SampleCon Speech

During May of 2022, the latest edition of Samplecon was held in Pasadena, Ca. With attendees from 16 different countries and 240 guests, it was the biggest yet. Jacqueline Rosales, the President of ISA initiated the convention 9 years ago. She returned to the Samplecon stage to, once again, disrupt the consumer market research spaxw. This time her mission was to educate her colleagues about the future of the world wide web; Web 3 and how it’s ecosystem will change the world, let alone the marketing research industry. She brought to stage Craig Obligacion Wilson who is a Metaverse and NFT expert that worked for Unigrid, a decentralized cloud service. They shared their thoughts on how Web3, in particular NFTs will change the world.

Below are some of the top quotes and facts from the interview.

“Adidas…the first NFT collection 24 hours sold out. How much money did Adidas make on that collection $23 million.”

“And now in web three, it's the ownership economy. It is anybody can contribute. Anybody can own the data."

– Jacqueline Rosales, President, ISA

“I think the one thing that's gonna blow some heads in here…is that the consumers own the information, that the consumers have the right to sell it to you, versus you pay them for it. It's a little bit of a different strategy. It's very bottom up or as I like to call it, C2B instead of B2C. And that C could either be consumer, customer or community. It is the community that's making the decision… for Web3.”

“So, Blockchain is a digital ledger. I also like to think of it as like a digital timeline, where all the information is encrypted, so it can't be changed. It can't be accessed. It's always there. It's also like a moment in history. It's always there can't be changed. And then it's peer to peer. So, all this information gets spread, everywhere, anybody can access it.”

– Craig Obligacion Wilson, SME, ISA

ISA President To Be Featured at NFT Expoverse in LA

ISA/NFT Expoverse

Jacqueline Rosales, President of ISA, will be speaking onstage about the intersection of cryptocurrency and cannabis

July 20, 2022, Los Angeles, CA —ISA, a Los Angeles based insights firm, announced today that their most senior leader will be featured as a speaker at an upcoming event. The NFT Expoverse, happening in Los Angeles July 29th, 2022 is focused on opportunities in Web3. Jacqueline will share her knowledge of cryptocurrency and cannabis on the Platinum Stage at 11:45 am PST.

“NFT Expoverse has given me the unique opportunity to address investors, business leaders, influencers and creators about two disruptive industries that I feel extremely passionate about,” stated Jacqueline. “Cannabis and crypto coming together provides an opportunity for marginalized groups to be elevated in ways they may not be in traditional industries.”

ISA hosts their own content-focused Web3 events, including a weekly Twitter Spaces panel, which serves as a forum for those who want to learn more about cannabis and Web3 while featuring dynamic speakers and leaders from multiple verticals. It is also a place for people to come together and speak to those who are driving the industry forward.

About Jacqueline Rosales

Jacqueline Rosales is a 25+ year veteran of the Insights, Consumer Behavior and Market Research industries and currently serves as the President of ISA, an insights firm based in Los Angeles, CA. She launched the cannabis research division within ISA in 2018 and built the world’s first cannabis research community, The Green Time. Jacqueline has partnered with multiple Fortune 500 companies to help them navigate their go-to-market (G2M) strategy for Web3. She is the resident Subject Matter Expert on all engagements related to Web3 across Material (ISA’s parent company). In addition, Jacqueline is a G2M strategist for GRIPNR (a Web3 tech company), where she leads Gripnr’s community initiatives and advises on organizational direction and strategic partnerships.

 

Meet ISA’s Web3 Team

ISA onboarded a team of Web3 experts to support clients’ growing need for insights and data related to the $25 billion dollar industry. Jacqueline has partnered with clients on projects in entertainment and gaming, bringing her passion for technological innovation and sharing her vision for the possibilities of Web3. To support the expansion of ISA’s Web3 division, four experts: Garry Liu, Garrett Hand, Hugh Benjamin, and Craig Wilson have joined the team.

Crypto winter is the time to build

You’ve probably heard the term “crypto winter” thrown around about a million times at this point. Should our clients be nervous to invest in Web3 research? Should we stop pushing the issue? The simple answer is no!

Venture capitalist firm Andreessen Horowitz (known as “a16z”) has just closed on its latest crypto fund – totaling $4.5 billion. This doubles the size of their last crypto fund and shows that the firm has no interest in taking their foot off the Web3 gas pedal.

