5 Tips to Prepare Your Dispensary for Adult-Use Sales

Ohio cannabis dispensaries and retail facilities are preparing for an industry boost thanks to the legalization of adult-use cannabis. For medical dispensaries, this presents a unique opportunity to broaden your customer base and scale your operations. However, along with the transition comes the need for careful preparation and compliance with new regulations.

Below are five quick tips to help your cannabis business navigate and prepare for the addition of adult-use sales, helping to ensure the growth and success of your dispensaries.

#1. Stay Informed

While seeming somewhat obvious, to stay ahead of the curve, it’s a good idea to frequent the Ohio Division of Cannabis Control (DCC) website. Regularly check for updates on regulations, licensing procedures, and other crucial announcements that could impact your business. If you operate outside of Ohio, be sure to check your state’s cannabis control board or regulatory agency.

Each state governs the rules and regulations of both medical and adult-use cannabis for its citizens differently. As such, it can be a challenge (especially for large multistate operators) to stay current and educated on local policies. Especially in an unpredictable industry, it’s well worth the time to stay familiar with the particulars of cannabis legislation.

Not only will it help you remain compliant, but staying in the know can also give your operation an advantage when considering the purchase of future licenses when you decide to scale.

#2. Augmenting Inventory Management

If you currently operate a medical marijuana dispensary and intend to add adult-use products, you’ll need a clear plan for managing separate inventories. In states where cannabis is legal, the differentiation between medical and adult-use (recreational) cannabis products serves a variety of purposes. You can learn more about the reasons each cannabis market is regulated differently in our previous article, How Dual Inventory Management Benefits Patients.

Although the idea of managing two sets of inventory sounds inconvenient, it’s well worth considering as a means to scale your cannabis retail business. In addition, many states prioritize medical cannabis dispensaries when applying for and receiving adult-use licenses.

#3. Staff Training

Equip your staff with the necessary knowledge and skills to thrive in the evolving market. Provide training on updated regulations, age verification procedures, product information tailored to recreational users, and any changes to your point-of-sale systems.

#4. Engaged Marketing Strategy

Marketing for cannabis dispensaries, whether for adult-use or medical purposes, often involves navigating complex regulations. As you prepare your dispensary to begin offering adult-use cannabis products, there are a couple strategies you can employ to get the word out.

  • Produce Educational Content: Educational content is an excellent way to demonstrate your commitment to public safety as well as let the new adult-use market know that your dispensary will begin offering recreational products.
  • Social Media Engagement: Engage with customers on social media platforms where cannabis marketing is permitted. Include sharing content that provides updates on your retail operation’s products and promotions.
  • Community Engagement: Participate in community events and sponsorships to raise awareness of the dispensary and its products. This can include participating in local festivals, sponsoring charity events, and collaborating with other businesses in the community.

Marketing in the cannabis industry can be a tricky venture. Hopefully, the above offers you a solid start.

A customer is visiting a dispensary with a dual license for adult-use and medical cannabis. The employee is helping the customer determine which product fits their needs.
By taking advantage of dual licensure at your cannabis retail operation, you can service two markets and expand your dispensary’s clientele. This provides medical marijuana dispensaries with the opportunity to scale their business without the need to secure additional licenses.

While crafting a targeted marketing strategy, aim to attract new adult-use customers while retaining your loyal medical patient base. Highlight your expertise, emphasize product quality, and showcase the benefits of choosing your dispensary for both medical and recreational needs.

#5. License Application Requirements

Existing medical dispensaries have a significant advantage because the state is offering a streamlined process for existing medical retail operators. They can apply for a dual license that allows them to serve both medical and adult-use customers with no additional application fees.

Applications for these dual licenses are expected to be available by June 7th, 2024. Submitting your application promptly may lead to earlier approval, positioning your dispensary among the first to serve adult-use customers.

Provisional licenses are slated to be issued by September 7th, 2024, for new adult-use dispensaries. If you’re new to the cannabis industry and before you build, check out our Design+Build capabilities here at Omega Equipment & Supply. Helping industry operators scale and open new cannabis facilities (of any vertical) is our specialty.

Staying Ahead

We’re all embracing the dynamic nature of the cannabis industry and remaining versatile with its evolving regulations. With careful preparation, proactive adaptation, and leveraging the advantages of your existing medical dispensary license, you can successfully transition into Ohio’s adult-use market.

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