even need to download an app to access this rich set of functionality. 

 

SO HOW DO YOU DO IT?

A simple modification to the regulatory label that takes only an hour or so to implement, puts the code on each and every package without any further effort required. Set it and forget it. Once implemented, most brands see efficiency improvements over their standard label printing process, eliminating the need to hand-transfer information from the COA or reformat the label every time a batch changes.

The key to a fungible code’s flexibility is it’s fidelity.  By using serialized, unique codes at the unit-level, Brands are able to deliver and gather data on every interaction with that individual package. 

 

DO IT RIGHT….. DO IT RIGHT AWAY!

These item level codes called Lucid ID’s,  giving cannabis Brands control of their message, opening up a direct to consumer and budtender channel, deliver visibility on inventory, and allow Brands to be dynamic, supportive partners to their retailers, budtenders, and consumers alike.  Operationally, Lucid ID’s costs mere pennies and are 280E friendly, making them one of the most cost-effective, impactful improvements to ops, sales, and marketing available to Brands today. If building a direct to consumer (DTC) channel for a fraction of what it would ordinarily cost OR deriving significant ROI from operational efficiencies into your supply chain is important to you, then get them integrated right away, there is no better time than now.


2020: The Year of the Virtual Budtender

THE WORLD HAS CHANGED

As the cannabis industry rolled into 2020, markets were already seeing a steady increase in online ordering and digital engagement, even as many brands still had nascent digital strategies in place to address this growing channel. BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup In-Store) purchasing was saving consumers and retailers major queue time and markets like CO finally passed laws to allow the slow rollout of home delivery in the state.  But the global Covid-19 pandemic threw gasoline on that fire, and overnight, twenty-four states including Florida, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Mexico, permitted curbside pickup outside of dispensaries.  Nevada made drastic moves to enforce cannabis by home delivery-only, statewide. 

This presented unique challenges for brands who were accustomed to in-store activity and budtender relationships delivering the bulk of their consumer messaging.  But it also gave brands a huge opportunity to connect directly with consumers.

 

ENTER: THE VIRTUAL BUDTENDER

If a budtender recommendation figures into 80% of all purchases (Brown, ElevatedInsights 2018), delivering the knowledge a budtender or in-store experience might deliver, and much more, presents unique challenges in this new digital cannabis economy.  Enter the virtual budtender, who can deliver product authentication, full product descriptions, dosage guidance, processing standards, and actual COAs for the product the consumer is holding in their hand.  As importantly, it paves the way for a true digital connection with consumers, providing information for brands to understand how consumers are using the brand’s products, channel-building tools to activate the digital direct to consumer (DTC) channel, and other features to allow brands to cultivate true brand affinity and loyalty.  Better yet, the seamless integration of this capability on-pack has made ROI nearly automatic –  just pennies per package and virtually no additional operational overhead.

 

HOW TECHNOLOGY ENABLED THIS TRANSFORMATION 

The first tech challenge was operational:  How can we get the codes on every package at scale, without disrupting production?  Innovations in digital print management and identity management allow brands to integrate serialized QR codes into the regulatory labels they already place on products.

The second tech challenge, and probably most importantly, was the poor user experience of forcing a consumer to download an app in order to engage with digital packaging.  But by 2019, all iOS and Android phones had native QR code reading built into the camera itself which is 99.6% of smartphones.  Anyone that knows how to pull up their camera and click a link can now engage directly with the brand and product in their hand.  

It no longer matters if the consumer had a brief encounter in-store, home delivery, picked up curbside, or simply forgot everything their budtender told them. The guidance is always easy to access, accurate, and consistent because it is coming straight from the brand for an exceptional product experience – every time.  Brands are taking this digital shift as an opportunity to connect directly with the consumer, joining the leaders of other industries in taking control of their brand and product communication.  

 


Is Cannabis Ready for Blockchain?

Cannabis Dispensary Magazine 

From the vaping crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic, recent events have intensified the need for transparency and trust in the cannabis supply chain to ensure packaging and products are contaminant free.