Antoni Martin, enterprise lead at Polygon told Protocol that although the crypto crash has decreased interest in crypto, it is the time to differentiate between speculation and build saying “I think it’s time to build up, and with time the market will differentiate.”

“The blockchain solves counterparty interaction, eliminating the need for a middleman. This technology allows you to push payments without any intermediaries and provides a system of real-time auditability. Traditional banking requires protocols to prevent money laundering and to keep funds secure. Blockchain technology alleviates the need for these protocols by making each transaction transparent.”

-Eric Benz, CannaDAO

You know who is taking advantage of this time to build – Emerald Road. Emerald Road is a group of Californian cannabis farmers, led by legacy farmer and entrepreneur, Justin Calvino. Emerald road is an exclusive digital cannabis community. The platform is designed to connect farmers directly with their customers using community-building experiences. There is also the ability to purchase and market and provide content and education for consumers – all powered by blockchain technology. This virtual bazaar will give consumers the opportunity to gain experience, visit and purchase directly from farms, without ever leaving their home.

“The crypto blockchain space can really help the cannabis industry with everything from securing payments to seed to sale tracking and supply chain management. The fact that both crypto and cannabis are both new, emerging industries creates a great opportunity for them to help each other grow.”

– Laura Albers, Oasis Intelligence

Do you think your clients can benefit from Web3 strategy plan? We do! Don’t let the hype of “crypto winter” keep your clients from getting the full potential out of a Web3 plan. Remember, we’re not early, we’re late.

ISA’s Cannabis Division Leader Will Moderate Upcoming Web3 Event, Hosted by The Arcview Group

Adriana Hemans will moderate a panel on crypto and cannabis, merging expertise across multiple high-growth categories

 

July 12, 2022, Los Angeles, CA — ISA, a Los-Angeles-based insights firm, announced a collaborative partnership today with Arcview Investment Group, a global leader in cannabis consulting and investment services. Together with Arcview, the head of ISA’s Cannabis Research Division will moderate a virtual event focused on crypto and cannabis.

Adriana Hemans, Vice President of Growth at ISA, will moderate an upcoming live event, hosted by Sarah Falvo, Managing Director of Business Development at Arcview Consulting. “Web3 and Weed – What Are the Opportunities and What to Avoid” will go live on July 14, 2022, at 1 PM PDT. If you’re looking for a better understanding of web3 in the context of your cannabis endeavors, we encourage you to join this truly insightful panel of experts in both spaces by registering here.

Sarah and Adriana will be joined by these amazing speakers:

  • Mary Pryor, Co-Founder of Cannaclusive
  • Liz Wald, Co-Founder of thric3
  • Jarrett Sherman, President & Founder of Fuzerly
  • Liz Udell, Director of Social Media

The audience, comprised of senior business leaders, service providers, entrepreneurs, and investors, will learn about the potential impact of these two disruptive industries colliding.

“We’re seeing so much excitement about the enormous growth opportunities resulting from the intersection of crypto and cannabis. I’m thrilled to be moderating this discussion with a group of speakers I admire greatly – experts in cannabis, marketing and community-building who will help shape the future of these industries,” Adriana stated on the upcoming event.

About The Arcview Group

The Arcview Group blazed the trail for cannabis investments and is the largest and 1st vertically integrated firm servicing the industry. As a trusted global leader and nexus for investors, companies, entrepreneurs, money-managers and community, Arcview provides an expansive ecosystem that delivers a broad spectrum of programs and services to the industry. Arcview is synonymous with best-in-class. By providing the tools necessary and curating top-notch cannabis companies, Investor Members have had the playbook that has enabled them to invest hundreds of millions in more than 300 private cannabis startups. For more information, please visit www.arcviewgroup.com.

About ISA

ISA has emerged as an early leader in Web3 insights, having already partnered with multiple Fortune 500 brands to provide data, insights, and strategic consultation, allowing them to achieve rapid and sustained growth in Web3. The ISA Group is among the first research firms, if not the first, to pay incentives to respondents in cryptocurrency, as well as among the first to conduct focus groups on Clubhouse. To learn more, visit www.isacorp.com.

