Tag: For Businesses

Six Best Practices for Opening Your Own Cannabis Business

Leafly recently polled existing cannabis businesses in an effort to ferret out what it’s like to open shop. We asked about what worked well in the initial stages of the venture, which aspects were a little bumpy, and what was most important to remember. If you’re a budding ganjapreneur hoping to break into the cannabiz, here’s what you need to keep an eye on.

Are you a business owner with some tips or tricks you’d like to pass along? Take our poll and let us know what issues you found most crucial while opening your business.

Legal Requirements

Forty-four percent of respondents said staying compliant with state and local laws was one of the most important areas of focus when starting their cannabis businesses. State laws vary greatly, and making sure you and your employees adhere to them is quite possibly the highest priority for a prospective business owner. Do your homework and consult an attorney, preferably one that specializes in cannabis law. Many businesses are now also navigating the confusing legal waters of trying to pay state and federal taxes despite remaining illegal in the eyes of the federal government. When in doubt, consult an attorney or tax specialist.

State-by-State Guide to Cannabis Advertising Regulations

Advertising

Advertising is key for maintaining a solid reputation, customer base, and revenue generation, but it can be tricky. Some states, such as New Jersey, prohibit advertising dispensaries, while other states, such as Illinois, do not allow health clinics to advertise dispensaries. You can find out more about advertising guidelines in our handy state-by-state guide to cannabis advertising regulations.

Money

It’s just like they say: Money makes the world go round, and this business is no different. Ensuring you and your potential investors have enough startup capital to keep the business going for as long as it needs to is crucial to surviving your first year in business. Up-and-coming business owners sometimes expect cash to begin flowing as soon as sales start, but businesses often see little income early on, especially in the first few months. In the words of one successful Oregon retailer, David Alport, owner of two Bridge City Collective locations in Portland, when it comes to financial overhead: “Whatever your projections are, double it!

Getting Licensed in Oregon: Portland Retailer David Alport Tells All

Education

This may seem like a no-brainer, but this is one of the hot tips that make a great dispensary or retailer truly stand apart from the rest. Whether or not your state requires training, make sure you staff your business with employees who are smart and well educated on the product. Make sure they know how to recommend strains and products to fit various medical conditions and symptoms, as well as being aware of what recreational consumers may want in a cannabis product. This means sampling products for effects, training on cannabis basics, and ensuring that your employees also know how to stay compliant with state laws (checking identification and medical recommendations, knowing expiration dates, etc.). In addition to basic cannabis knowledge, it’s always a good plan to make sure your employees are personable and friendly. A little customer service goes a long way!

Plants

Know your plants, know your growers, and know what good product looks like. This is often more difficult in recreational markets due to tight regulations on packaging and labeling cannabis products, but most producers are happy to give you a tour of their cultivation facilities. Maintaining a steady supply of high-quality cannabis is the lifeline for your business, especially in the first few months. Make sure you have a reliable source with quality growers. Make sure you and your growers are aware and in compliant with pesticide laws. If the state you’re operating in decides to ban certain pesticides after a major harvest, you may be faced with losing thousands of dollars in contaminated product. Know the laws, know your pesticides, and make sure your growers know, too!

Business Model

Another key component to survival is making sure that your business plan is solid and well thought out. Whether it’s a business model of your own design or created with the help of a professional, this will help you go further and lead you to a more successful future. Many states require that you present a business model in order to obtain a license, but either way, make sure your ducks are in a row. Know where your product is coming from, make sure you have security measures in place for the safety of your business and your clients, and create estimated projections of your losses and gains. The extra steps you take to plan for a successful business could be the difference between success and failure.

How a Top Cannabis Investor Looks at Your Company

Looking for more great tips to make your cannabis business stand out? Learn more about how Leafly can help grow your cannabis business.

Grow your business with Leafly


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Rising Popularity of Medical Marijuana Extracts Highlights the Advancement of Best Practices in Extraction

This article is sponsored by Tilray, one of the largest and most sophisticated producers of premium medical cannabis in the world. Tilray is dedicated to providing safe, consistent and reliable products to patients and furthering clinical research.


