Oct 2, 2020

Cannabis is an Essential Business: How Changes in Opinion and Legislation Impacts Operators

It’s been seven months since cannabis was first deemed essential in California. In that time purchases have skyrocketed. The landscape of our industry has changed more in the past few pandemic-ridden months than it did in the years since medical and recreational laws were adopted.

The new designation combined with a modern commitment to self care by consumers is changing opinions about cannabis usage. People outside of the industry are beginning to see beyond the Bill and Ted myth that the War on Drugs perpetuated. Hiding personal usage due to shame surrounding consumption is crumbling. People that haven’t used cannabis before are consuming to relieve stress, pain, and simply relax. They’re buying flower, topicals, and everything in between. There has been extreme growth in manufactured cannabis items like, carts, vape pens, and edibles. The data shows despite being more open about consumption buyers still want a discreet way to take their medicine.

“We’ve created a unique wellness experience at our stores. Even before COVID, our customers were turning to us for need-based relief such as finding a sense of calm, relieving pain, or getting a good night's sleep. When cannabis was first deemed essential, we quickly learned that catering to this need-based consumer experience was more relevant than ever. 

"Over the past few months, sleep has been one of the most commonly observed needs. Customers are seeking products that will help them rest well and wake up feeling refreshed, drinking a bottle of wine at night just isn’t cutting it anymore. In fact, this need was so prevalent, we curated our very own 'Sleep Kit,' consisting of all of the essentials that you need to promote a good night's sleep and taking the guesswork out of one's shopping experience. 

"In terms of overall purchase trends, we've seen a major increase in top-shelf quality flower consumption, as well as edibles across several form factors including gummies, beverages, and more. Our vape customers are still returning to purchase, but have also started including more live resin and full-spectrum oils that they know they can trust into their baskets."

— Kiana Anvaripour, CMO of Sweet Flower

Cannabis 2.0 is here but what does that mean for operators? 

There’s a few things thriving operations are thinking about right now.

  • What can I do to prepare to meet demand if federal legalization happens and there are no state borders?
  • How can I scale the correct way so that my business continues to grow?
  • How do I maintain data integrity in case of audit or recall?

The past two years have been heady and rough. Some companies are experiencing demand they can barely meet, while others have had massive layoffs or have shuttered completely. The data is clear. The post pandemic user is buying (need data) in California according to GreenData.ai. 

Recent growth in these categories after the essential designation can be attributed to better automation. 

  • Pre-rolls, carts, vapes, edibles, and other manufactured goods are skyrocketing in sales.
  • CBD has gone mainstream.
  • Cannabis being deemed essential in COVID-19 means more people are using more discreet ways of ingestion.

Companies that are highly data organized are taking advantage of this new breed of customer and ramping up production in high-value markets while scaling at a stable rate. So how do companies like Cookies meet demand with a quality product without scrambling?

Companies that are thriving in the pandemic have some things in common.

  1. They know their COGS.
    True costing is imperative. We’ve all heard stories of companies that wholesale priced their carts at $7 without realizing they put $8 into them. Spreadsheets and paper alone cannot get you in-depth COGS.

  2. They plan for pushes and adjust in real time.
    Have you ever wondered how some companies seem to make a move just before a move was needed? They are never caught scrambling to keep up. Having good data software can feel like you’ve gained the ability to see into the future. Being able to plan and readjust in realtime is an important piece of being a healthy cannabis business.

  3. They harness and evaluate their data and plan using hard numbers.
    Big brands, like Cookies, don’t leave their data and growth to chance. They spend a lot of time working with data partners to extrapolate statistics to better understand their operations and consumers. Nothing is left to chance and they keep ultimate control over their process by following a few easy steps. 
  • Setting KPIs 
  • Understanding full cycle costing
  • Hiring experts from all over the US
  • Evaluating ROI and planning early

How have the last seven months been for your business? More changes are on the horizon. Will you be ready?

Take control of your business and schedule a demo today.

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