For Jocelyn Sheltraw, it’s about cannabis in real-time.
As the Head of Industry Relations for Headset.io, her company provides the intelligence cannabis operators need to navigate an emerging industry by providing the software and data to understand cannabis sales and consumer trends.
“Understanding what types of products people like to buy, who different customer groups are, and why they consume have traditionally been challenging insights for retailers and operators to understand. A lot of people are creating products and flying blind as to who their consumer is.” Sheltraw says, referring to the constantly growing and changing market.
“Over the last 3+ years we’re seeing more technologies and better data emerge that are going to help operators understand evolving market and consumer trends, and our philosophy at Headset is that it’s important that people have insight into what’s happening in real-time because this industry is moving so fast”.
Sheltraw is responsible for building Headset’s brand awareness and market expansion across the US and Canada. Her days are spent meeting with Retailers, Brands, Associations, Policymakers, and she helps them understand the trends Headset see’s and how to use the data within their operation.
As anyone in the cannabis space can expand on, consumer experience is everything. This includes the experience they have with branding. Sheltraw, who previously held positions in advertising and technology, believes brands that understand their ethos do well in the industry.
“The brands that really are thoughtful and take time to communicate their ethos, you see that,” she explains. “It’s palpable in the brand.”
When brands understand the values they are providing back into the market, they are able to better communicate with their audience and build a better name for themselves. And for cannabis brands, connecting with an audience through their product is crucial.
Sheltraw plays a key role in this connection.
As the lead on new market expansion, she connects her network, presents market opportunities, and educates teams on how to integrate the presented data into business solutions and strategies. Being a voice in the cannabis market, her shared learnings continue to help build an ever-evolving industry.
New data from Headset shows one group of consumers that brands should make note of: Gen Z women.
It shows this generation as the fastest-growing group across the cannabis industry. In California where vape culture is very dominant, sales of vape pens with this group have skyrocketed.
“For the first time ever,” says Sheltraw, “we saw that [with] Gen Z women, vape had been their highest category of sales.” This is in comparison to other generations where flower has always been the largest category of sales. “We hadn’t seen data prior to any generation [do this].”
Despite the number of roles women hold in cannabis is declining, current data clearly illustrates how much women continue to diversify the market. It’s a reminder to women working in cannabis or looking to venture into the cannabis space that this industry needs them.
“Network, network, network! Anyone can be part of this community but you have to put yourself out there!”