Legal cannabis retailers in the US sold more than $17.5 billion worth of products in 2020 — a 46% increase from the year before. While many credit the pandemic and regulators deeming cannabis an “essential,” getting products safely in the hands of buyers took a lot of creativity, reports the New York Times.
Target market transformation in Nevada
When the vape and edibles-loving tourists stopped visiting Las Vegas in the pandemic, retailers shifted their attention toward premium flower strains that couldn’t be found on the illicit market to appeal to discerning locals.
“…when you are stuck at home, you’re paying more attention to things like terpene and cannabinoid profiles, on top of THC levels, bud structure and aroma, which is information you get when buying from the legal market,” said Aether Gardens CEO Nicholas MacLean. “And last year, that played into our hand as a high-quality flower cultivator.”
Keeping the peace in Florida
Medical dispensaries stayed open through COVID in Florida (much like everything else), but mask-wearing was highly politicized in the state. To ensure all clients could get what they needed without anxiety or in-store conflicts, some incentivized curbside pickups and online orders with discounts and sales. Fluent Cannabis Care, for example, promoted Silver Sundays (10% off for 55+), Student Saturdays (10% off for students) and 20% off for new curbside customers.
Tackling tech troubles in Massachusetts
Canna Provisions in Lee, Massachusetts had to shut down its in-store group tours, which help educate new customers about cannabis. When they opened back up, they weren’t able to rely on internet service, so they pivoted to phones to preserve the “human touch.” It also bought them some time to open a larger space that could safely accommodate group tours once more.
“We set out to make a destination,” said CEO Meg Sanders. “And we nailed it.”