New Frontier Data is a data analytics platform providing unbiased and vetted industry reports for the legal cannabis sector. Founder and CEO Giadha Aguirre De Carcer reveals New Frontier Data helps stakeholders and operators understand both a macroeconomic view of the industry as well as provides the ability to monetize specific data sets. The New Frontier Data platform has an index tracking all publicly traded cannabis companies in Canada and the United States and closely monitors additional hotbeds like Germany, Australia, and Israel. She notes a key distinction between North American markets, which are cannabis-focused, and the rest of the world, which is hemp-centric. She reveals the most difficult aspects of the cannabis space to track have to do with dosage and strains because of the lack of standardization. For research results to improve, greater standardization is integral.
Brandon Colwell: Joining us all the way from Washington – Giadha, how are you doing today?
Giadha Aguirre De Carcer: I’m doing great, thank you for having me.
Brandon Colwell: Absolutely. Now, I’m not sure when they finally cued in the microphone, there – I hope you heard the segue, because that was perfect to what we were just talking about, is that a lot of people right now are seeing so many different… no they hadn’t? But we’re speaking about so many different players right now, and there’s so much going on in the Canadian landscape, in the United States, and abroad, but there aren’t many people out there doing a good job of measuring that. And at New Frontier Data, that’s something where you specialize in.
Giadha Aguirre De Carcer: Indeed, it was quite a perfect segue, and I was listening to the segment – very interesting, I actually agree with a lot of what you’re saying. So the market is certainly getting very crowded.
But yes, so New Frontier Data, we’re a Big Data company, we cover solely the cannabis industry globally. We’re a bunch of data geeks, and we provide very objective – we do not take a position in any way – intelligence, in the cannabis sector.
Brandon Colwell: Absolutely, and that’s needed. It really, really is, because there’s too many guessing, there’s too many people going with speculation and all that, and you know, when you’re looking at these larger banks and these larger companies who you actually see as this legitimate sector that has been coming out of what has been in prohibition for many, many years, a lot of people who thought this was a flashy thing to get into, they’re going to start fading, and real companies are going to start moving forward. And I can imagine you’re going to be tracking who those people are going to be.
Giadha Aguirre De Carcer: Indeed, absolutely. In fact, funny enough, you were asking how many companies that are currently publicly traded; we just launched on our platform, which is called Equio – actually is from the horse’s mouth, so that is cheeky. But our platform currently has an index that tracks every single publicly traded company both in the US and Canada. And as well as the volatility. Think of Yahoo Finance for cannabis.
Most of the interest we’re getting from our audience, which tends to be investors, financial institutions, the Bloombergs of the world, the more enterprise level – they really want to get more visibility, but quant based, fact based visibility on what’s truly happening in this sector which is now global. There are over 60 nations around the world that are either de-criminalizing or legalizing cannabis today. That’s a pretty big number.
Brandon Colwell: Yeah. It’s absolutely fascinating how many, like, how quickly this is growing. And it’s debatable, but a lot of people were looking at the Federal government of Canada, and just the fact that when C45 went through, it was the fact that a large, G20 nation had actually approved it. And you can really start seeing the domino effect happen. It’s already been happening throughout the States for a long time, but state by state. You can really start seeing, Germany is coming on board, South Africa is coming on board, Australia, Israel’s been on board for a long time. You’re really starting to see this domino effect, saying hey, well, if the rest of the developed world is doing it, well, we don’t want to be left behind.
And they’re seeing the benefits. What kind of trend are you really finding, that’s something that you need to watch out for – in a good way?
Giadha Aguirre De Carcer: You actually nailed it, and you named all the nations we are tracking very closely. Australia is actually going to be the next nation that legalizes both medical and adult use nationally, so they’ll be very interesting to track.
But in terms of trends that we’re seeing, you know, a little anecdote: Mexico is looking to legalize all drugs, not just cannabis. So that should be interesting as well.
But we’re beginning to see regional ecosystems, and we’re also beginning to see a race to dominate the export world, specifically in all things hemp and CBD related. And as I’m sure you know, hemp, CBD, non-psychotropic, we’re beginning to see the diversion between the cannabis industry and the hemp industry. But I would say the rest of the world, outside of North America, is truly hemp-centric, because most of the legalization is occurring around the medical, the medicinal applications of the plant.
And we see Europe emerging as a very large consumer base and patient base, we’re now seeing countries like Canada, Mexico, Colombia, looking to position to be the main import. So certainly a true global race, which if you had asked me four years ago, as much as we predict accurately, I honestly would have not been able to predict this.