Meet Our Web3 Team

ISA onboarded a team of Web3 experts to support clients’ growing need for insights and data related to the $25 billion dollar industry. Jacqueline Rosales, President of ISA, has partnered with clients on projects in entertainment and gaming, bringing her passion for technological innovation and sharing her vision for the possibilities of Web3. To support the expansion of ISA’s Web3 division, four experts: Garry Liu, Garrett Hand, Hugh Benjamin, and Craig Wilson have joined the team.

Making an Impact on the Industry

We continue to dive into Web3 and cannabis by hosting groundbreaking events. These events are a forum for those who want to learn more about the cannabis and web3 to gain more insights. It is also a place for us to come together and speak to those who are driving the industry forward. Our Web3 events are hosted on Twitter Spaces every Tuesday and our CANNAfact Friday Live is hosted on LinkedIn Live. For these events, we invite knowledgeable speakers that have been making their mark in the industry to come and share their experience and expertise.

Find more G2M Web3 strategy information here.

You can learn more ways to gain cannabis insights here.

2021 Year in Review: The Highs and Lows of Brand Building in the New Era of Cannabis

The new era of cannabis will be driven by data.

This statement is not just a catchy tagline. It also describes the natural progression of a dynamic, diverse industry with unlimited growth potential.

In recent history, we’ve witnessed dramatic shifts in consumer behavior. The disruptions caused by Covid, the evolution of cannabis from illegal to “essential”, and the dismantling of stigmas have all contributed to a transformation of consumers’ relationships with cannabis. As a consumer insights firm, we’ve had the privilege of observing and measuring these monumental changes. Why not take a moment to pause and reflect on the experiences of 2021? This is by no means an exhaustive list of everything that happened in cannabis in 2021, but rather, just a few highlights related to marketing, branding, canna-business and of course, consumer data and insights.

To read our recap of 2020, check out this Ganjapreneur articleWhat we learned about cannabis consumers during the weirdest year ever.

State markets to watch in 2022

First up, the legal landscape looked a lot different in 2021. In 2020, we saw perceptions of cannabis shift dramatically when dispensaries were deemed essential businesses. In 2021, the momentum continued. A whopping 5 new states came online for adult use in 2021. The most exciting markets we’re watching closely in 2022 include New York, which some say could become the largest U.S. state market. Colorado continues to break sales records and is home to dozens of innovative brands. Of course, we can’t overlook our home state of California, which is developing a robust tourist destination with spas, cannabis agricultural tours and cannabis-friendly lodging.

Related articles

The Benefits of Hiring a Partner to Gather Cannabis Consumer Data in Colorado

If you’re reading this, you probably already operate a cannabis business in Colorado or you are considering investing in one.

Can a Cannabis Market Research Company in California Guide Strategy?

The national cannabis market is on the upswing, and in recent years several states have passed legislation…

Bud and Booze Sign a Truce

After months of marketing campaigns deriding the effects of alcohol and promoting cannabis as a healthy alternative, Hollywood’s favorite beverage brand, Cann, ended their unofficial war on booze by launching a series of partnerships with alcohol brands. The topic of hangovers was notably absent in Cann’s 2021 holiday ad, featuring Kate Hudson and Kate Hudson’s vodka brand King St.

Why the sudden change?

ISA’s study of beverage consumers from 2021 revealed that consumers are not necessarily looking for an alcohol replacement, and 40% of cannabis beverage consumers say that when they drink cannabis, they’re also drinking alcohol. If you’re a cannabis beverage brand, it makes sense to pivot away from a marketing strategy that could potentially alienate 40% of the market.

Anti-alcohol rhetoric is so 2020.

Celebrities Crowd into the Cannabis
Market - Consumers yawn

Speaking of celebrities…

Seth Rogan, Justin Bieber, Pitbull, DJ Khaled, Lil Kim, Ice Cube, Melissa Etheridge, Drake, Bella Thorne – this is only a partial list of the celebrities who announced their foray into cannabis in 2021. It’s obvious that some partnerships between brands and celebs are a natural fit, and the wave of celebrity entrants is a good indicator of growing cultural acceptance. For most consumers, however, it’s just adding to the clutter. This Twitter user is over it.

How many consumers share this guy’s opinion? A lot. Last year we partnered with mg Magazine to understand the luxury cannabis market and how consumers define luxury for cannabis products. We asked 1,000 cannabis consumers to rate how important a celebrity endorsement is for them when evaluating products. The majority (56%) said it’s of little importance or not important at all.

