dispensary Archives - Green Market Report

StaffStaffMay 29, 2020
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8min4290

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 StaffVideo StaffOctober 4, 2019

1min9500

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.


Ken NischKen NischSeptember 12, 2017
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4min27521

Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are facing major challenges due to ease of credit cards, federal postal services, and potentially even other types of shippers. This has made the cannabis industry essentially immune to the challenges that other physical retailers have. This doesn’t mean that marijuana retailers don’t need to be experiential or try harder, but rather it suggests that the physical store experience can be a primarily offensive direction in order to create brand awareness and dominance, versus substantially being defensive as it is for most retail today in trying to counter-impact the online business.

Also new to the cannabis category in the aspect of retail is individual vs “branded house” product. Think of the spice section in your local grocery store with red caps of the iconic McCormick brand dominating, rather than the individual flavor profiles themselves dominating. Cannabis started out with the contrary, with the flavor and experience profile of the individual product defining it rather than a dominant brand umbrella defining it. However, this contrast with cannabis where the flavor profile is the brand, and the sense of origin, etc. comes secondary, has been changing rapidly now with the growth of celebrity and lifestyle branding. Think Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech and Chong, Willie Nelson, etc. where the flavor profile is through the eyes of Willie, Whoopi, and Cheech. This represents a big change in the industry where ultimately certain brands will be common across distributors and retailers versus each individual retailer essentially creating their own “special sauce” unique to their environment. With the advent of cross retailer branding, the individual brand of the retailer will become more critical (versus relied on price or uniqueness to drive the consumer from a destination standpoint).

Important in terms of future growth will be a key and differentiated brand identity. As legalization continues to become more flexible and market driven, formats such as shop-in-shop concepts as well as event and lifestyle pop-up concepts (cannabis meets food truck, etc.) will arise. Cannabis will grow into other delivery spaces for pet, spa and treatment applications; home furnishings; and luxury accessories and consumables. Today’s fairly cut and dry approach to reception, consulting, selection and transaction will become more complicated (in a positive way), impacting everything from staffing to seasonality, to requirements for flexibility beyond today‘s primarily transactional environment.

Due to many cases of landlord reluctance, particularly national landlords, to accommodate companies within the cannabis space, they’ve often been relegated to second or third tier locations, industrial parks, or the capital intensive activity of purchasing or building a freestanding facility. The next generation of locations will most likely become part of lifestyle assortments, like adjacencies such as Lululemon, Whole Foods, the local gym, etc. with the cannabis retailer to be a welcome and lifestyle appropriate co-tenant to many of the national tenants, particularly in the wellness, leisure and food segments.

Society has already made a significant change in the perception of cannabis as a medication, and as perceptions continue to evolve in the world of cannabis through the rest of 2017, the brick-and-mortar concept has been integral to the movement. Thus, allowing the public access to these products in an entirely new type of space. The design concept of the physical environment provides the retail dispensary model an opportunity to create interactive experiences, as well as personal connections. The mental perception shift in medical and recreational clients alike will continue to open a door to societal growth and appreciation of cannabis.



About Us

The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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