Columbia Care Inc. (NEO: CCHW) (CSE: CCHW) (OTCQX: CCHWF) (FSE: 3LP) (“Columbia Care” or the “Company”), one of the largest and most experienced cultivators, manufacturers and providers of cannabis products in the U.S., today announced the launch of Forage, a first-of-its-kind cannabis discovery tool designed to streamline and customize the individual shopping experience for expert and novice patients and customers alike. This interactive, web-based platform suggests curated products depending on the user’s desired mood and experience, and syncs with their local dispensary’s inventory and pricing to enable online orders. The platform also helps to fill a data void in the industry, adding another layer of contextual information to the existing point of sale, helping to discover which products consumers in any given market would have chosen or matched with, if available. This crucial and dynamic data set can then be used to optimize operational decisions such as inventory forecasting, new and existing product offerings, brand selections and cultivation and manufacturing prioritizations, as well as planning decisions in new markets or markets preparing for conversion from medical to adult use.
“At Columbia Care, we strive to continue creating innovative ways to enhance the durability and individuality of the customer experience and ensure that our products offer the highest level of satisfaction and relevance,” says Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care. “Forage is an opportunity for us to convert our point of sale and digital retail experience into a personalized educational journey, giving users immediate access to our experiential insights and cannabis knowledge through a fun and comprehensive digital interface that is developed around their needs and priorities. As a vertically integrated operator with one of the most expansive footprints in the country, we feel uniquely positioned to leverage our existing data infrastructure in combination with new applications like Forage to create better customer and patient experiences.”
Customers and patients will be able to access Forage anywhere by visiting forage.io as well as in select dispensaries across the country. Through an industry exclusive partnership with display provider Lightbox, Forage will be accessed on-site via an interactive panel that will also allow the user to engage with the dispensary’s loyalty program and learn more about its brands, promotions and products.
Forage was brought to life in collaboration with Siberia, a global product design and digital engineering agency, with the creation of an algorithm that can instantly scan thousands of cannabis strains, their associated attributes and user-reported outcomes. By identifying and matching these strain identifiers to pre-selected activities and desired moods, the algorithm is able to provide the best recommendation for the user based on their dynamic needs and priorities. Through a few simple, but data-rich questions, the user is able to select how they would like to feel, what they will be doing, and are then delivered a list of product recommendations and the option to pre-order. Users are also able to create individual profiles on the Forage platform, organizing previous selections and product choices to simplify their shopping experience going forward.
“As more states continue to legalize cannabis, we recognize that the vast majority of people have never stepped foot in a dispensary and might not know where to start. Forage was designed to welcome newcomers to their first experience with cannabis, as well as to provide a window into the range and complexities of our product offerings. It lets users of all backgrounds know that it’s okay to come as you are – we’re here to help you on your cannabis journey, wherever that may be,” says Jesse Channon, Chief Growth Officer of Columbia Care. “Forage is another step in creating an innovative retail platform that continues to revolutionize our interactions with customers and patients. By crafting an even more seamless and personalized shopping experience, through Forage and other touch points such as Virtual.Care, we are creating an extensible architecture that will allow for logical expansions into loyalty, credit card, digital payment, and delivery integrations through our network of trusted partners and proprietary solutions. All of these advancements will ultimately result in a more direct window into the needs and wants of an evolving market and allow us to meet those more quickly and thoughtfully.”
Forage is the most recent technological leap for the industry, disrupting a status quo for how customers and patients are able to interact with the Company’s expertise and cultivation knowledge. At the beginning of the pandemic, Columbia Care launched Virtual.Care, a virtual shopping experience that brings patients and customers face-to-face with cannabis professionals. Since its introduction in April 2020, Virtual.Care has ensured accessibility during the height of the pandemic, enabling more than 5,000 consultations.
The new Forage platform will be rolling out across Columbia Care’s growing portfolio of dispensaries, including its new Cannabist branded locations, over the next 12 months. For more information and to see Forage for yourself, please visit Forage.io.