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This cannabis dispensary guide is intended to help cannabis dispensaries compete with the illicit market and win; in spite of all the “advantages” that the illicit market seems to have over the legal market.

The cannabis market is rife with opportunities at this time. However, the competition is stiff. Worse still, legal cannabis dispensaries have to elbow out a black market that has no rules to abide by or taxes to pay. How can a startup dispensary cut through the noise to carve out a loyal niche is such a market?

There are a couple of tricks that can help you win fair and square against the illicit market. First you will need to stick through to the end of this article. Secondly, you will need to roll up your sleeves and put to work the useful tips that you will have gleaned from this read.

Let’s dive in. Cannabis Dispensary Guide: How To Compete With The Illicit Black Market.

Why is The Illicit Cannabis Market Hard To Compete With?

Several years after cannabis legalization and we are still struggling to extinguish the illegal market. Why are consumers still purchasing cannabis from the black market while they can easily access it from legal sources? There are a couple of factors that contribute to this.

First, consumers who were used to sourcing cannabis from “dealers” are likely to go on doing this out of habit or familiarity. The dealers know what their consumers enjoy and they strive to give them just that. You might be surprised to learn that baby boomers are more likely to source for weed from dealers than millennials. This is because they prefer to be discrete about their cannabis use and with dealers secrecy is always prioritized. Unless there is a good reason to break the habit, such consumers will go on sourcing cannabis from black market dealers.

Black market weed is usually cheaper than legal weed. This happens because of various reasons. For starters, quality is never a concern in the black market. Dealers are never required to have their cannabis tested for by third-parties for purity and potency. Additionally, the source of the cannabis sold by black-market dealers does not have to be verified. In a nutshell, the illicit market can afford to cut many corners and therefore they can afford to sell the weed for dirt cheap. At least as compared to the legal market. Of course the safety of illicit weed is usually a concern.

Taxes are another factor that push the price of legal weed higher. The legal cannabis market is highly taxed while the illicit market gets to go “scot-free.” This creates unfair competition in the market, but it can be levelled out by employing the helpful tips that will be discussed below.

The black-market also gets to have a head-start with baby boomers because of discretion and convenience.  Illegal dealers will go out of their way to ensure anonymity. In some cases, consumers and dealers don’t even get to see each other. Even with that, the process of re-stocking on illicit weed is usually friendly and convenient especially for baby boomers. There are no websites to open or forms to be filled. The weed is delivered to your doorstep without many questions.

Helpful Tips To Beat The Illicit Market

It is not difficult to beat the illicit market once you understand what makes consumers comfortable buying illegal weed when they can get it through legal means.

1.  Let Quality And Safety Out-do Cheap Prices

Competing on price can be an effort in futility when dealing with the illicit market. A better approach would be to compete on quality and safety. Go the extra mile to ensure that all your products are of the highest quality. Be transparent about where you source your hemp or cannabis from. Let consumers know how the cannabis is extracted and processed and be transparent about third-party testing for all your batches. Make sure that COAs are available for scrutiny on your website. As consumers are becoming sensitized about the potential dangers of consuming contaminated cannabis products they will be looking for high-quality products whose safety can be established.

2.  Offer Discretion

Baby boomers in particular are very sensitive about their cannabis use.  As much as you may not be able to be as discrete as illegal dealers, you can do a couple of things to assure your customers that their information will remain private. A privacy policy on your website is a way to get you started. Avoid asking for names and addresses unless it is very necessary. Offering curbside deliveries or home deliveries will help to secure the confidence of customers who may not be comfortable walking into a physical weed storefront. When sending out packages ensure that they are discrete and odor-proof. This will make the customers comfortable with ordering from your dispensary.

3.  Wow You Customers With Exceptional Services

Regardless of differences in price point, customers will keep buying from you if they feel like they are treated as royalty. Ensure that your staff are well trained, knowledgeable and go the extra mile to help the customers get the right product at the dispensary.

4.  Offer Online and Storefront Options

As a cannabis dispensary owner you should strive to cater to the preferences of your customers. Some customers will prefer to order weed online while others will prefer to come physically to the storefront and interact with the budtenders. Having a physical storefront is an edge that the illicit market does not have. Go to great lengths to make sure that your dispensary is inviting and customers feel at home as they interact with the staff at the dispensary. Additionally, have an online option that allows customers to order for weed from the comfort of their homes.

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That’s basically it. You can position your dispensary to win customers and build customer loyalty in a rogue market. This is how to help cannabis dispensaries compete with the illicit black market. Cannabis Dispensary Guide: How To Compete With The Illicit Black Market.

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