Legacies Podcast

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The cannabis industry is undergoing significant changes, especially in the realms of data and distribution. Leading the charge is The OCS, a company revolutionizing the way LPs (Licensed Producers) gain visibility into their sales and distribution data. It was only a matter of time before someone addressed the industry’s critical blind spot: how LPs track which dispensaries are purchasing their products.

The OCS has stepped up, providing a solution that enables LPs to see which authorized stores are buying their products through the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS). This way, LPs can get a clearer picture of store-level sales data. It's a game-changer in helping LPs make informed decisions and strategies.


Why Data Visibility Matters

For many LPs launching new products, the lack of data provided by the OCS has been a significant hurdle. Without knowing which dispensaries are stocking their products, brands have been left navigating in the dark. LPs have had to pay for third-party data packages to fill in these gaps.

The ability to access this critical data freely through the OCS will level the playing field. Particularly for LPs with flow-through products, this greater visibility is a welcome advancement. It's not just about having data but having the right data to drive decisions.


Recent Market Trends: Consumer Insights from OCS

The OCS recently released consumer insights data that reflect some interesting market shifts. There’s been a $33 million surge in vape sales and a $772,000 uptick in edibles. On the flip side, topicals have seen an $885,000 decrease, even though new SKUs are entering the market.

One example of innovation within the topical segment is a hemp-based product from Wildwood Labs. Despite the downward trend, this product has proven effective for joint pain relief, showcasing that there’s still opportunity for success in this category.


Spotlight on Innovator: Drew Henson of Twenty2B and TOQI

Drew Henson, an influential figure in cannabis tech, joins the conversation. His journey began in Calgary, with aspirations to work in Formula 1 racing. He pursued engineering physics but later shifted to industrial design following a challenging first year.

Henson's talent landed him an internship at Drift, a UK-based action camera company. His contributions there led to the development of the Drift Ghost S camera, later used by NASA on the International Space Station. Notably, his academic struggles were mitigated by medical cannabis, which helped him focus and thrive.

After leaving Drift, Henson founded his own design studio, Twenty2B. He then dove into cannabis hardware, driven by dissatisfaction with existing vape and concentrate products. This passion led to the creation of the TOQI 510 battery, a premium product designed for a high-quality experience.


Challenges and Innovations in Cannabis Hardware

Creating hardware in the cannabis space isn't without its hurdles. Funding and retail landscape complexities pose challenges. However, Henson's focus on building sustainable, destigmatizing products has driven innovations that enhance the user experience.

One of his latest innovations, the TOQI Blunt Box, caters to pre-roll and flower consumers. Its thoughtful design, including humidity control and backlighting, elevates the ritual of rolling and enjoying cannabis.


Lessons and Future Directions

Henson’s story offers valuable lessons. He stresses the importance of humility, surrounding yourself with challengers, and prioritizing impact over accolades. His thought-provoking question about whether any act can truly be selfish adds depth to his philosophy.

Looking forward, Henson hints at using his design and tech expertise to improve cannabis product recommendations and education. This direction aims to tackle key consumer pain points, promising a brighter future for cannabis enthusiasts.

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