What to Expect from Dispensaries during the Holidaze
2020 was a very perplexing year for the cannabis industry. Due to COVID-19, enterprises and consumers were forced to change their way of living. Despite this, the cannabis industry remains profitable. The Wall Street Journal projects the cannabis industry to bring in $200 billion by the year 2030. Late last year, the United States witnessed five states implement pro-cannabis legislation. Last week, New York passed a bill that would provide recreational cannabis.
The previous projections were estimated prior to 10% of the United States establishing pro-cannabis legislation. April is also a month in which a multitude of locales are removing mask mandates and occupancy restrictions. Additionally, April is the month of 4/20, and consumers are looking to celebrate the holidaze. To put simply: ‘outside’ is opening back up, and so is the cannabis industry. Here is what consumers ought to expect from dispensaries this year.
If the pandemic taught the industry anything, employees must not take handwashing and sanitation for granted. Usually, this is mandated by virtually every establishment within every sector. This is because federal agencies such as OSHA or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration required proper and regular cleaning, sanitizing, and such for every business. The former also holds for cannabis dispensaries and cannabis delivery services. This includes constant handwashing after every transaction, bathroom visits, and even when handling known allergies. Last year, cannabis delivery services witnessed an uptick in profits of around 20%. This was due to the mandatory quarantine enacted by a multitude of locales. Today, expect an improvement in physical/in-store sales versus cannabis delivery services.
Additionally, businesses have kicked their cleaning and sanitation methods up a notch in response to the pandemic. Never before had consumers witnessed cannabis dispensaries that mirrored hospitals due to the amount of cleaning products. Dispensary operators and managers mandated more handwashing, shelf and glass cleaning with the proper sanitizing solutions, and even providing budtenders and cannabis delivery drivers with surgical masks. By constantly fighting the risk of the growth of bacteria, dispensaries and cannabis delivery services can protect themselves and the company’s product and reputation.
Same practices, but in-house
As mentioned earlier, cannabis delivery services reigned supreme last year. Curbside drop-offs became the norm for receiving cannabis and cannabis concentrates. During the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, delivery services such Doordash, Grubhub, and Postmates mandated a contactless program to help promote social distancing. Cannabis delivery services also adopted a similar method of providing curbside (no-contact) deliveries. Ordinarily, this practice is in a grey area since the consumer must verify their identity when purchasing cannabis in the dispensary. This is because someone underaged or not allowed to possess cannabis can misuse the delivery program legally. Nevertheless, the contraction program has been successful in increasing delivery sales as well as social distancing.
When cannabis delivery services moved to primarily providing contactless cannabis, employees took sanitization as seriously as ever. Hand sanitizers, alcohol-based cleaning products, and bleach became commonplace for cannabis delivery drivers. The underlying values here are diligence and accountability. Employees wanted to remain safe while working such a busy and essential job. Cannabis delivery drivers provided white-glove service on every delivery. Employers must capitalize on these values in brick-and-mortar locations. Customers take notice of employees going the extra mile. Psychologically, the product is much more enjoyable when the steps receiving said products are performed with thoughtful intent.
The critical point to take away from the point as mentioned earlier is innovation and implementation. Cannabis delivery services overcame the pandemic thanks to implementing the appropriate precautions while remaining profitable. New occupancy mandates will naturally draw consumers back into dispensaries. However, it is up to dispensaries to magnetize new and returning customers.