There are several reasons why cannabis extracts are one of the fastest-growing segments in the medical marijuana industry. For one thing, the ability to formulate specific dosages with precise levels of various cannabinoids and terpenes is invaluable to maximize the medical benefits of cannabis to address an array of conditions. Once formulated, medical cannabis extracts are often capable of offering consumers longer-lasting effects than other means of consumption. Furthermore, extracts can generally be consumed in ways that avoid the difficulties or health concerns associated with other consumption methods, such as smoking.

“We’ve seen a dramatic shift toward extract-based products; they’re now primary products over flower, and consumers are preferring them,” says Joshua Eades, chief science officer for the Nanaimo, B.C.-based medical cannabis producer Tilray. In addition to supplying flower to medical patients across Canada, Tilray has been shifting its product development focus over the past several months to include cannabis extracts. The simple fact that patients deserve the sorts of choices that cannabis extracts afford them has driven the category into the spotlight of late. And as it’s happened, best practices in extraction have been evolving alongside the products themselves.

Building a State-of-the-Art Extraction Program

Medical worker using cannabis extraction equipment in Tilray lab

Though it’s a simple concept to grasp, extraction itself isn’t easy. “At a very basic level, you’re taking a solvent that dissolves cannabinoids and pushing it through the plant material,” says Eades, “but it’s a very high-tech process. We’ve spent a lot of time trying different extraction methods to determine the ones that let us pull out the compounds we want, and leave behind the ones we don’t want.” On a team like Tilray’s, it takes several chemists, botanists, horticulturists, and other Ph.D.-level scientists working together to lead the charge in developing new extracts. The team must weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each possible extraction method and steer clear of any that could raise toxicity concerns. And regardless of their collective expertise, they would be unable to create high-quality extracts on any viable scale without a world-class laboratory. Equipment, upgrades, and the facility to house them can cost would-be producers hundreds of thousands of dollars before product development ever begins.

“This field, which is really so new, is wide open in terms of things to be learned and figured out and developed,” says Eades, who holds a doctorate in biology and biochemistry. “To have the resources to invest in equipment and people and all of that to blaze a trail is pretty amazing.” He also emphasizes the importance of hiring experts in their fields, rather than attempting to start from scratch. “When you look at all the licensed producers in Canada,” says Eades, “you can probably count on one hand the number that have invested in this level of equipment and capacity.” He believes that this ability to control the extraction process all the way from the sourcing of plant matter to the ultimate testing of extract potency is invaluable to the outcome of the product.

Best Practices in Cannabis Extraction

Person wearing sterile medical gloves handling Tilray cannabis extract packaging

With great power comes great responsibility, and as medical cannabis extracts gain traction in the market, the discovery and adoption of best practices in extraction is vital to patient health as well as to the long-term viability of the product category as a whole. To ensure quality, Tilray, for one, has adopted the processes and stipulations laid out by the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification, the international standard by which pharmaceutical manufacturers must abide. “It’s an overall quality system approach,” explains Eades, who says that adoption of these standards and regulations are one of the main characteristics that differentiates Tilray in the industry. “We treat our products the same way that pharma companies treat a drug they’re developing, carefully documenting our steps along the way … so we know that those end products that we’re selling are essentially pharma-grade products.”

Once extracted, products are tested for chemical contamination, solvent residue, comparative levels of constituent compounds, and final overall potency. Due to the fact that the field of third-party cannabis testing is as young as the cannabis industry itself, third-party results are still indisputably prone to error, so at Tilray testing occurs both in-house and through independent laboratories to ensure a combined level of accuracy that many third-party labs still struggle to guarantee on their own. Meticulous records are kept documenting the exact chemical makeup of every batch of extract.

While many would expect that this attention to detail would be customary, Eades says that in fact strict guidelines are lacking in the Canadian cannabis industry, and some standards have yet to evolve even to the level of food-grade manufacturing. “There needs to be an elevation of the expectations,” he says. “I do think the industry will move in that direction, and I think that Tilray is leading the charge in that regard.” As this evolution occurs, medical patients will continue to both demand and look forward to ongoing advances that push cannabis extracts to an ever higher level of quality.