Now, perhaps more than ever, supply chain partners and customers want more information about industry practices and products.

Blockchain, steadily gaining adoption in other markets, could be the next game-changing technology for the cannabis industry. Proven in mainstream food safety, pharmaceuticals and other sectors, blockchain-powered platforms offer potential benefits for everyone, from breeders with new genetics to consumers shopping dispensary shelves.

Understanding Blockchain Basics

Cannabis attorney Braden Perry, partner at Kansas City, Mo., law firm Kennyhertz Perry, helps companies implement novel and emerging technologies, including blockchain. An expert in enforcement, digital currencies, and regulatory and compliance issues, Perry suggests the easiest way to envision blockchain is to think of it as a digital ledger—one that contains a series of unchangeable records.

Rather than transaction lines found in general financial ledgers, blockchain contains information packets called “blocks.” The blocks are connected chronologically to form a chain. They store a wide range of product-specific and transactional information, including the time and date for specific actions, product origin and process steps or product inputs. For the cannabis industry, critical data in a block might include genetic information, lab results, cultivation inputs, supply chain logistics, location tracking and consumer feedback. Blockchain has endless applications and can be used to record and track anything.

A typical end user of a product doesn’t see a block, they just see a software program interface. How the information “looks” to an end user will depend on how the blockchain-powered software product they’re using presents that data to them.

Unlike traditional databases, the blockchain ledger is decentralized. The information it holds is stored across multiple locations, entered by trusted partners and synchronized by consensus of those partners, protecting data integrity. Once created, a block cannot be changed. New data, including corrections to prior entries, result in new blocks. The original block remains constant, an immutable record of what’s within.

“From a seed-to-sale perspective, especially in today’s regulatory environment in the legal marijuana industry, the recordkeeping and reporting is very complex,” Perry says. “This automated ledger ensures [information] cannot be altered from either an intentional standpoint, such as a forgery or other type of wrongdoing, or an unintentional standpoint, such as an error.”

Overcoming Misconceptions

Perry points out that many people erroneously believe that blockchain and cryptocurrency are synonymous. Larry Levy, CEO and co-founder of Lucid Green, also notes that many in the cannabis industry have struggled to separate the two concepts. While blockchain technology makes cryptocurrency possible, they are not the same. Blockchain, free from the risks and regulatory issues associated with cryptocurrencies, can just as easily power seed-to-sale tracking systems, genetic validation or transparency of lab results.

Lucid Green, a cannabis supply chain platform, launched in late 2018 with a blockchain-empowered product QR code aimed at brand-to-consumer and brand-to-budtender education and marketing—and a token-based rewards program. The platform received strong resistance from brands swayed by misconceptions about blockchain, Levy says. “It completely blew their minds,” he recalls. “They were in a high-risk industry anyway. Then here’s another thing they see as high risk.”

Now, Lucid Green keeps it simple. “We don’t bring up blockchain because [brands] are not interested in the technology,” Levy says.

The company’s private blockchain network operates as a centralized database for now. “But the minute the industry grows up and can sustain and support decentralized, trusted actors putting data in, we’ll just switch that on,” he says.

Levy’s experience highlights another misconception, that decentralized blockchain platforms expose proprietary information to the world. With permissioned blockchain networks, you control who sees what and who creates blocks. Blockchains can be public, private or a combination of both. And, yes, separate blockchain networks can communicate.

“You can have your own enterprise blockchain where certain information is shared and other information is siloed off,” Perry says. “If you’re worried about potential intrusion or corporate espionage, private blockchains are a way to lock up the information where you only have access to it, but the reporting is secure.”

Exploring Blockchain Uses

As blockchain’s benefits become better known, blockchain-empowered cannabis-related products and services will grow. Robert Galarza is CEO of TruTrace Technologies, whose blockchain-based StrainSecure program registers and tracks intellectual property (IP) in the cannabis industry. In partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart, Canada’s largest pharmacy chain, TruTrace is piloting blockchain-secured programs to track and trace “from genome to distribution.” Decades of enterprise technology experience fuel Galarza’s enthusiasm for blockchain’s potential.

