Most Californians can simply walk into their local, licensed cannabis dispensary and purchase a variety of products. Few consumers read each product’s label and make a decision on what to buy. Too often, they are actually in the dark about what they’re buying.

Research shows that a product’s price, THC percentage and a budtender’s recommendations are the primary things consumers look for. There has been a disproportionate focus on THC percentage – partly due to the inaccurate notion that potency is directly correlated with quality, and partly due to the lack of awareness about the important role of terpenes and other cannabinoids.

A knowledge gap is normal for new industries, but this is not the case in more mature substance markets like alcohol. Most people do not focus solely on the alcohol content when they buy a bottle of wine. Instead, they consider the varietal, the region, the flavor profile and, of course, the price.

Jeff Journey is the CEO of SC Labs, a cannabis and hemp testing company, and a U.S. Air Force veteran.

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