While a smoker may know the going retail price for “Strawberry Diesel” or “Buddha’s Sister”, the sector’s wholesale tier still operates much like a black market because of ongoing federal prohibition, despite legalizations in 30 U.S. states and Washington D.C. since the 1990s.
New Leaf makes money from about 350 pot proprietors and other subscribers who buy reports and custom analytics. It has raised money from investors who want exposure to the cannabis sector without the risk of breaking federal law.
His firm collects point-of-sale data from retailers and lists the details for products such as “Blue Dream” and “Green Crack”.
“There isn’t something where I can sell long or short,” he said.
“When vendors come in and say they have x, y, z products, I can go back and look at whatever the going rate is for that product,” he said.
Under the new rules in that state, dispensaries must purchase cannabis from registered producers, who are required to track their sales and report them to the government. Previously, dispensaries could buy more liberally through a medical marijuana program.
But the market in California – which recently legalized recreational use – is evolving rapidly and becoming more like a traditional industry, with buyers and sellers now sometimes meeting at industry events, Davies said.
Joseph Hopkins, co-owner of a dispensary called The Greener Side in Eugene, Oregon, uses the data to deal with suppliers.
Legal pot prices are also impacted by supply and demand fluctuations in the illegal market, and the spread between the two can vary.
In 2014, as Jonathan Rubin and Ian Laird considered investing in the booming U.S. cannabis industry, they hit a problem: How to value pot start-ups with little verified data on the price of the weed itself?