2018 Dispensary Operation Trends, and What You Need to Know as an Owner

With cannabis culture slowly pouring into the mainstream, there is much to consider when approaching every new day of business. Whether it’s observing the prices or trying out new MMJ containers, a dispensary owner’s job is never easy. There are many reasons why. However, an unstable market has its fair share of positive aspects, giving us the unique opportunity to ride the wave when the moment comes.

It’s majestic to be able to see how the cannabis industry grows in different regions of the US. However, this growth can be used in an analytic sense – to have a useful example of how to calibrate your own dispensary.

From custom cannabis packaging to sales tactics, trends are constantly fluctuating, one way or another. It’s only right that we have a substantial number of concrete guidelines about trends. This is important, considering that the cannabis industry is poised for astronomical growth in the next few months. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the ins and outs of the current cannabis industry.

There is much to be discussed, ranging from marketing guidelines to concentrate cannabis packing. Simply observing the development of these trends will aid you in running a better business.

Marketing restrictions – where there aren’t any

One big problem that doesn’t affect the smoker as much as it affects the dispensary owner is, of course, marketing restrictions. Most cannabis dispensaries function on a word-to-mouth basis and recommendations. Sometimes, a cannabis dispensary has to rely solely on their location to be seen and chosen by a passer-by.

Out of the 30 states in which either recreational or medicinal marijuana is legalized, these are the ones that have no laws which dictate a restriction of any sort:

  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Michigan
  • West Virginia
  • Vermont (starting Sunday)
  • Rhode Island
  • Maryland
  • Alaska

This was done in a somewhat strategic way, many speculate. Due to a long-standing myth about marijuana being bad or destructive, federal authorities have collaborated with local ones to only allow free marketing in smaller markets. This is a pattern which is very evident when you look at the map of the US.

Marketing restrictions – places where you can encounter them

The following states have a web of legal restrictions limiting the way a dispensary owner or a grower can market their product. These restrictions range from either digital marketing or billboards and can even be as thorough as dictating the look of medical marijuana bottles. These states pose a problem to owners:

  • California
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Montana
  • Minnesota
  • Illinois
  • Florida
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
  • Washington D.C.
  • New Hampshire
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Hawaii

Out of all the current trends in the cannabis industry, owners have to group together to fight limitations and make the legalization in their countries move from the “de facto” status, which is in force due to marketing restrictions.

A drop in prices

According to data provided by Marijuana Business, we’ve come across an encouraging and motivating trend in recent years. A pound of marijuana, on average, used to be $2.000 in 2015 and has managed to drop to $1.600 now. That’s a 20% decrease in the price department, which is a significant movement for an industry that young. However, this movement in a downwards direction is something that you should consider as a continuing trend. Why?

Well, since cannabis culture is entering the everyday ethos of both recreational and medical users, more and more demand has been created. This has urged big growers to produce more and the number of smaller farmers to skyrocket. When you add the fact that many celebrities like Wiz Khalifa, Tommy Chong, and others are endorsing and producing their own marijuana – the demand will rise, indubitably.

How to avoid hindering your business due to a rise in demand

What you, as an owner, have to know is that you shouldn’t overreact to a new strain arriving on the market. What should you exactly do in such a situation?

  • Don’t prepare tens of thousands of pop top containers or overdo the dispensary packaging – start a promotional period.
  • Buy a limited quantity to see the response.
  • Include polls that motivate the customer to communicate with you and to tell you their opinions. That way, you will be able to navigate the market of a new strain.
  • To motivate people to fill out your polls, offer prizes and bonus gifts.

Why are we saying all of this? Many dispensary owners want to capitalize on a new strain. Upon finding out about it, they order astronomical quantities of it. This is a wrong way of approaching novelties on the cannabis market. Instead of overreacting, take a “test quantity” and wait for more growers to have the seeds at their disposal. It is estimated that, in around six months, every new cannabis strain sees a 72% drop in price per pound, due to a rise and demand. Be wise.

Keep your eyes out and take care of security

Whenever you get ecstatic about marijuana being legal, remember that EVERY STATE (sans Vermont) has had their laws changed exclusively by voting. This means that law enforcement still features the same group of people which arrested marijuana users and sellers during the times when legality was a distant dream. What does this mean?

We have seen a rising trend in “stalled investigations” when there is a break-in or a theft involving a dispensary. Of course, purposely stalling an investigation is a serious crime, but this is, unfortunately, one of those gray areas where you can’t prove anything. Because of this, we urge you and all other owners to invest a lot in security. The current state of the industry is far from favorable for dispensary owners.

This means investing in alarms, bulletproof glass and other features which make your physical sales location thief-repellent. Additionally, you should settle things with insurance. Thefts are always possible, and you’ll need a good package to compensate for any stolen items, whether it’s pounds of cannabis or simply wholesale cannabis containers.

Last thought

Of course, with everything written above in mind – all owners should act like a family and support one another in this period of changes. Only together can we accomplish a more equitable world for every cannabis fans, user or grower.

At Green Rush Packaging, we support the cause of marijuana legalization wholeheartedly. However, we also agree with the change in priorities. A cannabis entrepreneur is much more than an activist nowadays – he is a businessman, navigating the market. Because of this, it’s important to observe and analyze trends.


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