Why Classify "Extracts for Inhalation"?

Overall, sales of all marijuana products has been increasing steadily since the opening of the market. Sales of extract for inhalation products have been expanding rapidly and are of particular interest to policy makers not only for the purposes of understanding market dynamics but also because of the public health impacts of the use of these products.

Policy makers, the RAND team and other researchers are interested in understanding purchasing patterns and potency trends in these products. Evaluating products labeled as “Extracts for Inhalation” does not provide particular insight.

This is because this product type is very heterogenous and includes low potency, low cost products, such as keif, as well as high potency, high cost products, such as vaporizers and oils. Categorizing these products into similar subgroups may provide much more insight for understanding and regulating this important section of the market. The issue is that no such subcategorization in the dataset. Furthermore, there is no known rules or existing categorization. In that sense, there is no ground truth.

Research Questions:
How can we break these products into meaningful categories?
Are there patterns or trends that appear once we disaggregate these products into reasonable categories?