Scoop: Cannabis Tech Company CB2 Insights To Go Public In Canada, CEO Shares Details
CB2 Insights, a global provider of predictive analytics tools, data-driven software and other services across the medical marijuana value chain, will begin trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange March 6 via a reverse takeover. It will trade under the ticker "CBII."
Benzinga caught up with CEO Prad Sekar to learn more about the company and its debut.
The decision to go public is largely tied to the company’s clinical consolidation strategy, aimed at countering the fragmentation within the U.S. clinical market, Sekar said. Going public will essentially provide CB2 Insights with a currency it can use to help speed up the acquisition of clinics, he said.
“Cannabis clinics still have a very viable place in the market, in particular in markets that are just starting to adopt cannabis as a medicine,” the CEO told Benzinga. “We will now work to amass as many strong clinic groups as possible under the company and begin to leverage the data that comes from each of them.”
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Meet CB2 Insights
CB2 Insights is a company that seeks to mainstream medical cannabis into traditional health care, Sekar said.
Medical cannabis is being introduced at an accelerated pace in jurisdictions worldwide via the intervention of medical professionals, he said.
"The challenge is not introducing cannabis; it’s understanding how medical cannabis has a place within a patient’s treatment program.”
Traditional medications undergo various control testing protocols to identify efficacy, dosing and treatment protocols. As a result of how medical cannabis it is sold today, it’s difficult to follow the same protocols, Sekar said.
"This is a huge barrier for clinicians and health care practitioners, and CB2 Insights is bridging that gap by filling this void."
In his view, CB2 Insights' main differentiator is its ability to gather data and create “objective, real-world evidence” through the company’s proprietary software and clinical service brands.
“Using clinical management and data collection software at the point-of-care and through the process of pragmatic and observational clinical trials, we assess the true efficacy of cannabis from evaluation through the entire cannabis journey, as well as interactions between cannabis and other traditional therapeutic treatment plans. With more than 300,000 patients, we are building one of the largest patient registries in the U.S.," the CEO said.
A Detailed Look
Benzinga: What differentiates you from other data and analytics companies like Headset, BDS Analytics or New Frontier Data?
Sekar: Each of those companies holds an important place in the industry. Data is vast in this sector, as there still remains a major shortage given the speed of evolution of markets. The industry has so much data that is completely disparate and spread across the value chain from cultivation, extraction, distribution to retail-, medical- and outcome-based [data].
Integrating all of those sources is important. But while many cannabis-focused data companies look to consolidate information from a wealth of third parties — which is very important at this stage in the industry — CB2 Insights focuses on creating and analyzing our own internally controlled first-party data. Data integrity and hygiene are paramount to our mode. As you find with traditional pharmaceuticals, retaining the control and the ultimate veracity of data collected to truly understand the efficacy of a specific treatment is core to advancing it with any real momentum within health care.
Benzinga: Can you explain your “brands” structure? Why do you manage several brands under the CB2 umbrella?
Sekar: We operate under CB2 Insights, but we do have several sub-brands underneath us. They can be easily categorized into three buckets: clinical, technology and insights.
Clinical includes our brand known today as Canna Care Docs, but will continue to grow as CB2 Insights consolidates this market in the U.S. Our clinical arm provides a specialized center of excellence to markets where primary care is still not meeting the needs of access for patients and where we as a referral center can provide further education and support to patients.
Our technology arm includes an internal electronic health record system, Sail, and a reward-based patient reporting tool, TokeIn. Sail allows us to manage and standardize the evaluation and treatment protocols for patients and enables us to focus on measuring anonymized and aggregated forms of electronic health records and outcome-based data.
Our insight arm at CB2 Insights continues to focus on utilizing data aggregated from our clinical and technology arms to put to use through insights and predictive analytical models, new software and offerings that can support a global network of stakeholders from health care and production to regulatory bodies in making more informed decisions.
Benzinga: Do you have international expansion plans? If so, which countries are you looking at?
Sekar: Our insights are designed for a global economy. We are working with a network of stakeholders to explore multiple markets outside North America and will most likely look to announce our pilot markets this year.
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