The Beginner's Guide to Buying Dabs and Cannabis Extracts

Image Souces: Tilray


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

5 Smartphone Hacks for Better Cannabis Photos

We can all agree that cannabis is an absolutely beautiful plant. However, it can be difficult at times to capture that beauty through photography. Whether you’re a consumer who wants to share your gorgeous buds on social media or you’re a cannabis business wishing to showcase your inventory in the most appealing way possible, the quality of your photo will make a huge difference. But how can you get professional-looking results without having to invest in thousands of dollars of camera equipment?

Believe it or not, the technology we need to take better pictures of our cannabis is in our very hands. Our smartphones are perfectly equipped with the tools we need to get our trichomes sparkling in the spotlight. With the help of these five hacks, you can take your smartphone bud shots to the next level.

1 Stabilize Your Phone

An iPhone with a macro lens attached mounted on a GorillaPod yripod pointed at cannabis flower

There are several ways to prevent camera shake when taking pictures with your smartphone. The first is to invest in a tripod. There are plenty of inexpensive smartphone-specific tripod options available online; though if you don’t feel like shelling out the price for one, try using a kickstand or even propping/wedging your phone up in front of your subject. This will eliminate most of the camera shake, allowing for crisp and clean details to shine through in your photos.

2. Use Your Earbuds as a Remote Trigger

White earbud headphones draped across a smartphone

Using the touchscreen, or even a button, on your phone to take a photograph can create enough camera shake to compromise a photo. iPhone users, did you know that you can use the earbuds included with your phone as a remote trigger while taking photographs? The process is simple: Just plug your earbuds in and use the volume control buttons to take pictures while in the camera screen. Using both of these first tips together will ensure that your photos are tack sharp and free of blur.

3. Shoot in a Dedicated Photography App

A hand holding an iPhone using the Manual Camera mobile photography app

There are a myriad of applications in the marketplace that will help you to edit photographs after you have taken them. But did you know that some applications can actually help give you even more control before your picture is even taken? While in most default camera screens you don’t have the option to adjust exposure settings such as shutter speed and ISO, these applications, like Manual for iPhone (pictured above), open up the controls back to you so that you can snap a pic of your perfect dab while also letting the perfect amount of light into your smartphone camera. 

4. Use Soft Light

Side by side comparison of hemp hat with cannabis boutonnière in harsh and soft light

Try to stay away from your camera’s default flash setting. This flash will guarantee an overexposed and blown out final shot. When the only white you want to see in your shot is the head of your trichomes, it’s best to use softer light. Direct light is very harsh, casting nasty black shadows and overexposed patches where direct light hits your subject. To combat this, use indirect light, or bounce your light off a white surface. Also, try diffusing your light with a white, semi-opaque, surface like a paper towel, sheet, or some printer paper.

5. Consider Using a Macro Lens

Closeup of cannabis flower underneath macro lens for iPhone and Android

A macro lens is fantastic in that it allows you to get extremely close to your cannabis, thus opening up an entirely new universe of colors and details. With a macro lens touting 15x or more magnification, you can cover an entire frame with just one trichome covered pistil. Some of the most creative cannabis shots utilize macro lenses. Luckily, today you can find a macro lens for your smartphone for for relatively cheap. If you do a simple search online, you will find a variety of options at virtually any price point. Don’t worry about dishing out mega bucks; you wont need to. The cheaper models work perfectly fine for taking bud shots.

Looking for more great tips to make your cannabis business stand out? Check out Leafly’s marketing services! In the meantime, good luck and happy shooting!

Stand out with Leafly marketing services


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

How a Top Cannabis Investor Looks at Your Company

Since entering the cannabis space in 2013, Leslie Bocskor and his Las Vegas-based investment firm, Electrum Partners, have become high-profile oracles, investors, and advisers. It’s not just because Bocskor looks cool. He’s a passionate, demanding, clear-sighted financier who’s grounded the cannabis investment world in old-school virtues like research, market analysis, and due diligence. 

