Hoodie Analytics is a cannabis data and technology firm that delivers insights into market performance and competitive intelligence. Founded on the belief that cannabis businesses need deep operational insights and applications to better compete, Hoodie has become a leader in the field and an indispensable partner for many brands as they seek to track the daily movements of the cannabis market. With over 3.5 million daily unique offers tracked for over 8300 dispensaries in the United States and Canada, Hoodie is today the largest high-quality repository of cannabis product pricing and assortment in the world.

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Hoodie Analytics To Launch SESSIONS 360 At Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference

On September 12, 2022, Hoodie will launch SESSIONS 360, a first-of-its-kind premier summit for cannabis market intelligence and data analytics, in sync with the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago. As an official event of Benzinga’s conference, SESSIONS 360 will help lead the data-driven movement in the cannabis industry. Through a daylong program - 9:30AM to 6:00PM CST - prominent speakers and panelists will come together to discuss the applications of data and technology in building brands, enabling sales teams, and driving price, promotion and purchasing decisions. Legendary NFL player and Highsman founder Ricky Williams is set to provide the summit’s keynote speech, and a bevy of the cannabis sector’s top data-driven brands will participate in the conversations, including Arcview, Holistic Industries, PharmaCann, Curaleaf, Revolution, 1906, 710 Labs, Verano, Viridian Capital Advisors, Measure 8 Venture Partners, and more.

“One of the most important products a technology company can create is the community, content, and continuous learning that is required for industry participants to evolve their adoption of new technology,” said Wes Shepherd, Hoodie’s founder and CEO. “SESSIONS 360 is Hoodie’s commitment to helping educate and connect anyone looking for best practices to improve their business.”

SESSIONS 360 also marks the official launch of Hoodie’s new sales enablement app - what the team calls “the sales manager’s new best friend in tracking product stocking, pricing and promos across 8300+ dispensaries right from your smartphone.”

Event title sponsors include Jane Technologies, a high-growth, Series C tech company focused on safely connecting consumers with quality cannabis products from local dispensaries; Leaf Trade, an enterprise technology platform that facilitates safe B2B cannabis sales through marketplaces, payments, analytics, and marketing services; and Benzinga, the dynamic and innovative financial media outlet empowering investors.

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How Do I Attend Hoodie's SESSIONS 360?

Tickets to SESSIONS 360 at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago are free for cannabis brands, operators, investors, and dispensaries. However, all SESSIONS 360 attendees must RSVP and pre-register online at http://www.hoodieanalytics.com/session-360/.

Wes Shepherd, founder and CEO of Hoodie Analytics (C) Hoodie Analytics

An Interview With Hoodie Analytics Founder And CEO Wes Shepherd

Ahead of SESSIONS 360, we spoke with Hoodie’s CEO Wes Shepherd for an insight into how the company itself is revolutionizing data solutions for cannabis businesses. Shepherd brings a lifetime of experience launching and operating companies in SaaS Software and e-commerce intelligence platforms to the cannabis space. A longtime resident of Chicago, where Hoodie is currently headquartered, Shepherd was the sole founder of Channel IQ, an e-commerce analytics firm he established in 2010 which was the leading provider of online product pricing and content intelligence to brands within a variety of channel management applications. Channel IQ also provided consumer facing products like product locators helping brands facilitate consumer product discovery and purchases. It was sold to Numerator in 2016, and Shepherd subsequently founded the machine learning ops platform Unifyd. His new venture was used for creating automated insights from large but messy data sources like the web.

In developing Hoodie, Shepherd and his team are proud to have created an unparalleled platform that seamlessly integrates “data experts” into an AI training loop, resulting in highly accurate data mastering and categorical insights.

HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE: Please tell the Honeysuckle community about yourself, Wes!

WES SHEPHERD: I’m a lifelong tech entrepreneur. Born and raised in Alaska, I grew up in a literal village. Now, I live in Downtown Chicago. I wanted to be an artist initially, but eventually became an entrepreneur like the rest of my family.

What is the Hoodie team working on right now?

We are building the largest and highest quality source of insights for the cannabis industry. Our goal for 2022 is to deliver the leading sales enablement solutions to cannabis, and introduce new data products, like one where we can tell dispensary owners exactly where else their customers are shopping and what products to sell and how to price based on their customer demographics. Our team is by far the biggest differentiator. We have professionals in every key area needed to produce great insights, great visualizations, great applications, great support and experienced consulting so people can get the most out of Hoodie.

What challenges are you navigating?

The biggest obstacle is always adding talent, which helps us innovate and sell. We are focusing on building out an already great team, culture and mission to attract top talent. We want to be a premier work destination for engineering and analytics in cannabis.

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Who have been your biggest mentors and supporters in the cannabis industry?

I have a handful of people who have been amazing in their support and guidance with navigating the cannabis world. Big shout out to Hoodie’s Strategic Advisory Board members Jim Belushi, Lorne Gertner and Gregg Steinberg. Beyond those individuals, most everyone we meet wants to help. It’s refreshing to see so many amazing professionals on a mission to bring much needed medicine to the world. Cannabis has really been an amazing second act for me to replicate past success, but with an entirely new cast of characters whom I truly enjoy hanging out with.

Do you have a favorite cannabis product?

I like all cannabis as long as it’s grown with care. I prefer to vape cannabis, and also enjoy the plant in edible form like mints by Kiva Confections. I have a personal story where cannabis really saved me during a chronic illness in a really dark time where I couldn't find any other relief. Traditional medicine was harming me in so many ways, so I’m grateful to have found the plant.

What is your passion?

I love creating products that people find useful. I love finding and building teams of great people and seeing them succeed. I really love immersing myself in an ecosystem and seeing how it all works. I’m the kind of guy that takes it apart to see how it works, and puts it back together again.

Hoodie launches SESSIONS 360 on September 12, 2022, 9:30AM-6:00PM as part of Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Chicago. Click here for tickets. For more about Hoodie, visit hoodieanalytics.com and askhoodie.com.

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