Does anyone have insight as to differential/non-standard NAICS code use in SafeGraph in general, or for cannabis dispensaries in particular?

Hello SafeGraph research community! I have a question I hope someone else has tried to tackle. I’m doing a series of projects trying to understand the impact of access to cannabis dispensaries on various measures of health care disruption from the pandemic. Earlier Slack threads suggested that cannabis dispensaries could be identified using the NAICS code 424210 (Drugs and Druggists’ Sundries Merchant Wholesalers). Indeed, when I pulled POI with that code (with a few additional location name filters) I get a list that is nearly entirely cannabis dispensaries for states that have approved cannabis dispensary opening. (That code identifies CBD and vape stores in non-dispensary-legal states, so watch out for that.) The problem comes from trying to augment the data with other sources. The California IRS states that “The NAICS number for most medicinal marijuana businesses is classified the same as pharmacies and drug stores therefore the code is 44610.” Other sources claim the correct NAICS code for cannabis dispensaries is 453998. When I pull locations with those codes from SafeGraph I don’t get location names that appear to be cannabis dispensaries (e.g., Spenser’s is associated with 453998). So my issue is that in terms of just identifying dispensaries in SafeGraph, I’m confident in the NAICS code 424210 plus name filters; but that code doesn’t seem to match other data source’s definitions for dispensaries, making using external data more problematic. Does anyone have insight as to differential/non-standard NAICS code use in SafeGraph in general, or for cannabis dispensaries in particular? Thanks!

This topic was automatically generated from Slack. You can find the original thread here.

Hi Thanks for reaching out! We are looking into it and will get back to you once we have an answer.

Hi ! To my understanding, 424210 tends to be the common NAICS codes that other members have used when looking for cannabis dispensaries (as you pointed out by referencing our previous Slack threads). Unfortunately, we won’t be able to offer too much insight on the points you brought up concerning other data sources as we’re more familiar with SafeGraph specifically. I do apologize if this doesn’t answer you question completely.

However, I’m going to tag a few other members in the community that I know have done research on cannabis dispensaries.

Thanks for getting back so quickly, Niki. I’ll wait to hear if any other users have had experience with this issue. Should I also post this on the “General” board too?

Hi , I will be working on identifying the appropriate NAICS codes over this coming semester. Let us know if you make any progress and we’ll keep you posted on what we identify on our end. We are starting out with a proof of concept using Colorado counties where we already have dispensary addresses. Is it possible the NAICS codes could vary by state, depending on, for example, vertical integration or co-location of growing and retailing facilities? I hope you are well!

Hey Sarah. In terms of identifying dispensaries in SafeGraph I’ve developed a pretty simple process for pulling them and have done a reasonably comprehensive job of validating the results. So far as I can tell, I have found something in excess of 97% of the dispensaries known to be in the US in 2020. I’m writing up a memo to myself describing the process and verification (so I can remember it later). Email me if you’d like a copy of it. I’d. be very interested to see how it compares to what you and Abhinav find.

Thanks everyone for the input! Concerning your question, I could see posting in datasets-non-safegraph might be helpful. It’s possible other community members have had similar issues working with the specific (non-SafeGraph) data sources you’re working with.

I’ll go ahead and close this thread out to prevent other questions being overlooked. Please let us know if you have any other questions by starting a new thread in safegraphdata. Thanks everyone!