Bocskor cut his teeth as an investment banker during the 1990s dot-com boom. He’s lived through investment mania, bubbles, and bursts. He’s been called the Warren Buffett of cannabis, but he’s more like Warren Buffett gone Burning Man. (Bocskor was, in fact, a regional coordinator for the festival in its early days.) In 2014, Cannabis Business Executive ranked him 58th on their list of The 100 Most Influential People in the industry. Last year the ArcView Investment Network named him its most valuable member

I first met Bocskor three years ago at an ArcView meeting in Seattle. Cannabis investment conferences now draw thousands, but back then you could stuff all the willing financiers into a Tuff Shed. There were about 20 investors in attendance that day, and the only two who weren’t already running dispensaries or baking edibles were Bocskor and a retired pilot from Yakima. I don’t recall the pilot’s name. But Bocskor was memorable because— well, look at the guy. He’s not exactly trying to blend in. He never has.

During a swing through Las Vegas last week, I sat down with Bocskor in Electrum’s offices in downtown Las Vegas, about four miles north of The Strip. I wanted to know how he decided where to invest his money, and how the cannabis investment world had changed over the past three years. And, frankly, it’s just fun to hear him talk. 

What follows is an edited version of our conversation. For the unexpurgated version, click on the embedded audio below. 

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Download the full interview with Leslie Bocskor

Leafly: What do you look for in a potential investment?  

Leslie Bocskor: We look at the team. I’d rather bet on an A team with a B project than a B team with an A project. 

This is what I want to know: Have they gotten to previous exits before? Have they had successes? Are they working in a space in the cannabis industry that is based upon experience, best practices, knowledge, and relationships they’ve had before?  

Example: Tom Quigley of The Gluu.

Tom is building a web-based platform for the distribution of products in the legal cannabis industry that don’t touch the plant. Think Cisco Foods for the cannabis industry. Think smoke shops, convenience stores, and, eventually, dispensaries, cultivation centers and processing centers. They all have certain needs that are specific to this industry. They also have needs that are not specific to the industry: toilet paper, copier toner, things like that. The way Cisco provides everything to a restaurant, Tom can provide everything to these shops. 

He’s done it before. He built Krush Communications, got it to $25 million in revenue selling prepaid phone cards to smoke shops. So this is just rinse and repeat for him. I love finding a guy who’s had a team, a person who’s had success like that in a specific area, who is now migrating into this industry. 

Here’s another example. If somebody has run a nursery and now they’re going to be running, let’s say they’re going to be creating the cannabis plants in their veg stage and then ship them to a grower who’s got a flowering limit, or has a canopy limit. One of the efficiencies people have been exploring is this: Maybe one licensee produces only veg plants, and then other licensees raise only flowering plants. So that way you take advantage of your canopy, you can be most effective, you don’t have to try to do two things. If somebody has experience running a nursery, and then they’re going to move into that space, I’m going to favor that company. Because of their previous experience, they’re going to know things that somebody who’s coming into it new won’t. 

Shh! Here's How Cannabis Companies are Banking Legally on the Down Low

Second, I look at the value proposition. 

I’m looking for the people who have the big vision. I’m looking for people who are going to be able to scale up a very large size. So someone who is looking to, like Tom Quigley, put together something that can achieve that size. Or another company I like, GrowBlox Sciences, they have ideas about creating cultivation technologies that will be usable not only in cannabis — which is going to be gigantic — not only in hemp, which is going to be gigantic, but in other industries and agricultural verticals as well. This is a business that could rapidly grow from something that is small, to hundreds of millions in revenue in a few years, because of all of the energy that the cannabis industry brings in. 

Third, I look for people who have a very good understanding of the market. I want to speak to people who are walking, thinking, speaking rocks. They have it down. They know what the market that they’re entering looks like. They know what the nuances are. They’re aware of the agility needed to deal with the rapidly changing regulatory environment and the business issues that come from that. They have their due diligence solid and all referenced. I’m not looking for people who have assumptions and gut instincts. I’m looking for people who can reference why their gut instincts and their assumptions have meat on the bone. 

Knowing the market includes knowing the competition. I want someone who’s looked at the competition and has a very clear and objective assessment of what the competitive landscape looks like. I’m not looking for someone who’s going to sugarcoat what they’re doing. I want them to be able to say: Here’s who we are, here’s what we have going for us, here are our challenges; here’s what the competition is, what they have going for them, and here’s our strategy to deal with that. 

I want someone who’s thinking about the exit strategy. I don’t want people who are only in it to win it quickly. But I want them to understand that there’s got to be a terminus that you’re thinking about from the beginning. Am I building this company to sell it? Am I building it to be profitable and create dividends for shareholders? Am I creating this to look into the public markets? I want to know how they’ve looked at all of those questions. 