Brandon Colwell: Yeah, and it truly is remarkable how fast this is taking place, and I think a lot of it is stemming from, there’s a lot of documentaries that have been coming out over the last two to four years, showing that these medical patients who were absolutely decimated through cancer or other means, and they were on different types of dopamines, they’re on Percosets, they’re on all these different, methadone, and they’re seeing real cases of people turning to cannabis – and it’s not always that cannabis will magically cure you, but it’s amazing how many cases are being solved, or at least they’re turning to cannabis as an alternative. And a lot of these doctors saying, well, you know what, if this is working, I’m at least open to seeing more information on it.
I think there’s also an arms race, if you want to call it that, into finding out what strains are used for what different illnesses for what different people, because it’s so convoluted that every time I try looking into it a little bit more, I realize how much I don’t know.
So it’s an interesting area where that’s going to go on the medical side, specifically.
Giadha Aguirre De Carcer: And that’s interesting that you mention that. So at New Frontier Data, we sort of, because we’re a Big Data company, we’re sort of obligated, right, to cover every quant area; anything from regulatory to taxation to consumer behaviour to transaction information. I mean, truly, anything we need to give you a macroeconomic view.
The most challenging area for us today, the need to collect information and then report it, has been precisely what you just noted: anything to do with dosage, anything to do with association of strain with symptoms. And sadly, it’s because we lack standards, and that is true of all nations today. There is absolutely no standard around dosage. There also literally no standard around nomenclature of strains.
So as an information provider, as a super-data geek, I certainly hope that changes soon, because I don’t see how the research is going to advance without it, and I certainly don’t see how we’re going to continue to have positive impact to patients without truly understanding that.
Brandon Colwell: Yeah, absolutely. And I was actually at a conference very recently where they were talking about Big Data and cannabis specifically, and specifically the medical side, where they’re really starting to see a lot more research being done, especially when it comes to an actual plant. I mean, you can grow 1,500 plants and even if you did everything perfect, there’s going to be a different DNA compound, a different chemical compound, of all those 1,500 plants.
But when you start extracting it and you start putting it into certain cannabinoids or formulas, you’re now having a substance or a material that you’re able to say, Okay, this is this strain, or this cannabinoid, and you start doing more tests that way.
From your side of things, where does New Frontier Data come in in helping either these aspects of trying to record all the different strains and how it’s being used, but more specifically, if a cannabis company is saying Hey, I need data, who do I turn to? It’s sounding like you’re one of the go-to people. What would you do at that point? How does New Frontier Data get involved?
Giadha Aguirre De Carcer: So a couple of things. So, most of our clients are, as I mentioned, folks in the financial sort of sector, investors and so on and so forth. But from an operating side, the way that we work with operators, whether it’s cultivators, processors, retailers, distributors, many of them want to understand what their data means to them and their clients. And as a Big Data firm, we have the infrastructure to ingest the information, normalize it, and then activate it, right? We sometimes can even help them monetize it. And then we aggregate all of that to continue to report on a, whether it is nationally or on a global scale.
Most of our reports, by the way, are free, which is how we give back to the industry. So that’s sort of how we help companies set up an infrastructure so they can add value on their own data, and then we’re able to add value to the industry as a whole, to the conversation.
However, on a more, let’s talk regulatory or government level, we do work with states as well as national governments, so foreign governments, to help them understand what information infrastructure to they require to sort of set up a healthy, you know, cannabis ecosystem. We actually have an alliance called the Inter-Canna Alliance. It’s very much globally focused outside of North America. We’ve brought together leaders from North America, companies that have actually done this for now years and have integrity and have shown that they basically have the knowledge needed, and we brief governments on sort of like, what are the necessary pillars to build a true healthy market. And it’s anywhere from the 9 pillars are: Policy regulation, taxation, lab testing/compliance, data and information reporting, which is where we come in; and then standard operation procedures on cultivation, on processing, and patient education.
So we sort of help bring those together from an infrastructure perspective, and then we obviously want to be there to receive the information and then send it back out in something that’s meaningful.
Brandon Colwell: Yeah, and great, like, I appreciate that very much just as, you know, both an advocate for cannabis throughout the world, really, but also an investor, and all these different elements; these are the things that are so hard for us to find. I’m just looking in our live chat room that’s going as well and a lot of people are really appreciative of the information that you’re saying, they love having you on. Someone was asking for your website. I’m just going to stop right here just really quickly so that people can start checking this out. Is it newfrontierdata.com?
Giadha Aguirre De Carcer: You got it.
Brandon Colwell: Perfect. That worked out well. I’ll just over to Ed over here. Well yeah, I appreciate really much for you coming on the show. Again, this is a show for learning about new companies, but also education, and I think a lot of people learned a little bit more about what you do. They can now find out where you are as well. I appreciate you taking the time this afternoon to come on and speak a little bit about cannabis.
Giadha Aguirre De Carcer: It’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.
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