Cannabis is currently one of the most lucrative industries to get into. Getting established is not cheap, but it could pay off in huge dividends if a business owner does things right. At the retail level, doing things right means giving consumers what they want at a reasonable price. And what they want is convenience.
From New York to California and every state in between, medical and recreational cannabis users are like consumers of any other product. They find a product they like, then they look for a provider willing to sell them that product at the cheapest price and in the most convenient way. And with so many products now in the marketplace, convenience is becoming more important than ever before.
Nothing says retail convenience in 2022 quite like online shopping. Our online shopping habits were already well established prior to the COVID pandemic, but COVID shutdowns pushed online shopping into overdrive. Today, there are scores of people who will never go back to brick-and-mortar shopping. Not even for their cannabis.
Beehive Farmacy is a Utah medical cannabis pharmacy with locations in both Brigham City and Salt Lake City. Like all the other pharmacies in the state, they have an ecommerce site where legal cannabis cardholders can browse and order products. Customers can schedule a pickup time for later in the day. Home delivery could one day be an option, but more on that later.
What is interesting is that one of the pharmacy’s competitors, WholesomeCo has taken the online shopping model to the next level. Apparently, WholesomeCo realized that the vast majority of their website traffic was coming from mobile users. So they tasked their tech team to build an iOS app in-house. The company is the first provider in Utah to have such an app.
Cannabis Home Delivery
WholesomeCo is also the only Utah pharmacy that offers statewide delivery. Lawmakers approved delivery more than a year ago, but it has been slow to get going in the Beehive State. Utah is a very rural state and providing delivery to every corner is a daunting prospect.
The good news is that home delivery is available in most of Utah’s metropolitan areas. So while pharmacies are working on expanding throughout the rest of the state, at least city dwellers no longer need to drive to the pharmacy to pick up their medicines.
Between online shopping and home delivery, you have the convenience thing covered. It is a wonder more dispensaries and pharmacies in more states are not pushing harder. Let people shop from home and get deliveries to the front door and you have a lifetime audience.
Making It More Convenient
So what’s next? App-based shopping and home delivery are eventually going to become industry standards. Every dispensary and pharmacy in the country will get there. But then what? How do you make purchasing cannabis even more convenient? That is up to the industry to figure out.
One idea that comes to mind is a subscription service. Consumers would pay for annual memberships in exchange for getting a monthly delivery of their favorite cannabis products. Companies could utilize prescriptions to both encourage a steady stream of business and give customers opportunities to try new products.
The subscription model would not work in medical-only states like Utah, where cannabis is treated more like prescription medication, but there may not be very many medical-only states for that much longer. If Washington decriminalizes cannabis across the board, medical restrictions could easily go out the window. For now, though, the competition for customers is in convenience. It is what customers want.