The Pulse of Today’s Cannabis Industry

The RSPA Cannabis Community helps members meet and network with others interested in the cannabis vertical and fosters business development opportunities for RSPA members, all in a vendor-neutral atmosphere. The community has grown to over 230 members ranging from Fortune 500 organizations to SMB VARs and software developers. To join or sponsor the RSPA Cannabis Community, email

By: RSPA Cannabis Community

The legal cannabis industry in North America has been difficult for even the most experienced executives to gauge. To help with that dilemma, the RSPA Cannabis Community recently met to discuss “The Pulse of Today’s Cannabis Industry.” Featured member guests Danny Gold, the COO of Happy Cabbage Analytics, and Aaron Smith, the Executive Director at the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) led this in-depth conversation: 

  • Short-term it’s a tough time right now. It’s risky if you don’t have the knowledge and the connections. It can be an expensive time to learn. 
  • Understand your local market. If you’re physically in that market, that’s probably your best chance. It’s hard to transact remotely in this industry, especially when you’re selling to retailers. 
  • Finding those early adopters is going to be even tougher now than it was before because there are so many distractions. 
  • Smaller guys are in survival mode and larger MSOs (multi-state operators) are in M&A (mergers and acquisitions) mode. 
  • In the meantime, double down on your existing customers and build new relationships in this market, but don’t try to sell them now. 
  • Right now, this isn’t a goldmine. The industry is in the worst place it’s ever been. Belts are being tightened across the board. But this has always been a long game for us. 
  • I’ve been in this industry 20 years and I still can’t figure out why it’s so tough to get in front of retailers. There’s a lot of gatekeepers – it’s difficult to break through that. 
  • What to invest in now: apps and equipment beyond POS. Dispensaries need help with their digital presence, SEO, Google reviews and rankings, loyalty programs, and marketing tools. 
  • We are also seeing traction with RFID and AI. 
  • I’m turning my attention to all the things we need to be investing in so when the market comes alive again, we’ll be ready for it. We need to stretch our thinking beyond point of sale. This is a great opportunity to do that. 
  • If I’m going to spend a buck, I’m going to spend it on something that helps me when the sunshine comes back. If you get to those days and you’re late to the party, you’re in trouble.