dispensary Archives - Green Market Report

Video StaffFebruary 15, 2023


UNION SQUARE TRAVEL AGENCY: A CANNABIS STORE, opened on February 13. The store has a robust portfolio of products from New York farmers including premium flower, pre-rolls, edibles, vapes, accessories, and more, many from BIPOC and woman-owned brands. 

President Arana Hankin-Biggers said, “I’ve spent my career committed to creating economic opportunities for communities of color, and am proud to be involved in the legal cannabis industry which is finding ways for the private sector, public sector and not for profits to collaborate to empower marginalized communities.”

“This is an example of New York State getting it right,” said John McDonald of The Doe Fund. “For three decades, The Doe Fund has lived on the cutting edge of innovation, relentlessly pioneering ways to restore racial, economic and criminal justice to communities disproportionately impacted by systemic failures and inequity. Over 90% of the men we serve are BIPOC and 67% have been incarcerated. Upon their release – without successful reentry programs – they face the same marginalization from the mainstream, the same lack of economic opportunity that led them to resort to crime in the first place.  Cannabis licensing; partnerships with nonprofits serving these impacted populations; and, most importantly, the revenue generated by this industry (which will go toward ending intergenerational poverty and enhancing programs like ours) can inspire systemic change and advance racial and economic justice.”

Hankin-Biggers and CEO Paul Yau expect to create 50 new jobs at the UNION SQUARE TRAVEL AGENCY. Hankins-Biggers and Yau also announced it has hired cannabis retail veteran Michael Conway to be their VP of Retail.  Conway comes to the company following a successful tenure helping multiple state operator Ascend Wellness in their New Jersey and Massachusetts launch and oversaw the transition from medical to adult use in its NJ locations.  Prior to that, he was Director of Retail Operations for Curaleaf NY where he managed the opening of four retail locations that led the NY medical market in sales and service.

Since 1985, The Doe Fund has helped nearly 30,000 individuals break the devastating cycle of poverty, homelessness, and incarceration. Its Ready, Willing & Able program provides paid work, housing, and comprehensive support services to homeless and formerly incarcerated men in New York City. In addition, The Doe Fund operates a portfolio of nearly 900,000 square feet of permanent affordable and supportive housing. 

StaffFebruary 9, 2023


This story was republished with permission from Crain’s Chicago and written by John Pletz

The value of a cannabis dispensary just isn’t what it used to be.

Six months ago, Planet 13 (OTC: PLNHF), a Las Vegas-based marijuana company, announced it would pull the trigger on its option to buy out its social-equity partner in an Illinois cannabis dispensary in a $2.9 million transaction. By the time the deal closed yesterday, the value had dropped by $1 million because of the steep downdraft in the stocks of cannabis companies.

Planet 13 shares are now trading at just 88 cents, compared with $1.98 on Aug. 4, when it inked the deal with entrepreneur Frank Cowan to buy out his ownership in their retail license. Cowan received $866,250 in cash, along with 1 million shares, for his 51% stake in the license.

Marijuana stocks have fallen precipitously in recent months as interest rates rose, cannabis prices fell and prospects faded for congressional action that would loosen restrictions nationally on the cannabis industry.

Deals are getting renegotiated—or scrapped. Last month, Miami-based Ayr Wellness, a publicly traded company, called off its $55 million purchase of two Chicago dispensaries operated by Dispensary 33.

The declines in stock prices and canceled deals will impact the value of 192 new retail licenses that have been issued in Illinois. Under state rules, holders haven’t been able to sell their licenses until their stores are open. At least one owner has sued to challenge those rules in a case that’s still working its way through Cook County Circuit Court.

Cowan, meanwhile, says he plans to stay with Planet 13, which is building out a dispensary in Waukegan that’s expected to open this summer. And he may well come out OK financially, given some time: He can’t sell his 1 million shares right away, due to a six-month lockup period, and the shares vest over 12 months.

Adam JacksonJuly 28, 2022


Actor and musician Ice T is opening a recreational dispensary with Charis Burrett, founder of The Medicine Woman, in Jersey City, New Jersey after the city board granted approval for the shop.

The approval came from the Jersey City Cannabis Control Board, which establishes and enforces the rules and regulations governing the licensing, cultivation, testing and selling of the plant. The shop will be named The Medicine Woman Jersey City and will include 5,000 square feet of retail space.

“I’ve dedicated my life and career to giving back and paving the way for minorities,” Ice T, whose real name is Tracey Lauren Marrow, said in a statement. “As a New Jersey native, I’m excited for the opportunity legalization offers our community, and I look forward to ushering in a new era for Cannabis in the state.”

