December 7th, 2018
The new world of legal cannabis can be overwhelming, particularly for those who have little to no experience. StrainConnect is an easy-to-use app that helps users select the perfect cannabis products for their desired outcomes, utilizing lab data from producers combined with self-reported questionnaires from individual consumers. The revolutionary platform is already changing the lives of patients across the US through its CBD database and will be expanding to THC markets in early 2019.
CFN Media spoke with StrainConnect Founder and CEO Rachael Maddison at the recent Canna Newswire Wake and Bake Media Showcase in Las Vegas to learn more about the company’s disruptive tech and how they plan to revolutionize the way the world shops for cannabis.
CFN: What is your background and how did you develop StrainConnect?
Rachael Maddison: I’m a UX designer and Information Architect by trade, and I founded StrainConnect based on a personal need. I had sciatica and a separated shoulder after having my two children. After the traditional medical methods failed me, I looked to cannabis. Going through the product search process as a new “canna-curious” consumer took me almost 8-months to find the right products for me and I spent almost $2400 on products I’d never use again. Beyond being time-consuming and expensive, it felt isolating, not only because of the stigma but every other resource or recommendation I received never considered all of me. So, I knew with my technical and customer service-oriented background I’d be able to build a team to create a quick and handy resource to help consumers feel more confident in their CBD & cannabis purchases.
Our technology connects the bioscience of the plant and the bioscience of the consumer. We use updated product labs that include not only cannabinoids but also the terpene profiling. Our machine-learning proprietary algorithm then matches those labs to a pinpointed questionnaire that asks the consumer about their ailments, how they want to feel, and then we also touch on who they are and their personality characteristics, providing them with a very focused list of recommended products, all within 3-minutes or less!
We then direct the patient to exactly where to purchase the product. Currently, with our CBD recommendations, individuals across the US can purchase their CBD products online, through our brand affiliates, to have products delivered right to their door. In the coming months, we’ll open our THC recommendations in California, in which the consumer will have the option to do an in-store pickup at a dispensary, or have their products delivered to their door (if it’s allowed within their geolocation).
CFN: What sets StrainConnect apart from potential competitors in this space?
RM: Besides personalizing the product recommendations, we’re vetting the brands. Every brand must apply to be a part of our platform. Not only are we vetting their third-party lab results, but we’re also vetting the laboratories they’ve had their product tested at. We also consider what their current marketing is to ensure they’re not misleading the consumer. For example, if the brand states, “Our products are full spectrum isolate.” Well…this obviously doesn’t make any sense – the product can be an isolate, or it can be full spectrum – but it cannot be both. But consumers that are new to CBD and cannabis don’t know that.
CFN: Why is that “personalization of the product” so integral for patient success?
RM: You see, everybody responds differently. For example, you and I can both have the same ailment and desired effect, but fundamentally if you’re energetic and I’m low in energy, we’re going to have very different responses to the same product.
Now consider all of the different “selfs” or different times you may need a new product. For example, you’re most likely going to need a different product while you’re with your children, or if you’re at work and want to feel focused, or if you need assistance with sleep, or maybe want something to enhance intimacy…all of these are different profiles you can save within the StrainConnect app. Most importantly, product labs are constantly changing, so all of those product recommendations are also going to change over time.
CFN: What are you looking forward to as a company in 2019?
RM: Generally speaking, the CBD movement is really important for the cannabis industry as a whole. For StrainConnect, we’re focused on closing our pre-seed round so we can then focus on THC recommendations, which is a much-needed resource. We’re also looking to help Pros in the industry make better product recommendations to their customers, along with some other exciting things I can’t yet share!
CFN: Why should people consider investing at this stage and what makes a perfect business partner?
RM: StrainConnect is beyond “green wave”…We see a blue ocean opportunity for StrainConnect to lead a movement of personalization, standardization, and education. We’re capitalizing on that movement, and now is the only time for investors to get in on the ground floor.
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About Rachelle Gordon
Rachelle Gordon is a Minneapolis-based writer. Find her online at www.rachellegordon.net.
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