Marketing professionals have limited options when it comes to promoting cannabis online. Facebook and Instagram are famous for shutting down accounts, often without so much as an explanation. LinkedIn is cannabis-friendly, but the business-forward platform can be a turn off for those who appreciate the subversive, counter-culture characteristics of the industry.

Enter Clubhouse. In 2021, the censorship-free audio-based networking app exploded in popularity and cannabis entrepreneurs found a safe space to promote their products, discuss business, and network.

Learn More about Clubhouse and Cannabis

Cannabis in the Metaverse (Cannaverse?)

In December of 2021, Higher Life CBD grabbed headlines with a promotion that allowed customers to browse and buy cannabis products in the metaverse and then have it delivered to their real-world homes.

Some say it will take years or even decades for the metaverse to reach a point of critical mass, where it really takes off and regular people start to spend their free time shopping, socializing, and gaming on the new platform. However, cannabis people are not regular people. The words pioneer, subculture, experimental and “not risk averse” come to mind. It stands to reason that the same group that was first in line to seize opportunities in cannabis will also be early entrants in the digital “Wild, Wild West.” The cannabis business leaders who survived and thrived through Prohibition, constantly shifting regulations, natural disasters, supply chain issues and a global pandemic are battle-tested, and well poised to gamble on a new platform and win. Also, they know how to throw a party, so there’s that.

The Birth of Weed Week

Speaking of industry gatherings, 2021 also brought us the return of live, in-person cannabis networking events. After canceling their live event in 2020 (along with the rest of the world) MJBiz Con triumphantly returned to the Las Vegas strip in 2021 for their 10th annual show. This time there was something different. A new event called MJ Unpacked opened up down the street and kicked off the same day that MJBiz Con wrapped up. MJ Unpacked caters exclusively to brands and retailers. Ancillary businesses are not allowed. Is the fragmenting of events a cause for alarm or a natural progression? Some say the addition of MJ Unpacked means we can now look forward to a yearly mega event in Las Vegas – unofficially dubbed Weed Week. See what industry insiders are saying about Weed Week.

Insights Take Center Stage

In the early stages of development as an industry, consumer preferences were often over-looked in the rush to bring products to market. There was a sense that any product would sell, and any product could make it onto retail shelves. Fast forward to 2022 – brands are more deliberate with their planning and attentive to their brand and what it represents. Specific, core audiences and usage occasions are no longer an afterthought in product development and marketing strategies.

In 2021, we saw more leaders embrace the need for insights and level-up their investment in research.

Related article:

There’s still a long way to go before cannabis catches up with major national brands, in terms of analyzing their customers’ behavior to uncover market opportunities. With federal legalization on the horizon, and further consolidation, it’s quickly becoming too risky to ignore fundamental questions related to brand health.

In 2022, more organizations will need to answer questions such as…

  • What are our customers experiencing when they use our products/ visit our locations?
  • How loyal are our current customers?
  • Why have our lapsed customers moved on?
  • How does our product address consumers’ underlying emotional needs?
  • Are we optimizing the use of our customer data?
  • Which product types or new state markets represent the greatest opportunities with minimal risk?
  • How do we stay in front of trends?
  • How can we create a customer feedback loop that informs new product development and/or helps us improve our current offering?

If any of these questions are on your to-do list for 2022, get in touch.

ISA and Vertosa Announce Speaker Lineup for Live Event on Nov. 4: The Evolution of an Industry: Tales and Trends from Cannabis Industry Veterans

David Paleschuck, best-selling author of Branding Bud, will moderate the event featuring two speakers fresh off the stage at MJBizCon 2021

ISA and Vertosa announced today the speaker lineup for their upcoming webinar, The Evolution of an Industry: Tales and Trends from Cannabis Industry Veterans. In 2020, in-person conferences came to a halt. Last week the cannabis industry gathered in Las Vegas for the most-anticipated event of 2021. With 35,000 attendees, 1,300 exhibitors, and 130 speakers from around the world gathering to learn the latest about the cannabis industry, it was the place to be for industry executives and business leaders. This webinar will reveal shared learnings from this event, featuring two dynamic speakers fresh off the Las Vegas stage. Speakers will share their thoughts about the evolution of the cannabis industry as a whole, focusing on what has changed over the course of the pandemic era. Austin and Lisa will share the focus of their speaking engagements from MJBizCon and explore the themes and buzz from the event.

