CannIntelligence: Helping Cannabusinesses Navigate The Market

Compliance is a difficult arena to navigate within the cannabis space, especially considering the plant has different regulations placed on it depending on the various governing regions. Because of this, companies that focus on cannabis compliance are essential for operators hoping to stay profitable, successful, and safe for consumers.

CannIntelligence – formerly known as CBD-Intel – has gone from focusing on CBD to other cannabinoids, approaching the plant and its regulations and compliance standards as a whole on behalf of operators throughout the country. 

As the industry evolves, so does the need for thorough legal and market compliance analysis, and that is exactly what CannIntelligence brings to the table. Leafwire sat down with Head Legal Analyst Anthony Traurig to discuss the company’s formation, how their initiatives have transformed along with the industry, and where they are today. 

Leafwire: How was CannIntelligence first founded?

Anthony Traurig: Our company started in the e-cigarette sector with ECigIntelligence. However, after spending time in that arena, we figured out that we wanted to cover other emerging sectors that operated in legal gray areas. We were providing value to e-cigarette  clients to help them navigate those environments, and we wanted to expand that help to other murky markets.

So in 2018, we launched our second platform, CBD-Intel, which provided independent market and regulatory data for the CBD sector. As the industry evolved, so did we, and we naturally began covering cannabis and other cannabinoids more broadly. Because of this, we changed our name to CannIntelligence to reflect that evolution. 

LW: What does CannIntelligence focus on, and how does the team service and contribute to the industry?

AT: CannIntelligence is focused on providing objective market and regulatory data that the global cannabis sector can rely on to make informed decisions. We currently have regulatory data on over 60 countries, with analysts and correspondents positioned all over the globe. 

We are in constant contact with authorities and stakeholders in the industry, which helps us gain a global perspective not only on where the industry stands, but also where it is headed at any given time. Our clients – who range from companies to regulators to NGOs – have come to trust us for our unbiased, detailed analysis of the cannabis industry.

LW: You mentioned that the company just changed its name from CBD-Intel to CannIntelligence. What’s the reason behind the name change? 

AT: We have been operating as CBD-Intel since we launched the platform in 2018, but a lot within the industry has changed in the meantime. Our coverage of cannabis has evolved along with these changes, and we have gradually been covering more cannabinoids and cannabis products – rather than just CBD – as a result. 

Today, we cover a much wider range of cannabis products, like intoxicating hemp-derived cannabinoids (IHDCs) and medical and recreational cannabis. Overall, we remain committed to providing the same premium data to the wider cannabis sector that made our services indispensable in the CBD sector.

LW: What parts of the plant do you research from a regulatory perspective, and how do findings from the different cannabinoids you work with vary, if at all?

AT: We analyze the regulation of all cannabinoids globally. But at this point – with the exception of a few jurisdictions – regulations are focused primarily on CBD and THC. However, that will inevitably change as the properties of more cannabinoids and combinations of cannabinoids are better understood, and we will be tracking those developments closely. 

Lawmakers and regulators remain more concerned about intoxicating cannabinoids like THC and HHC, but consumer demand for these products is forcing policymakers to inform themselves more about cannabis, and I think that’s a positive development for the industry and for society as a whole. 

LW: How do IHDCs factor into your work?

AT: We have been tracking IHDCs closely since the boom of delta-8 in the U.S. began, and have also been monitoring their creep into Europe and other markets. We have in-depth market and regulatory analysis of IHDCs in the U.S., and will soon release IHDC data from outside of the States. 

As a company, we have witnessed how IHDCs disrupt the hemp and cannabis industries, and we firmly believe that anyone operating in those industries needs to pay attention to IHDCs regardless of whether they ever intend to make or sell them. We have focused a lot of our resources towards covering IHDCs because their legal status is so murky and they are so difficult to track through traditional retail channels. Our coverage of IHDCs on a global level is truly one of a kind.

LW: What is the future of IHDCs in the industry?

AT: Although our market data has found that IHDC products are increasing their presence in many global markets and we have identified a few potential legal markets globally, the U.S. is currently the only market in which IHDCs are thriving. IHDCs have enjoyed a greater recognized legal status in much of the U.S. due to the unique language in the 2018 Farm Bill that isn’t included in other countries’ laws. 

In the U.S., all eyes have to be on the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill – especially for cannabis operators. Although we have noted a region-based legislative shift, from states banning IHDCs to states regulating their sales instead, the federal government could effectively shutter the IHDC industry if they amend the hemp definition to close the “loophole” that allows IHDCs in the upcoming farm bill. 

I do not think it would be politically wise for Congress to close the loophole and restrict access to cannabis products when citizens have voted time and again for more access to cannabis, but the chances of the loophole getting closed are significant enough that the industry should be paying close attention.

LW: What is your opinion on Oregon’s recent ban on CBN? How might it affect the rest of the nation and market?

AT: It is certainly understandable that regulators would want to subject “artificially derived” cannabinoids – which Oregon considers CBN to be – to stricter testing standards by keeping them within the state dispensary system for the short term. However, I hope that there can be some sort of compromise to appease regulators’ concerns during the one-year grace period before those products are completely banned. 

While there is some valid concern about byproducts in synthetic products like CBN, the world is chock-full of synthetic products that are consumed by the masses without anyone thinking twice about it. If testing can ensure that potentially harmful byproducts are not present in these types of products, then those cannabinoids should be treated the same whether they are derived directly from the plant or synthetically. This concept has been accepted in many other industries. Going forward, I hope that testing to ensure the safety of the products is the solution instead of banning them.

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