With less than a few months to go until cannabis become legalized in Canada, it’s time for cannabis dispensaries to start thinking about how to attract new customers.
Depending on your location, you may find that the new cannabis laws prohibit you from selling certain strains in certain regions. But, if you’re operating a legal medical marijuana dispensary, you’ll want to ensure that patrons know you’ll be around long after the government sites are up and running.
Here are some ideas on how you can attract new customers to your cannabis dispensary now and in the future.
Talk to the People
Many small business owners make the mistake thinking that social media will do the work for them. But with so much noise on the internet, it’s important that you engage with your customers so that they come to trust your brand. With so many cannabis dispensaries, customers want to know that they’re getting high-quality product.
There are only a few ways to achieve a high level of trust with your customers, and one way is to simply talk to them. Get out in your neighborhood and speak to people on the street about your business. Learn about their preferences and thoughts about cannabis legalization in Canada. You might be surprised about what you what you learn when you ask.
Certainly, anyone operating a medical marijuana shop would have done market research when you first invested in a medical marijuana shop. But, now that the tables are turning, you want to do whatever you can to ensure that you maintain a good working relationship with your community. Find out the needs and wants of your community so that you can better serve your customers.
Educate and Inform
Don’t let ignorance kill your business in the wake of changing laws. In the coming months, there is going to be a lot of information coming and going in the media and if you’ve seen the evening news lately, you’ll know that the cannabis industry is often misrepresented by the media.
If you want to ensure that people understand your company, try to get some airtime on your local radio or television network. Becoming an advocate for the cannabis industry is an effective way to to educate and inform people about the benefits of cannabis.
Keep in mind, there are many differences between recreational and medical cannabis. As the cannabis industry shifts towards legalization of recreational cannabis, it is important to continue to draw the line in the industry and identify your brand as one to be trusted. Throughout this time of great change, people opposed to cannabis will continue to blanket the industry.
Controlling your message and being the face of the medical cannabis industry in your area can go a long way as people begin to consider their options using cannabis as a medical treatment at the outset of the legalization period.
Encourage Open Minds
As we prepare for the clock to wind down on the legalization of cannabis in Canada, you’ll want to encourage your existing customers to keep an open mind about your organization. Take the time to reach out to them and ensure they’re satisfied with your products and the service you provide. Ask your customers what you could improve and what their experiences have been thus far.
The more you know a customer, the better you can serve them. And while you can’t change medical prescriptions, you can provide insight into things that can help, suggest topics of discussion that could be had between patient and doctor to manage symptoms, and more. You want your cannabis dispensary business to be seen as educational, and not just transactional.
Customers know that they can purchase cannabis pretty much anywhere. However, if they want a service that helps them better understand their health needs, they’ll continue to come to you to educate themselves about the benefits of cannabis and what products work best for their health needs.
Regardless of the changes that will be taking place over the next few months, as a business owner, you should remain committed to growing your medical cannabis company and sharing your knowledge about cannabis. Competition will be increasing in the coming months with people who know far less than you do about the industry, and who are trying to cash in on the new laws.
But, with change comes challenge. If you are prepared to help people manage those challenges, you could come out on top. There’s going to be a lot of questions that arise as people become accustomed to seeing cannabis in the store fronts, liquor stores, and on street corners in a legal way.
Consider launching blogs, articles, and other informative pieces of content that can help bring your customers – and new customers – back to your site and business again and again. You can launch this information from your online headshop or start a new site for educational purposes.
Finally, encourage people to speak up about their cannabis use. If there remains a culture of shame or hiding related to cannabis, this thing is never going to get off the ground. The whole point of legalizing it was to shed light on the industry and demystify its use. Do your part in removing the mystery and your cannabis dispensary will continue to grow.