How to Run Your Dispensary During the Coronavirus
Updated: Jun 15
Across America, many businesses face the terrifying possibility of forced closure due to COVID-19. However, for now, many dispensaries and product companies have reported increased sales as patients and recreational users stock up for the long road ahead.
Looking ahead, consumers and medical patients will be looking for safe ways to obtain and consume their medicine. For smart business owners, this challenge actually presents a business opportunity.
For several days “social distancing” has been appearing in news headlines. This practice of maintaining physical separation is the primary challenge that retail businesses face during the pandemic.
For dispensary owners, these questions remain: how will my business be affected by these measures? What can I do to minimize the impact of the Coronavirus?
1) Stay in Touch with Your Customers
Communicating with customers during these difficult times is of the utmost importance. Dispensary owners will need to communicate about adjusted hours of operation, product supply, bulk deals, and other essential pieces of information to customers. The quickest and easiest way to do this is through a mass text message, which boasts open rates as high as 98%. If dispensaries don’t have an opted-in client phone list built up, email blasts can be a good alternative.
Here are just two examples of texts sent using the Leafbuyer Loyalty platform:
"Dear Valued Customer, for your protection, we will only be allowing ONE patron in our lobby at a time. Please use our pre-ordering service as much as possible. Thank you!"
"Feeling down about everything closing? We are here to get you HIGH! We have your green so stock up with a $100 OZ!"
2) Embrace Delivery & Order Ahead
Food delivery platforms like Uber Eats and Grubhub are surging in popularity at this very moment. For those who are homebound, dispensaries that deliver will also look very appealing. Shops that add delivery capabilities should see a similar spike in the amounts of orders they are receiving.
Another set of options being explored by some dispensary owners are drive-throughs or drive-up dispensaries, where orders are taken through an order-ahead platform, clients drive up, quickly pay, then leave happy with their goods in hand.
It is impossible to precisely predict the future, but those who are vigilant and prepared should be in the best position to succeed. Dispensary owners will find solace in the fact that demand for cannabis should remain stable or even increase during these isolated times.
With the right systems in place, dispensaries can still get product into customers’ hands. There will surely be creative solutions developed in the wake of the Coronavirus, some that may last far longer than the pandemic.