Those are my criteria. 

How is the cannabis investment market different than it was two or three years ago? 

The market? The word of the day is agility. We’re migrating a massive black market into a regulated market. Relative to GDP, the economic impact of the end of cannabis prohibition will be substantively bigger than what alcohol meant to our economy relative to GDP in 1933. That’s because of industrial hemp. That’s because of medical marijuana. That’s because of pharmaceuticals being developed based upon the cannabis plant. That’s because of nutraceuticals and supplements that are going to be based on the cannabis plant. That’s because of recreational and what it represents to the industry. 

There was a RAND report I read, a ten-year study from 2001 through 2010, that did a look back, and when it was published in 2011, they stated that the size of the illegal recreational market was $50 billion a year. For scale, I think when you look at the NFL, NHL, MLB, and NBA together they bring in around $35 billion in revenue a year. That gives you an idea of scale. 

Why does this reference back to agility? When you’re migrating a deregulated market to a regulated market, you’re dealing with the patchwork issues of the different regulatory frameworks in each jurisdiction, both domestic and international, and the fact that these markets are just evolving. 

Look at Nevada. Nevada passed a medical marijuana law in 2001. It allowed for cultivation and consumption, but no market. You couldn’t buy or sell. There was no way to create any type of economy. As such, it wasn’t fair to the patients. Because if somebody gets diagnosed with a disease, they don’t want to have to become a botanist to treat themselves. 

Then in 2013 Nevada passed another set of legislation that created what is the best regulatory framework for cannabis in the entire world. That was an evolution. You have to have the agility to anticipate those shifts, to be able to deal with those shifts, understand the business issues that those shifts represent, and make sure you’re going to adapt. 

Federal illegality is making it so that each state is creating its own “ringed fence” market. Interstate commerce does not apply with regard to anything that touches the plant. You have to have the agility, the nimbleness, to work in many different states. If you’re really looking for the long play, the big win, you have to be able to play in Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, California, as each state evolves.  

You mentioned Nevada as the best framework for cannabis in the world. What about Nevada leads you to say that? Is it the entire package? Are there specific parts of it that are done particularly well? 

There are a couple parts that are done well. First of all, Nevada has more experience in developing regulatory frameworks for things that are illegal or quasi-legal in other jurisdictions than any other jurisdiction in the world. We invented regulated gaming here in this state. We’ve spent years figuring out how to do it right. 

I like to give this example: When was the last time you heard a story about a casino cheating a patron? It doesn’t happen. Not because the press doesn’t publish it. They’d love to publish it if they could find it. But Nevada is so diligent in making sure its operators color within the lines, you don’t hear about it. Because there’s no reason to do it. You’re going to win as long as you play by the rules — so why play outside the rules? That’s why there’s a saying here: It’s easier to become a Secret Service agent covering the President of the United States than it is to get an unlimited gaming license in the state of Nevada. 

So in developing the regulatory framework for the cannabis industry, the legislators and the regulators drew upon their experience with gaming. They wanted to make sure we had a business-friendly environment, a transparent system, a fair system. We wanted to make sure it was going to be good for consumers and good for the state. 

So what differentiates Nevada? We’re the only jurisdiction in the world that has medical marijuana reciprocity. That’s a game changer. 

If you have a recommendation from anywhere in the world, you can come to the great state of Nevada and go to one of our dispensaries and become a customer. Nowhere else has anyone used that common sense — not even Hawaii. You would expect that Hawaii, a state where tourism means so much to their economy, would have done that. Yet they will not include reciprocity until 2018. 

New York, which has 55 million tourists a year, is essentially telling people who are medical marijuana patients: “If you’re going to come to New York, we do recognize medical marijuana and have a program, but you’re either going to have to break the law and fly with it or travel with it across state lines or go to the black market when you get here, because we won’t let you go to our dispensaries even if you have a recommendation from another jurisdiction.” To me, that’s just patently absurd. 

The growth over the past three years in the number of investors interested in cannabis has been phenomenal. Are you seeing smart money come in, or are these conferences filling with a lot of people who are, maybe, not doing such intelligent things with their money? 