“With blockchain, we can get all the information—even the efficacy studies and consumer feedback and all of that—put into a system that can make it readily accessible by the parties that need to access it at any time, and the information is secure,” he says. “In the supply chain, it brings an integrity to this industry that we’ve never had.”

The following are some of the ways blockchain-powered technology is already benefiting cannabis and non-cannabis businesses:

1. Rapid, real-time traceability. Blockchain’s secure technology ensures an accurate, permanent record, but it also allows rapid access to specific details within the large amounts of stored information. With blockchain, businesses can instantly get a specific product’s full history and access present and past locations in the supply chain.

A high-profile, mainstream example is Walmart’s incorporation of IBM blockchain technology following E. coli scares with romaine lettuce in 2018. Blockchain reduced the time it took supply chain tracking to locate lettuce sources from seven days to 2.2 seconds. Galarza says blockchain offers the same speed to cannabis supply chains.

2. Improved efficiency and reduced costs. Labor remains one of the largest expenses for cannabis businesses, whether they operate cultivation facilities, retail shops or both. Perry believes blockchain can streamline time-consuming tracking, reporting and auditing, and eventually reduce the need for staff and oversight related to those functions. “Obviously, upfront costs are going to be there, but in the long term, businesses will likely save,” he says.

3. Product validation and standardization. Levy suggests the greatest cannabis-related potential for blockchain’s decentralized, distributed ledger lies with genetics. As Galarza points out, cannabis has long been identified primarily by street names. Under blockchain-powered programs like the Shoppers Drug Mart pilot, genetic cultivar information is being collected, registered, tested and published through the secure, permanent infrastructure blockchain provides.

Growers can protect their IP. Researchers can identify specific genetic and chemical profiles. Medical providers and retailers can be sure they receive consistent products and verify provenance, testing results, patient outcomes and other immutable information.

4. Compliance efficiencies. For U.S. growers bound to state-mandated tracking systems, Levy expresses doubts about blockchain’s promise: “From a compliance perspective, I just don’t see the need to overcomplicate what is already a very onerous process because of the whole track-and-trace requirement that the states have decreed.”

But Perry believes that part of blockchain’s power lies in compliance and enforcement. “[Blockchain] eliminates human error and the ability for mischief along the way and really eliminates any fear that a state or a regulatory body might have that anything has not been reported properly,” he says. “Being able to provide bulletproof evidence that your compliance is complete is the biggest advantage right now.”

Galarza sees opportunities for blockchain-improved compliance by supporting systems already in place. “We don’t want to replace track-and-trace. We want to empower track-and-trace,” he stresses. “We have to be the ones to support [those systems].” He says that’s done by building tools that help bridge gaps and can touch many competing seed-to-sale platforms and push information between those systems.

5. Consumer confidence. Blockchain-powered scannable codes and other technologies can increase transparency and provide end consumers with secure, verified product identification and information to drive confidence and brand loyalty.

“With blockchain, whatever way you want to show a consumer how your product is superior to others, from seed to sale, you can prove that without having to deal with claims of bias or inaccuracy,” Perry says. “I think it’s really important from the consumer standpoint to know exactly what they’re getting and how they’re getting it.”

Galarza expands on blockchain-empowered opportunities for cultivators and dispensaries. “Through scanning a QR code or some newer packaging technology, [consumers] can know what’s in this exact product and batch, down to the more granular details if you want them to see them,” he says. “It’s just a matter of saying, ‘OK, we have full, transparent traceability.’ From a quality assurance perspective, why wouldn’t we make that accessible to individual customers and patients on the packaging?”

Anticipating Blockchain’s Future

Though the cannabis industry has been slow to embrace blockchain, Levy says he anticipates rapid change: “Many of the cannatech solutions that are out there have literally grown up out of people’s basements because the big software companies didn’t want to touch a weed company.” He believes that consolidation and normalization will bring blockchain leaders into the cannabis industry. “That’s how the industry is going to grow up,” he says.

