Long lines and traffic were certainly expected as dispensaries opened up in Massachusetts this past November. Enthusiasts predicted a high turnout and big sales. But the first five days of Massachusetts legalization of recreational cannabis still went beyond what many industry analysts anticipated.
Between only two licensed dispensaries statewide, customers purchased more than $4.8 million worth of cannabis products. New England Treatment Access (NETA), in Northampton, and Cultivate, in Leicester, can already celebrate.
Still, there’s a lot of work to be done, particularly around educating East Coast consumers. While western consumers are used to a wide array of cannabis products, East of the Mississippi it’s been cured flower and the occasional brownie for decades.
In today’s post, we’re going to share a few ways you can educate East Coast consumers about the wonderful world of cannabis.
Massachusetts Legalization: Time to Educate Consumers
When you’re an old-time consumer that has only consumed flower, you may be a little too overwhelmed by the gleaming countertops, expectant budtenders, and the wide array of products to venture far from what you know.
Case in point: The most popular product sold during the first two weeks of sales at Cultivate and NETA was cured flower—and flower with the highest THC level available (Chocolate OG). They also sold plenty of recognizable edibles like gummies and chocolates, but flower was king.
One could say that consumers have to step it up and experiment, but with busy lives and tight pockets, that’s a lot to ask when a joint will do just fine.
Massachusetts Legalization Expands Minds In More Ways Than One
Bottom line, to make a dent in the East coast market, you have to educate consumers about not just what your product is and what it will do for them, but how to use it. Products that may take a little more work to consume, like shatter or wax, should come with initial discounts, testimonials, and directions.
These instructional tools are your friends (if allowed by state law):
- Testimonials on your website
- Videos of prep and consumption
- Pamphlets to hand out in shops with pictures of how to safely consume a product
- Recipes that use products
This multi-pronged approach will do wonders to attract new customers of all ages who want to become more sophisticated consumers but don’t know where to start.
And we can’t emphasize this enough, you must cater to local tastes. According to the Boston Globe, a Quincy, Massachusetts medical dispensary has “South Shore-style infused pizza” on its menu. Pretty soon you’ll see kief-mixed frappes and cannabis-infused fluffer-nutter sandwiches. Get to know the local treats.
While many retail stores will always offer flower as their main product, it’s likely that companies will increasingly focus on edibles, especially since in the more developed West Coast markets sales of concentrates have surged while flower has decreased. Inevitably, with savvy marketing and human curiosity, East Coast consumers will discover that there is much more to cannabis than smoking a joint.
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