We’re seeing smart money coming in. Very smart. 

The level of due diligence, the level of decision-making, has been amplified dramatically. I’m now speaking to people who are talking about commodities and commodity pricing. I’m speaking to people who come out of the finance world. Traders. Fund managers. They’re not bringing their funds in. They’re bringing their personal money in. These are smart people who for years have been studying investing, and now they’re coming to this industry to invest, individually. 

So, smart money. And a lot of it. 

I was in New York recently. I held a little dinner with ten guests. One of the guests was an attorney who’s a partner in a firm that represents over 1,000 funds. And there were three family offices represented at that dinner. These are extremely sophisticated investors. 

Now, are there still people who are just throwing money around? Maybe a little bit. But I’m finding that investors are making smarter decisions in this industry than they did in investing in the internet back in the mid to late nineties when I was working in that area. 

Why? Is the fact that it’s cannabis making them more cautious? 

Yes. Because of federal illegality versus state legality, the complex regulatory issues, the consideration of the risks, the stigmas attached to it, the political risk, the social risk, the business risk that’s attached to being involved in it. All these considerations are forcing people to spend more time on their research and their due diligence. 

It’s still very hard for the individual investor. Let’s be candid. Investing in anything as an individual investor, it’s very hard to win. That being said, people are being very, very diligent. 

The quality of the companies and the quality of the investors has dramatically changed at ArcView. Not that it wasn’t good. But now it’s got many more investors and a higher benchmark in terms of what’s expected and what people are delivering. 

When's Nevada Debuting Medical Marijuana Dispensaries? The Leafly Legalization Roundup

Image Source: Will Yakowicz via Flickr Creative Commons


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

The Leafly Marketwatch: What Percentage of Your Dispensary Visitors are Out-of-State?

We usher in 2016 with the hope that a few states will join Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. as newly minted members of the legal cannabis club. In the meantime, we took a closer look at the states that are currently operating legal retail cannabis dispensaries to see where exactly their visitors are coming from. What percentage of out-of-state folks is curious about what Colorado, Washington, and Oregon have to offer?

Colorado

We took a look at the last six months of data and broke out visits to Colorado dispensary pages by their state of origin, excluding Colorado so we could focus on out-of-state visitors.

Out-of-state traffic to Colorado dispensary pages on Leafly
Click on the image for a larger version

 

As you can see from the bar graph, the top two states sending traffic to Colorado’s dispensary listings on Leafly are Texas at nearly 33% and Florida at close to 11%. Interestingly, neither state has a legal recreational or medical marijuana market in place, although they did recently pass low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil laws. Florida has selected growers for its program, but no cannabis oil has been dispensed yet. Texas, meanwhile, does not expect to be operational until 2017.

Why are two highly restrictive states so interested in Colorado? An obvious answer is tourism. Unlike Washington and Oregon, which are tucked away in the northwest corner of the United States, Colorado is ideally situated closer to the middle of the country, making it an ideal location to visit. And despite the Colorado tourism director insisting that cannabis is not a major tourism draw for the state, both a state survey and our data suggest there’s definitely growing interest in checking out Colorado’s legal cannabis market.

Colorado is also becoming a more attractive place to live for a myriad of reasons. A number of people from illegal states, dubbed “marijuana refugees,” have migrated to Colorado for legal access to cannabis that can help treat themselves or their family members suffering from diseases. Young college graduates are also flocking to Colorado, and the real estate market has increased by double-digits post-legalization thanks in some part to a population boom and the cannabis industry producing more jobs (which means more people can afford to buy homes). It’s possible that in addition to tourist interest, pro-cannabis or cannabis-curious people who are considering moving to Colorado may be checking out the state’s dispensary pages to see what the legal market has to offer.

Washington

As with Colorado’s data, we analyzed the last three months’ worth of visits to Washington dispensary pages.

Out-of-state traffic to Washington dispensary pages on Leafly
Click on the image for a larger version

 

Nearly 40% of out-of-state visits to Washington dispensary pages come from California, with Oregon taking 2nd place with just over 14%. Both states’ proximity to Washington makes the data largely unsurprising, as it’s a relatively easy road trip or flight away for a quick getaway.

