Listen: Steve Albarran CEO of Confident Cannabis on Transparency, Lessons from Big Data, Chemotypes, Market Trends
"Everybody this. This is Jason Wilson with the curious about cannabis podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in once again. Today I'm joined with my friend and CEO of confident cannabis. Steve Auberon Ron. Thanks Steve for being willing to chat with me today. Thank you good to be on. Yeah totally so I know by now. There's probably a lot a lot of people in the canvas industry. That are familiar with confident cannabis. But there's still plenty of people out there that are maybe just now starting to hear about the platform and some of the worked. You're trying to do so. Do you mind just briefly. Going into what confident canvases and why he started. And we'll spinoff from there. Sure so we started the company somebody about four years ago to try to help solve what we think. Is the biggest problem in the cannabis industry. which is that businesses? Have a hard time doing business with one another so. Cultivators and retailers have a hard time finding each other assessing each other quality of inventory and actually fulfilling transactions so that the problem is what we set out Saul we started by building a lab testing platform that we gave to labs for free or very cheap to acquire the supply side site of the market And once the inventory information is available we make that available to the buyers on the platform who are licensed retailers distributors or manufacturers. Good analogy might be auto trader plus Carfax for cannabis cool. Okay yeah that's A. That's a really good analogy and and basically what your platform is doing is essentially Bringing a lot more transparency to the industry itself as as well yeah yes the mission or vision that we that we set out to achieve the real reason why it's hard for businesses to trade trade with one another because there's a lack of transparency. There's a lack of information about the inventory quality. What's out there who's making it what it's made up And so bringing green conspiracy to cannabis's sort of our tagline because Without knowing what's being made who makes it and what it's made of nationwide in real time and businesses can transact in operate in transparency. Yeah and what got you interested in trying to provide the service to the industry. Yeah Yeah so When when my co founder Tony and I were thinking about starting a company of the cannabis industry together together? We basically just asked operators what problems they had so rather than rather than come up with an idea and go see if it works We had the opposite. We said we'RE NOT GONNA come up with an idea yet. We're just GONNA ask a lot of questions and find a problem and then we'll solve that problem in if we're successful doing on a business will come out of it and so we basically spent nine months Getting on planes going into retailers cultivation facilities saying what's hard for you. When was the last time that there there was a problem that you wish you could saw? You don't know how And we kind of collect it all that feedback and you know the common things came up. You know payments and banking A- access things like that that we didn't think that we are best suited to solve the other bill. The other problem that came up over and over was that it's really hard to stop my shelves with consistent insistent high-quality supply or it's really hard for me to stand out from the crowd when selling my inventory or as a as a patient. I'm looking for a very specific chemo. Typer you know chemical composition to to address my insomnia anxiety. My pain whatever they might be and I don't know how to find it. I found something that I like once but I can't find it again how I do. I do that so All that together. Let us the realization. While you know cannabis is highly complex. It's highly opaque And it's highly variable all right. It's not a commodity where flowers the same as the other flower. It's very much not a commodity. And so to bring that information to the forefront front. We needed to partner with with testing labs and we saw that you know. There are a handful of labs in the in the country's Info at the time there were about fifty David out two hundred good labs and which is a relatively small market and they're completely underserved. Nobody's building software for them so opportunity to help them out and tapis of software for free and they start using it and then that's what allows us to You know reveal that information to the market Nice. Yeah Yeah Yeah what. What year was it that that all started because I remember when I was in the candidates testing space? We're one of the first labs to try to really the early iterations of of canvas. What year was that? Those two thousand fifteen. Yeah so we we. We formed a company inmate that the team. And then we. We launched our first customer in Oregon in October. And I think I think you are probably customer number five something like wow yeah. Yeah we've come a long way since then. Yeah I know I noticed the very recently You you launched a marketplace feature For confident cannabis. So when I was using confident cannabis it really was just Primarily lab service stuff stuff and trying to figure out how to get consistent data. I think you know into that database and figuring out what to do with it and and now it looks like you're actually connecting buyers and sellers together partnered with that data. So it's been really cool to watch that evolution four years we haven't we haven't committed or or you know it's not sort of a new idea. We kind to be as open about our plans as possible from the very beginning But you know tickets a good solid three years to get to step two of the vision. which is the marketplace side of things And it's because we were talking about. Hey we're in this lab thing because we're going to marketplace one day and three years people didn't believe us but it feels good to finally do what we said we're GONNA do."