Interview with Madeline Scanion, Cannabis Insights Manager at Brightfield Group Shares
Madeline Scanlon is a cannabis insights analyst at Brightfield Group and an excellent content creator on social media.
Being originally from the Chicago area, cannabis was beginning to legalize as she finished her master’s degree in Public Relations and Advertising at DePaul University. When Scanlon began work at Brightfield Group after graduation, she began making content for the company and eventually moved into the insights side of cannabis data.
We got the opportunity to sit down with Madeline to chat about her insights into the normalization of the plant through cannabis beverages for the upcoming Cannabis Drinks Expo 2023.
Thanks for joining us today!
Of course, thanks for chatting with me! My job is looking at data and turning it into the content. I was a cannabis analyst, but now I'm the cannabis insight manager for Brightfield Group. We have a lot of data on distribution, how drinks are moving, consumers who use them, and how they think about them. I know a lot about cannabis drinks. It's always a growing aspect of the category.
Pursuing Passion for Cannabis Data
How did you first become involved in the cannabis industry?
Well, I was just a stoner and getting a master's degree in PR and advertising. I was doing a lot of research and wanted to get into weed because it was about to legalize.
So. I was just talking to people around and saying, ‘I want to work in weed, I have experience in research, and I’m about to receive my master's degree.’ I'm saying that everywhere I went, somebody from Brightfield Group was like, ‘Hey, come to one of our data days.’ It’s a day where people can come in and help them code product menus, put out that strain, size, and all that.
I went there that day. I met the marketing director, and then I became their first social media person; about eight months later, when I was done with my degree and over after the summer, and then that very first product I worked, I ended up being the data analyst for like a year, which is that's what I just got off to do. It's a very full-circle moment. I've been there since I finished my master's degree three years ago. I love cannabis, and I love events. So I'm trying to do that and content on the side.
Can you share a bit about your role transition at Brightfield Group from Data Analyst to Insights Manager?
I'm the cannabis insight manager. My job is to turn our data into actionable insights people can read. We have a lot of clients that just subscribed to our portals, and now they're coming with content instead of just data. And then all the external stuff we do for cannabis thought leadership.
Facing Cannabis Beverage Compliance Issues
What can you share about some compliance issues that cannabis beverage brands currently face?
We do Canadian market data as well. For Canadians, edibles face milligram limits. It can only be 10 milligrams or Canada. Still, because of that, we see in the US that 100-milligram drinks are what works, so Canadians have yet to be able to participate in that. That's a big opportunity for the likely future that they will extend that limit, whether in 2025 or 2028 is yet to say, but the consumer demand for it will pan out for the healthy drinks market where you can have 50 100 milligram options.
Do you see any similar obstacles the United States currently faces?
Operations, particularly Illinois-based, and knowing how it's going here. We only have three drink brands because it's costly to open this operation. So that will be like a consistent struggle for drinks in markets trying to open like Illinois and Arizona. And you can even say, New York. So not I sort of I don't think it's, I guess, you know, we need safety, we need rules, we need how things are made properly, but um, the access of it on top of more expensive manufacturing needs there's just too much.
What Consumers Want From Their Infused Cannabis Beverages
Do cannabis beverage consumers want higher milligram doses from their product choices?
Yeah, when you look at a lot of the data, especially around brands, low-dose and high-dose brands do well; there is a place for both in the market. But when it comes to it's just a matter of there need to be all the options. There's a lot of space between different sorts of doses per package. And we see a few options still towards the low dose. And um, yeah, people just want candy beverage experiences, and isn't that you're gonna there's no way to figure out one milligram that everyone wants, so keep it open.
We appreciate your insights! Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
I wrote a blog post back in November 2022 on the Brightfield Group website. The topic is that micro-dosing mamas are not the core beverage consumers, and it's a spicy take. Fathers who use cannabis two to four days a week are much more likely to use cannabis drinks than mothers who use cannabis at that rate.
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Madeline!
Learn More about Consumer Data at the Cannabis Drinks Expo 2023
This is the event of 2023 for brands and investors alike to come together to support the growing drinks category in the cannabis market. With new states legalizing cannabis, the shows this year will be focused on bringing cannabis drink professionals from all new legal states.
Save the date for your city and connect with MSOs, dispensaries, growers, packaging companies, co-packers, flavor suppliers, cannabis beverage brands, and other service providers looking to enter the cannabis beverage market.
Register today to attend in San Francisco on July 27th or Chicago on August 1st.
The article was written by Hannah (Izer) Vysoky