Another possible explanation for California’s traffic numbers is that there’s been a recent influx of people relocating from California to Washington. Between 2004 and 2013, over 339,000 moved from the Golden State to the Evergreen State. Washington’s recent tech industry boom, comparatively cheaper cost of living, and yes, legal cannabis are certainly all perks to moving further north.

Oregon

Oregon’s traffic data looks like a reversal of Washington’s, with over 39% of out-of-state traffic coming from its northern neighbor and 30% originating from California.

Out-of-state traffic to Oregon dispensary pages on Leafly
Click on the image for a larger version

Again, tourism is a likely factor here since Oregon is sandwiched between Washington and California, making it an appealing destination for a quick cannabis-friendly weekend getaway.

Business Takeaways

Why should dispensary owners and managers care about which out-of-state visitors are coming to their dispensaries? From a business perspective, it’s always an advantage to know your customers and their background so you can cater a personalized experience and convert their interest into a sale. Consider the following tips to help your business seem especially appealing to an out-of-towner:

Educate and Inform.

Out-of-state customers may need a little more education about cannabis, so offer more dedicated customer service and guidance to make your visitors feel at ease. Remember, they’re not experts and may even feel a little intimidated surrounded by a roomful of products that are still illegal in their state, so make them feel comfortable and be available to answer any questions they have. You may even want to put together a pamphlet or binder that contains some basic Cannabis 101 information that may benefit your out-of-state clientele.

Personalize the Experience.

Make your business seem appealing to a diverse pool of tourists or visitors. For example, if you have a retail dispensary in Colorado and know that a lot of people from Texas are likely to frequent your business, consider going the extra mile and work on your Texas charm – talk barbecue, Texas sports teams, local fashion, or anything that might put a smile on your visitor’s face. Or you could offer a few vanity strains, such as Cali Kush to a California native or Blue Bayou for someone hailing from Louisiana.

Offer Out-of-State-Friendly Products.

Pre-rolls are great for visitors since they might not have traveled with a vaporizer or bong, and lower-THC strains or edibles are a good idea as well for any tourists that are new to cannabis and don’t want to feel overwhelmed. (Just make sure you explain proper edibles dosing to your customers!)

Embrace Cannabis Tourism.

Colorado seems to be having an identity crisis with its cannabis tourism and doesn’t want to be cemented as the place to go for legal green. But honestly, what’s so bad about embracing the tourism angle? Sure, Washington, Colorado, and Oregon have a lot more to offer than just legal retail cannabis, but if the appeal of it brings visitors across state lines, it’s a win-win for the local economy. There’s a saying that goes “A rising tide lifts all ships,” meaning retail cannabis attracting visitors from different states brings in not just cannabis tax income, but benefits hotels, restaurants, local attractions, etc. So why not put a smile on your face and greet your out-of-state visitors with outstretched arms and an open mind? They’re bringing you business, after all!

Check out our previous Marketwatch analyses, and learn more about how Leafly can help grow your cannabis business.

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 Leafly Chart of the Month: What’s the Most Popular Form of Cannabis in Your State?


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.

Quiz: How Can LED Lighting Impact Cannabis Growth?

This article is sponsored by National Bright Lighting, who built, researched and tested their LED Grow Light Fixtures with engineers and growers. Learn how these grow lights can help you save up to 70% on your power, and how superior engineering and high tech innovations in LED lighting will bring you outstanding yields!


Proper lighting is an integral part of any successful cannabis grow – and as cannabis is legalized for medical, recreational or research purposes in state after state, there’s lots to know before you grow. So we chatted with the team at National Bright Lighting, whose grow lights were developed by growers, for growers. With twenty years of research, development and manufacturing experience in the industry, National Bright Lighting had plenty to share. How much do you know about using LED lighting in your cannabis grow? Find out by taking our quiz!

Quiz: How Well Do You Know Cannabis Strain Genetics?


Thanks you for visiting FLMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Florida. Currently, there is a Medical Marijuana Initiative on the November 2016 Ballot to legalize High-THC Medical Marijuana in the State of Florida. The FLMMCC Florida State Licensed Doctors are ready to review your medical records for a “FREE Pre-Qualification”. This will be the first step in becoming a legal Florida Medical Marijuana patient when the law passes.