David Paleschuck, best-selling author of Branding Bud: The Commercialization of Cannabis, will moderate the live event starting at 1 pm PST on November 4, 2021. Austin Stevenson, CIO at Vertosa, Lisa Buffo, Founder & CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association, and Adriana Hemans, VP of Demand at ISA, will provide context as industry veterans who have witnessed the transformation first-hand. This engagement is the fourth in a series of webinar events stemming from a strategic partnership between ISA and Vertosa.

“Our panel brings together a diverse group of veteran industry leaders, each with their own unique perspective and in-depth knowledge of the cannabis industry. Join us to gain an insider’s look at the strategies for building successful brands in a disruptive market.” said Adriana Hemans, VP of Demand at ISA. 

The event is free and open to the public. Attendees can register here.

Meet the Speakers

David Paleschuck

David Paleschuck is the author of “Branding Bud: The Commercialization of Cannabis” and has over twenty years of global brand and consumer marketing experience at American Express, MasterCard, Pepsi and Microsoft – and over ten years in the legal cannabis industry as VP, Licensing & Brand Partnerships at Dope Magazine; Chief Brand Officer at Evergreen Herbal and The Matters Group. David has played a part in creating many of today’s well-known cannabis brands. His writings on cannabis trends, branding and packaging have been featured in A Different Leaf, The Cannabis Industry Journal, Green Entrepreneur, New Cannabis Ventures, Cannabis Prospect Magazine, Green Market Report, Dope Magazine, MG, and many others. His work has been noted and quoted in Forbes, Kiplinger, and The Brookings Institution. His recently released book was featured in Forbes magazine and is currently at the top of Amazon’s bestsellers’ list in the ‘branding and logo design’ and ‘green business’ categories.

Austin Stevenson

Austin Stevenson is Chief Innovation Officer at cannabis and hemp infusion technology company Vertosa. Austin plays an integral role in the business development of Vertosa, facilitating partnerships with leading brands to produce top quality cannabinoid-infused beverages, topicals, edibles and more. Prior to joining Vertosa, Austin leveraged his bio-tech experience building the regulatory Hemp/CBD testing program for Eurofins – a world leader in food, environment, and product testing services – where he worked with CVS and Walgreens to test and verify the quality of their retail CBD topicals. Austin and the Vertosa team are also committed to community action and industry leadership. He serves as a Member on the City of Oakland’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission, for which he supports the licensing of equity partners and works to break down financial barriers to entering the industry by championing grant funding. He is also an Advisory Board Member oEAZE’s Momentum Program, a business accelerator designed to support and empower underrepresented founders in the licensed cannabis industry, as well as a founding board member of the Cannabis Beverage Association.

Lisa Buffo

Lisa Buffo is a marketer and entrepreneur with a passion for launching companies with experience in both the cannabis and technology industries. Lisa is the Founder & CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association, a trade association focused on education and best practices for industry marketers with the vision of rebranding cannabis at the national level. CMA has hosted over 100+ educational events nationwide bringing together the cannabis marketing community. Lisa has been quoted in Forbes, The Guardian, VICE, Denver Business Journal, The Boulder Daily Camera, Marijuana News Network, Cannabis Culture Magazine and other national, local, and trade publications. Lisa has worked in the cannabis industry since 2014. She started working in commercial cultivation where she grasped the important role compliance plays for cannabis companies. Lisa helped launch 10 cannabis startups for CanopyBoulder, the industry’s first business accelerator in 2015. Lisa also launched the industry’s first online wholesale brokerage as their CMO, garnering national coverage in VICE and INC Magazine and becoming the first cannabis-related company to present at SXSW in Austin, TX. Lisa is the Founder & Co-Chair of the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Marketing & Advertising Committee where she co-authored the Public Relations Crisis Manual and the Short Guide to Colorado’s Marketing & Advertising Regulations. Lisa is an active speaker and has spoken at WomenGrow, NCIA, and CMA events.

Adriana Hemans

Adriana Hemans is Vice President of Demand at ISA, where she heads up the Cannabis Research Division. She helps cannabis brands build more customer-centric businesses through data and insights. Adriana’s work has been published in numerous industry publications including mg Magazine, Marijuana Venture, and The Cannigma. She has been invited to speak onstage at cannabis events across the country, including NECANN (Northeast Cannabis Business Conference) and the NCIA’s Annual Cannabis Business Conference.