Marrow was born in Newark New Jersey and as a child moved to the tonier town of Summit. He lost both of his parents as a child and went to live with an aunt in California. He has come full circle with cannabis. As a teen he initially did not consume any drugs or alcohol but did end up selling cannabis to support a then-pregnant girlfriend, before eventually joining the army. Following his army stint, he became a bank robber but left his life of crime to focus on breaking into the entertainment industry.

Black people in New Jersey are three times more likely to be charged with pot possession than white counterparts, and The Medicine Woman Jersey City said it is committed to sourcing staff from the local community – partnering with several local organizations include The Last Prisoner Project, Jersey City Mural and Arts Program, Jersey City Employment and Training Program, Hudson County Community College, with more to be announced.

Founded in 2015 by Burrett, and her husband, Luke Burrett, The Medicine Woman started out as a California non-profit delivery service.

“Giving back to our community has and will always be a priority to us,” said Burrett. “We are passionately devoted to providing access to safe, affordable and quality plant medicinal remedies.”

The Medicine Woman Jersey City is slated to open around Fall this year and is currently accepting applications for employment for a variety of positions. To apply, send a resume to HR@themedwoman.com. The shop is committed to sourcing a local workforce with a focus on providing opportunities for former cannabis offenders, the release said.



Video StaffMay 13, 2022


On April, 28, 2022, the Green Market Report hosted its first Women’s Summit in New York City. This panel was titled “The Truth in Running a Dispensary” and featured a stellar lineup of successful women including Precious Osagie-Erese of Roll-Up Life, Wendy Bronfein – Co-Founder Curio Wellness, Penelope Nam-Stephen, Rebelle dispensary’s chief commercial officer and moderated by Green Market Report Executive Editor Debra Borchardt. Thank you for watching the Green Market Report! Be sure to subscribe to our channel and our newsletters.

StaffJune 29, 2021


Editors note: This is a guest post.

The cannabis industry has come a long way, specifically after its legalization in the country. Buyers can shop supplies without being apprehensive about being on the wrong side of the law. As long as you are in a legal state and fall within the age bracket, you can buy easily. But the retail market is going through a major transition amid the pandemic. You can expect the new trends to stay around for the foreseeable future. The virus is still here, and shopping habits are different. Cannabis consumers, marketers, and retailers must know about these trends to have clear expectations. Let us highlight the ones making it big in 2021.

Product education is a part of retail

Despite the legal status of cannabis in the country, new users still have some doubts. They want to know facts about product strains, consumption methods, dosage, and safety precautions. Product education is now a part of retail experiences as consumers expect it. Sellers need to go the extra mile across all platforms to match the expectations. Seasoned budtenders in brick-and-mortar stores offer education to first-timers. Blogs and articles do the same for online buyers. Product education goes a long way in making consumers more confident. Newbies can dip their toes with a lot more ease when they have a fair idea of what works and what doesn’t. 

Online retail is here to stay

Another trend that is making it big is online retail. It is a safer option for buyers who want to stay at home. Sellers can consider the feasibility of options such as doorstep delivery or curbside pickups. Contact is minimal with both methods, so the risk of transmission of the virus is under control. Online selling is also a norm for cannabis accessories as all the reputed brands are available on websites. For example, consumers can explore all the Focus V Products, Parts, and Accessories available on this platform. It is much easier to check the options, go through details, and even read reviews of products online. So buyers are comfortable with the idea, and sellers need to gear up with better e-commerce experiences.

Focus on contactless payments 

While online buying brings the advantage of contactless buying, retailers are doing the same for physical stores. Most are enabling contactless selling with POS solutions in brick-and-mortar stores. Buyers can avoid queues and crowds with self-service kiosks and POS terminals.  It can be a futuristic investment for retailers as the rules of social distancing are likely to stay around in the coming years. The measure indicates that the seller is concerned about customer well-being, which drives loyalty in the long run. Moreover, POS applications reduce dependence on the human workforce, and stores can operate with smaller teams.

The current cannabis market landscape is very different. Right now, the focus is on consolidating trust and credibility. Providing education to consumers is a good start. Online services and contactless payments enhance consumer well-being. Businesses that want to succeed today and in the future must stay ahead of these trends. 