Perry agrees that mainstream blockchain platforms will enter the cannabis industry soon. “It likely willbecome much more enticing both to big technology as well as the industry itself,” he says. “Once one of those big companies gets a product out there, there will likely be a snowball effect. I really think it is the future of the industry from at least the supply chain and the tracking aspect.”

Galarza expects companies like Shoppers Drug Mart and Walmart will drive blockchain adoption as cannabis matures and supply chains grow more complex. “Companies need to know what they’re getting is safe before they put it in the hands of people,” he says. “I think that’s already what we’re seeing in Canada and what we’re seeing with the bigger companies in the U.S., where we’re seeing it a little bit more [on] the CBD side.”

Galarza advises cannabis businesses, from breeders to retailers, to look ahead and understand the infrastructure demanded by the food, drug and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries—that blockchain-secured technologies help provide—and then work together to see the cannabis industry thrive.

“The maturity I hope to see in the industry in the next couple of years is everyone says, ‘We love this industry. We want to see it grow.’ We have to band together and do the best we can at what we do,” he says. “And if somebody does it better, then we go back to the drawing board and work harder to make what we do better. That’s the one thing that I hope to see as we evolve.”

 

Jolene Hansen - jolene@lovesgarden.com


IS COVID-19 DRIVING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN CANNABIS? HOW DO BRANDS GET ON-TRACK?

The post on the left has been circulating on LinkedIn from a variety of sources and it got us thinking: Is Covid-19 to thank for the momentum in cannabis digitization? The silver lining here is these safety measures for online ordering, curbside, and BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup Instore) have forced cannabis retailers and brands to consider their digital presence now, solving the current pandemic dilemma and also finally setting themselves up to turn the typical cannabis branding challenges they’ve faced for years to their advantage.

Why is this such an important evolution for the cannabis industry?  In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Nike, the sportswear giant, was able to increase digital orders 36% to drive global sales up 5.1% to $10.10 billion because they doubled down on their digital practice, knew who their customers were, and how to reach them.  Read more at the WSJ (subscription required).  Is there a cannabis brand that is not jealous of that flexibility?   But for some, it is already an essential part of their cannabis branding and consumer experience.

HOW TO START DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION NOW: STEP 1: BRAND ASSET MANAGEMENT

This foundational step is often why brands can’t even get their digital practice off the ground. You cannot deliver a quality digital experience if the live menus, POS systems, and content providers have outdated brand and product images, made-up, incorrect, or incomplete product descriptions. Frankly, no one has the time to reach out to hundreds of content providers every time you make a change. The SOURCE powers the Lucid Green interactive packaging experience and brands also use it to distribute all their digital assets effortlessly to all digital content partners with the free SOURCE API – live menus, POS systems…you name it, instantly updated with the latest product shots, newly written descriptions, or newly launched SKU details the minute you enter them in.  Digital consistency and efficiency.

 

STEP 2: CREATING A BRAND “VIRTUAL BUDTENDER” AND NEW DTC CHANNEL

Trust and transparency have always been important, but now without the typical in-store experience and often buying from retailers online without any budtender/caregiver consultation, it has become an essential part of the brand and consumer relationship. Brands lay the railroad tracks for their digital practice by creating a brand-new DTC channel right off their own packaging using unique, unit-level LUCID IDs integrated elegantly into their regulatory labels with zero operational cost. The “virtual budtender” experience enabled by LUCID IDs allows consumers to simply point their cell phone camera at the package to instantly access all the knowledge they need to have the safest, most predictable, and most enjoyable experience with that product, even accessing batch-level COAs and specific product dosage guidance – all without needing to download an app or sign up for anything at all. Brands like Papa & Barkley, Green Revolution, Mary’s Medicinals and Foria are engaging directly with their consumers this way, creating a rich branding and product experience online or in-store.

