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STEVE ELLIOTT

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Market research veteran Linda Gilbert, with deep experience conducting consumer research in natural foods, pharmaceuticals, supplements and beverage industries, to lead what BDS Analytics calls the “first-ever rigorous research studies into retail marijuana”

As cannabis, well, flowers into a multi-billion-dollar industry, with legal sales blossoming (sorry) in more and more states, stakeholders remain at a loss for details about cannabis consumers: Why they buy cannabis, how marijuana fits into their lives, who they are, and much more.

But important questions about cannabis consumers could soon be getting some answers, as BDS Analytics launches what it calls the industry’s first-ever scientifically rigorous and trended consumer research survey dedicated to cannabis consumers.

Finally, brands, entrepreneurs, investors, dispensaries, growers, advertisers and media will gain vital insights into cannabis consumer profiles, trends and habits, according to BDS.

“Extremely valuable information about cannabis consumers has never been revealed and explored, which has put industry stakeholders at a disadvantage,” said BDS Analytics founder and CEO Roy Bingham. “The number one rule for all businesses is, ‘Know your customer.’

Linda Gilbert [Global Food Forums]
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Linda Gilbert, BDS Analytics:
“Who is reaching out to marijuana to relieve pain and anxiety, enhance social interaction and even improve sex?”
[Global Food Forums]

“As the cannabis industry’s leading market research firm, we decided to invest in serious consumer research on behalf of the industry,” Bingham said.“It is time for the many people and companies involved in this flourishing industry to get to know their customers.”

Linda Gilbert, a market research veteran, will lead the new division, according to BDS. Linda, according to a press release from the company, has more than 30 years of experience conducting in-depth consumer research for Fortune 100 companies and  emerging industries, including natural foods, supplements, pharmaceuticals and beverages.

The work has already started with focus groups in Denver detailing everything from dispensary experiences to the reasons for consuming cannabis, including pain relief, sleep, sex enhancement, relaxation and exhilaration.

Next, a quantitative trend study  is launching in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and California interviewing thousands of people. By the time the study is finished early this autumn, BDS Analytics says the company and its study partners will understand more about cannabis consumers in legal marijuana states than anybody else in the United States. The work will continue, with detailed updates every six months.

“This will be projectable data,” said Gilbert. “It’s going to be tracked over time so we can see not only where consumers are, but where they have been and where they are headed.

“Among the questions we are trying to answer are, Why are people using marijuana? How does it improve their overall sense of well-being? Who is reaching out to marijuana to relieve pain and anxiety, enhance social interaction and even improve sex? How does it help older consumers deal with stress, anxiety, arthritis, depression and boredom? How does it affect alcohol use, and influence dependency on pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter pain relievers?” Gilbert said.

Results of the ongoing study are available to subscribers, who are invited to become involved now.“Among other things, early subscribers gain the ability to help shape important questions about cannabis consumption,” according to BDS.

“We are eager to better understand the wide range of people who buy and consume cannabis, from young men in suburban Denver without college degrees to retired women executives living in urban centers,” Bingham said. “Industry stakeholders need to know so much more about their customers. It is absolutely critical for success in this increasingly competitive commercial landscape.”

“The industry is young and has high risks,” Gilbert added.“We aim to provide the hard data needed to accelerate success.”

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