Cannabis suppliers have been dealing with a surge in competition in recent years, and according to research conducted by MJBiz, the market will continue to grow over the next decade as more states legalize medical and adult-use cannabis.
While this is great news for most businesses in the supply chain, it does mean the competition between suppliers will continue to increase as more professionals try to get a slice of the pie.
There are many ways to stay competitive. Researchers at Leafly found that 46% of cannabis sales were made through a dispensary. What’s more, consumer studies show that employee recommendations play a role in their purchase decisions. This demonstrates the necessity for suppliers to create positive relationships with local retailers and for dispensary clinicians to continue to improve their education and knowledge in order to better serve their customers.
So, as a supplier, how can you begin to sell your products in dispensaries? What strategies can you use to give your business a competitive edge in the market?
In this article, we’ll cover three methods to improve your chances of securing a positive relationship with a dispensary owner so you can sell your products to more retailers. Keep reading to learn more.
Legalized Cannabis, CBD, and Hemp: Market Overview
The rapid growth of the U.S. cannabis market can be attributed to the continuance of regulation and legalization throughout various states. As it currently stands, approximately 77% of Americans live in a state with legalized medical or adult-use cannabis. But 18 states are projected to legalize in the coming 10 years, which would adjust this number to 98%.
This level of access will lead to a massive increase in cannabis consumption. In 2020, approximately 47 million Americans were self-reported cannabis users. But that number could grow to an estimated 71 million in the next decade.
The takeaway: the U.S. cannabis market will continue to grow, and many businesses are eager to establish themselves amidst changing rules and increasing demand.
3 Strategies For Selling Your Cannabis, CBD, or Hemp Product to Retailers
To sell cannabis products to dispensaries or online retailers, suppliers must demonstrate the value their products can offer to retailers. Let’s go over some useful strategies.
1. Get Serious About Compliance
Although many new cannabis businesses have emerged in recent years, research has shown that some are failing to keep up with rapidly changing regulations.
As a result, dispensaries and other retailers are looking for ways to ensure the products they sell are compliant with state regulations.
There are a variety of ways to improve compliance at your business. Let’s discuss a few options.
Hire a Compliance Specialist
Compliance specialists can be invaluable members of your team. They will comb through your processes and messaging to ensure your brand meets all necessary regulatory requirements.
Having a compliance specialist is a great way to ensure retailers that your company is committed to consumer safety, but they are an expensive investment. Not all suppliers—especially small businesses and those just starting out—can afford this option.
Enroll in Cannabis Compliance Training
For small businesses, this could be a modest, one-time investment that allows owners to gain a better understanding of the regulatory world of cannabis.
However, the U.S. cannabis market is a rapidly evolving landscape of changing rules and requirements, so this would necessitate constant training and upkeep to maintain.
Leverage Compliance Automation
Software such as Qredible® is an innovative resource for enterprises of all sizes. Qredible’s premium features allow business owners to manage and monitor compliance regarding their sales, marketing, and labeling. It uses advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence to quickly and proactively monitor that violative language is not being used in your promotional and labeling efforts.
The automation also includes functionality that helps businesses manage their reputation in the case of a compliance mistake. It will send a notification if critical suppliers have any adverse events that could impact your business. These events include lawsuits, recalls, or regulatory action.
Leveraging the power of advanced technology can provide all the functionality of a compliance specialist at a fraction of the cost, making it the ideal solution for proving compliance to potential retailer partners.
2. Validate and Verify Your Product Quality,
Unfortunately, in this industry, your word isn’t enough. Business owners must stand behind their products to prove their quality and compliance.
In the current market, retailers are forced to navigate a sea of unknowns: unverified product claims and lab reports, unvalidated licenses, and certifications that are nearly impossible to prove.
Taking the time to demonstrate your business’s commitment to quality and transparency will help you stand out from all other competitors. Retailers are more likely to entertain proposals from business owners who make their lives easier.
Until recently, there has not been a way for retailers to verify a product’s quality. COAs can be altered to show false information, which makes it difficult for retailers to trust them.
This problem is no longer a secret in the industry. Even consumers are becoming aware of it due to the significant amount of negative media coverage and the proliferation of highly publicized class-action litigation.
So, it stands to reason that retailers would greatly benefit from partnerships with suppliers who ease these fears by providing extensive documentation of their quality assurance processes. They effectively pass on this assurance of quality to consumers who are becoming more educated every day.
Let’s go over a few ways you can prove the quality of your products to retailers.
Proving quality is no easy task. It involves keeping extensive documentation on every single process, original copies of every lab report, lab reputation information, certification and registration information, and more.
In order to prove your trustworthiness to retailers, you’ll have to keep a record of everything.
Monitor, Monitor, and Monitor
Qredible’s Q-Trust Digital Registry uses advanced technologies to constantly monitor a significant number of data sources and report on potential violations and enforcement actions. This allows retailers know to know your business is not omitting potentially harmful information such as an FDA warning letter or ingredient recall.
Qredible also allows businesses to showcase FDA resolution letters, so retailers can see corrective actions and trust the problem has been resolved.
Qredible uses Blockchain technology to build trust in lab reports, as well. All Q-verified lab reports come directly from the testing software and equipment and are not able to be altered in any way.
This result is end-to-end visibility and trust in the quality and safety of your products. How many of the other companies attempting to sell that retailer can say the same?
3. Build Relationships
In addition to building trust with retailers, it’s important to build friendships. You can do this in a number of ways.
First, it’s good practice to always focus on how you can make the retailer’s life easier. That’s one of the many things Qredible was designed to do, but there are other ways you can go above and beyond.
Here are a few ideas.
Work With a Reputable Distributor
Working with a trustworthy distributor could save you the hassle of having to manage an in-house sales process. Many distributors also have pre-established relationships with retailers, which could improve your chances of securing a partnership.
Cannabis retailers receive many proposals from suppliers. Including a sample of your products could be another way to prove your commitment to quality. And, when used as a sales tool, samples can increase sales by 2000 percent.
Be sure to confirm whether or not cannabis product sampling is legal in your state before using this strategy. Provide these samples with a blockchained QR Code to enable your customer to access a secure COA indicating a validated and verified lab report. Your prospective customer will be taken to the Qredible Q-Vault where they will see the Q-Verified Seal and the digitally secured COA through Blockchain technology.
Incentives are a great way to entice retailers into doing long-term business with your brand. Loyalty programs and referral programs can show a retailer that you value their business. These programs also enable you to collect valuable data about purchasing patterns and guard against churn.
Build Trust with Cannabis Retailers in Qredible®
Fostering strong, long-term relationships with retailers is an excellent way to build a network of trustworthy business partners. Qredible was designed to cultivate that level of trust and transparency across the entire cannabis supply chain.
But Qredible can do more than just prove your quality to retailers. It can also be used to validate and verify the quality of your raw materials, increase trust with your cultivators, and ensure distributors and retailers are marketing your product with integrity.
Using advanced technology, Qredible can protect your business from legal risk, demonstrate your commitment to quality, and connect you to a network of trustworthy businesses that are equally as committed to transparency.
Trust, transparency, and support to protect and grow your business: that’s what you’ll find in Qredible. Want to learn more? Get started today.