STEP 3: CAPTURE USERS AND DRIVE ACTIVITY

How do the top brands build a true relationship with those consumers? The final component to get to know the consumers and build that relationship. Consumers are encouraged in Lucid Green to register upon scan to verify product authenticity, giving brands the most effective tool to fight against counterfeit and black-market operators who are taking advantage of the out-of-store trend, giving consumers peace-of-mind and helping pave the way to pulling those consumers into the brand's CRM. To sweeten the pull and gamify on-going interactions, brands light up Lucid Green’s built-in brand loyalty platform. Consumers earn “Bud tokens” (points) upon scan that can be redeemed later for branded swag or discounted products.  Users also track dosage, create favorites, share their favorites with friends and a host of other features - key data for a brand.  Bhang, Nuvata, Gold Flora, and Green Revolution have been using this gamified digital channel to remain top-of-mind campaigns, push new SKUs to an already receptive audience, drive online purchases, and supercharge in-store activity.

One brand that’s enjoyed a head-start on using this technology is ROVE Brand, based in CA. They have amassed 10s of thousands of registered users in less than a year, adding 100's more every day.  ROVE has activated this channel to dramatic results, running digital campaigns that can drive higher than 20% scan rates.  So while other brands suffered through the vape-scare or scramble amidst Covid-19 pressures, Rove routinely activates their DTC channel to gain market share and drive consumer engagement without the need to rely solely on unscalable in-store promotions, elusive cannabis retailer support, and the maddening tangle of cannabis advertising regulations.

Brands need to solve the Covid-19 challenges now and catch their digital practice up to match the new retail cannabis landscape. LUCID ID’s and THE SOURCE offers an incredibly deep and nearly instantaneous way to jumpstart a brand’s digital practice with minimal investment and upfront effort.

Contact Lucid Green at info@lucidgreen.io for more information and to get started today.

 


Lucid Green Announces Partnership with Rove to Implement Intelligent Cannabis Authentication Technology

PR Newswire

NEW YORKMarch 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Lucid Green, the leading trust and transparency platform developed exclusively for the cannabis industry to offer instant access into product-specific information, today announced a brand partnership with Rove, a leading producer of vape technologies and premium cannabis oils. Through this relationship, Rove will implement Lucid Green's LUCID ID technology on all packaging, allowing consumers to easily verify product authenticity, earn rewards, view verified test results and receive guidance on product dosage and effects. The partnership empowers Rove consumers with the knowledge they need to have a safe, predictable and enjoyable experience.

Before implementing LUCID ID, Rove demonstrated its commitment to consumer safety through a self-implemented QR system beneath a peel-off sticker on all of its packaging, which could only be scanned once. LUCID ID will provide Rove with an evolved, scalable solution that will allow the brand to grow as it builds consumer trust and transparency.

"We are thrilled to support Rove in their expansion and consumer safety objectives," said Larry Levy, CEO of Lucid Green. "Our partnership with Rove sets the bar for forward-thinking brands that prioritize transparency and education."

Lucid Green's LUCID ID utilizes QR-codes that consumers can easily scan with a smartphone camera to access accurate and detailed product information, all in one platform. Users can earn rewards, view the actual testing certificates, product ingredients, as well as user reviews and experiences. Rove is implementing the LUCID ID on all of its packaging for all product lines across California and Nevada, in addition to future markets.

"Consumer safety is front-and-center for our operations, so it is extremely important for us to provide robust authentication that allows our brand to scale," said Paul Jacobson, President of Rove. "Lucid Green is the most advanced solution we have seen, and we are excited to partner with them."

About Lucid Green
Lucid Green was founded in 2018 by data veterans Paul Botto and Larry Levy with a singular mission of building a standard for trust and transparency in the cannabis ecosystem. Lucid Green's revolutionary information platform provides brands a channel to connect directly with both consumers and retail staff; enabling brands, distributors and retailers to provide the most accurate product information and improve their customers' experience. Lucid Green's total transparency platform allows consumers to verify product authenticity, understand effects and usage recommendations, view test results, scan reviews and track their experience – delivering a safe, predictable, and enjoyable experience.