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Staying Competitive in the Cannabis Market

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Launching a Cannabis Business and Want to Know if  Pricing is the Only Way to Remain Competitive? This One’s For You

I have been traveling the United States since 2018. My exploration of Cannabis has been quite interesting. In states like Washington and Oregon, there are signs posted in parking lots: “$1 Joints” and/or “$12 Eighths”.  Traveling through Colorado: “7a-9a Early Bird Specials”.

The one thing that I have noticed, consistently, is competitive pricing. Well, in some states because in others- those prices are higher than the clouds. In places like Oklahoma, there are over 2,000 dispensaries- more than the state of CA! How does a consumer choose the dispensary or CBD store to shop at? Cannabiz, a Cannabis media company, says that:

California’s population is ten times the size of Oklahoma’s! This translates into one dispensary for every 2,356 people in Oklahoma versus one for every 67,972 people in California.”

So, is pricing the only way to remain competitive in the booming cannabis industry? Not at all. Pricing is important but there are multiple factors to consider. 

Products and Merchandise Options

Does your dispensary or CBD store cater to your local market? It’s important, like any retail operation, that your shelves/cases are stocked with cannabis products and merchandise that meet the needs of your local customers. Consideration; does your demographic prefer edibles over RSO? It would be a great idea to have more edibles options in your dispensary/ store.

Photo Credit: Deloitte

Customer Service

I am in dispensaries 3-5 times a week as a part of my work and because I’m a stoner. I will forget about the $12 gram if the service captures my attention. But let me be clear- $12 for top shelf. Less than the best for $12 a gram is not good service.

I digress; customer service is super important. I want to laugh with my Budtenders. Learning and education can be fun. It helps when I can tell that they love their job (it also helps them love their jobs if they are being compensated fairly and have pleasant leadership), it makes my experience that much better.

Dispensary management can build an amazing team through: solid sourcing and recruiting, quality training and development, competitive salaries, and compassionate leadership.

Perks Program

Everyone loves perks! Your customers would appreciate a perks program that leads to discounts for their purchases. Through these programs, dispensaries/stores can offer rewards for regular customers, special discounts, and free items with purchases. Not only that, vendor and/or farmer days- where customers can engage with local vendors and growers whose products are on dispensary shelves.

Online Presence

It is 2020 and the screen reigns supreme! Is your business on any social media platform? Having your brand make a statement online will get customers in the door. The laws make this a bit difficult; Facebook and Instagram- wait Facebook is Instagram- no wait, Instagram is Facebook- ugh, let’s just say- Mark doesn’t like Cannabis.

There has to be a balance found with marketing your Cannabis business and not having the platform police delete the dispensary account. Something to consider: don’t list prices and don’t use the words Cannabis and Marijuana.

Company Website

Many times, consumers like to review the company website, prior to visiting the physical location. Sections that consumers are likely to look for when visiting a website: about us, products/services, location(s) and hours of operation, and the company blog. The site should definitely be user friendly and easy to navigate.

I’ll Leave You with This Regarding Blogs

People love to learn. Cannabis is new and people want information. A blog doesn’t seem important, but it is! Prospective customers, regular customers, and search engines keep an eye out for this content.

This piece is a repurposed version of the original version, which was originally written by the author and published in Oklahoma Chronic Magazine.

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