With medical and or recreational cannabis legal in half of the US and much of Canada it is safe to say that the industry is booming. In fact recent metrics have indicated that cannabis is the fastest growing industry in the US. As much as the cannabis industry has taken off there is still so much to learn as the industry is ever growing and evolving. With so much data surrounding cannabis there is a need to really understanding the key drivers in the entire business and every vertical ecosystem of the cannabis industry. We meet up with Gary Allen of New Frontier Data who shares his knowledge of the industry.
Harry Brelsford 0:07
Hey 420 MSP I am here with Gary Allen, the CEO of New Frontier Data, we’ll get to the what that company does in just a moment. But Gary, first of all, congratulations, marijuana venture magazine, you as one of the most visible technology influencers in the cannabis space. So congratulations.
Gary Allen 0:27
Thank you very much. Nice to be here.
Harry Brelsford 0:30
All right. So let’s talk a little bit about your your yourself your background, I see you’re coming up on five years with new frontier data. What so what’s, what’s your personal story? Where have you worked in analytics much of your career? What’s going on?
Gary Allen 0:44
Sure, absolutely. Well, most of my career actually has been in the design, invention and development of advertising technology. Dating back, you know, in technology, at least, I mean, my first, actually my first and only true built w2 job and a company that I didn’t start was with ABN AMRO back in the 90s, huge, real multinational bank. in there, I created the very first mobile banking application ever, in 1996/1997. And from there went on to a company called performics, which became double click, which was also the Google then a very, very media, a very loud transaction, $3.6 billion. But that performance, it they’ll get another digital marketing agency. They were they were based on performance marketing to begin with. But we were able to create and invent the first search marketing bid management tool that became the Dart search product. It was called IE search became Dart search. And then Google, of course, in 2007 2008, Google bought the whole, the whole kit and caboodle from there, went on to a company called ad guru, which is competitive intelligence, again, in advertising, and specifically in search, you know, with clients is as large as being in Nielsen that ended up being sold off to Kantar media. And then, you know, went off into the agency world and learned a little bit more about agency and consulting, and instead helped start a company in Minneapolis. And that’s where I found jaata acquired to carcere, our founder and a new frontier data back in 2016. And I met them actually at MJ free at the MJ Freeway. Now the MJ biz conference 2016 in and in Las Vegas, and to be candid with you, I had no interest whatsoever in the cannabis industry was not I’m not, you know, it was not something that I thought at the time, you know, coming from mature markets and coming from, you know, some success and very successful exits. I didn’t reputational the I wasn’t interested in the industry. After meeting new frontier data and talking to the Jaguar precursor and drunk to gear, realized that the marijuana industry was just like any other industry, they need technology, they need smart people, they need vetted research and, and, and business intelligence. And as a technologist and engineer if I can help bring that to a more mature fruition, then that’s something I wanted to be involved with him and my heart, I’m an entrepreneur, so it you know, very quickly, very quickly, I got a you know, I was enamored with both God and john and decided to join
Harry Brelsford 3:48
what’s what’s the basic business model with new frontier data? Are you selling the 20 $500? market research studies are what what’s what’s the for one month,
Gary Allen 3:59
man, if we could get 20 $500 for for report and cannabis? That would be wonderful. But no. So we have we have three areas of business, okay. We’re market research, you know, our our DNA is in data collection, data analysis, research, data vetting, and really understanding the key drivers in the in the in the entire business and every vertical ecosystem of the cannabis industry. And so, we have our market reports, which have been probably the most trusted in the industry for the last seven years. We also were a technology company at our at our core, all of this data. If you remember back in 2013 1415, collecting data about cannabis was really only done by two groups of people, the cannabis growers themselves or law enforcement for the indictment that they’re going to get after the capture on the cannabis growers. So earning the trust of the cannabis industry, that we were going to take their data and help make more professional, the conversation and make more professional, the the the market research. And the investments that come out that they come as a result was really important. And we’ve been very successful in doing that. So with market research and technology, the third part is consumer understanding. And this is really, you know, the last three years, taking all of that market research and understanding everything from, you know, pesticides to power usage in the cannabis industry. As with every other consumer economy, we had to start to really understand what are the consumers doing? You know, how do they feel? What do they know? And how do you engage with them. And so we’ve spent the last three years investing a lot of money and a lot of time, you know, for exam, little data, right, as a data company. We have interviewed in our various surveys a little bit a little bit over north of 30,000 consumers live and 20 minute interviews over the last three years, we’ve analyzed, we’ve analyzed more than $7 billion in in transaction and shopping card information. And we’ve architected and identified more than 167 million probabilistic consumers in the United States alone. And so that’s a new frontier data does,
Harry Brelsford 6:29
then I’ll tell you, and I did a tour duty in analytics, and my head’s about to explode. So congratulations. Great, great business model. Final question. maybe one or two events where people, you’re an influencer? Where might they find you? And again, assuming events are happening, okay, let’s make an assumption.
Gary Allen 6:51
You know, what it’s, it is yes, let’s make the assumption that, you know, events are happening. And here’s the thing, they really are happening, whether they’re live or they’re virtual. The industry has shown amazing resilience over the last 18 to 24 months, right? You know, prior to COVID, big industry was in a huge capital crunch. But people still got out press, the flesh made sure that their businesses were understood, Major, they were meeting new customers, with COVID. Obviously, webinars and virtual conferences have taken hold, and people are starting to go back to live conferences. For example, our founder and executive Chairwoman, she was just she was just a keynote speaker at ICBC. In Germany, she followed it up with the Zurich investors, investors conference, for us. Used to be in 2018. If you asked me that question, the answer would be everywhere. We spent money to be in every single conference, we I think we went to 83 conferences in 2018. This year, obviously, we’re going to be more selective MJ biz is always there’s always a pretty good chance that we’re going to be there maybe not as a sponsor, but definitely as a participant. And we really understand the with the size of our brand at this point, making sure that we spend our invest our money and our resources in making those connections and those relationships is a little bit more important to us anymore than just plastering our name all over everything. Great. So I would say this year, you know, you’ll probably meet a few people at MJ MJ biz. And then as we round out, January, they’ll there are always a few conferences that happened in January like binson, good things like that, that we will most likely be at. You’ll also find us this next quarter. We’re making a number of acquisitions and we’re going to be very active in the market and so you will be everywhere.
Harry Brelsford 8:51
Well, that’s the best answer I’ve heard all day. So I’ll I’ll keep an eye out for you. mjbizcon, roughly mid October, this year 2021. bout a week after that, but thanks for being on the podcast and congratulations on being an influencer.
Gary Allen 9:07
Thank you again, Harry. And it is a pleasure to meet you and a pleasure. We’ll be here anytime you want.
Harry Brelsford 9:13
All right. Thank you