Video StaffAugust 17, 2020


Curaleaf is rolling a new look to its dispensaries. Green Market Report visited the dispensary in Ware Massachusetts recently to see it in person. The old clinical looking medical dispensary has been replaced with a sleek, modern store for recreational consumers. This interview is an extended version with Curaleaf Massachusetts President Patrik Jonsson who spoke with GMR’s Debra Borchardt. The new design is discussed, along with bot the Select and Grassroots acquisitions

StaffMay 29, 2020


Editors Note: This is a guest post. 

Operating a cannabis dispensary can be a lucrative business, but only if people know it exists—and prefer it to other dispensaries in the area. Just selling cannabis isn’t enough to get you the profitability and sustainability you need to make your business successful. You’ll need to market and advertise that business if you want people to hear about it and trust it. 

Marketing Tips for Cannabis Dispensaries 

These tips can help you better establish your brand and attract more customers to your dispensary: 

  1. Differentiate your brand. Customers in your area probably have many dispensaries to choose from, so what makes yours different? Do you have a wider range of products? Can you afford to sell at lower prices? Do you provide more individualized, personal customer service? The exact method of differentiation doesn’t matter, so long as you have some way to show that you’re better than your competitors. 
  2. Remain consistent. Advertising is most effective across many iterations, due to the mere exposure effect. But for this effect to manifest, you’ll need to be consistent. You’ll need to present your brand in the same way, adhering to the same values, and giving consumers the same kinds of images, tone of voice, and other brand hallmarks. Make sure you’ve documented your brand standards thoroughly, and inspect each marketing or advertising material that gets published to ensure it adheres to those standards. 
  3. Appeal to a local audience. While some dispensaries are able to sell to customers in many different areas, most are limited to a local audience—or will at least be getting most of their revenue from a local audience. Dedicate a significant chunk of your advertising budget to channels and methods that work especially well for locals, like printing and distributing flyers or putting up a billboard that residents can see. 
  4. Watch your costs. You’ll need to watch your budget carefully if you want to succeed. If you spend too little on marketing, or don’t advertise at all, you’re never going to achieve the growth you want. But if you spend too much on campaigns that don’t work, you’ll be in an even worse position. Your goal is to maximize your return on investment (ROI), which means selectively choosing the most effective and cost-efficient strategies. You can do this by starting with minimal investments, measuring your results, and preferentially keeping the best-performing strategies per dollar spent. 
  5. Segment and target your audience. You can improve your results by selectively focusing on niche audience segments. Who are your primary customers, and what are their biggest priorities? Are they purchasing cannabis for an underlying health condition, or to partake recreationally? What kinds of messages and images will evoke the best response from them? Market research is imperative here.
  6. Invest in SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best overall online marketing strategies. Utilizing a combination of onsite content development, offsite link building, and other tactics, you’ll flesh out your online presence and increase your rankings in search engines, ultimately generating more traffic for your site. It’s a long-term strategy, so it won’t yield immediate results, but the long-term value is unparalleled. 
  7. Experiment. It’s also important to experiment, since you can’t be sure which tactics, channels, or messages will be most effective for your audience. Try out a wide variety of different approaches, and make sure you measure your results so you know what works. 
  8. Understand the regulations. Finally, but perhaps most importantly, make sure you understand the marijuana advertising laws in your state. Some states are stricter than others, but in nearly all states, you’ll be responsible for providing factual, provable information about your product and displaying it in a responsible way. In some cases, you’ll need to advertise your business, rather than your product, and in some states, you may be dealing with no specific marijuana advertising laws whatsoever. Work with a lawyer if you’re not sure how to proceed. 

Customer Retention vs. Acquisition 

It’s also important to realize that for most dispensaries, customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition—in other words, it’s less expensive to keep a current customer happy and buying your products than it is to find an entirely new customer. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to invest in strategies that will keep your customers happy and loyal, like rewards programs and exceptional customer service, in addition to spending money on marketing and advertising. 

Cannabis dispensaries perform better when they have a solid marketing and advertising strategy pushing them forward. It may not come together right away, and your return on investment (ROI) may be low in the beginning stages, but if you continue to test and improve, eventually, you’ll piece together a campaign that works. 

Video StaffOctober 4, 2019


Creating an identity for your dispensary is key to getting customers in the door. Jushi Brands and its Beyond/Hello dispensaries are quickly setting themselves apart as a top-notch dispensary brand. Learn from these experts the key components to becoming a brand name in the dispensary world. Moderated by Brian Lauvray, Head of Development & Strategy MMLG with panelists Erich Mauff, Jushi Founder and President and Blythe Huestis VP Retail Operations Beyond/Hello. This panel was taped at the Green Market Summit in Los Angeles on September 11.

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