Who would have thought that marijuana businesses would be considered essential during a global crisis? As many states are observing social distancing practices by implementing stay-at-home orders, non-essential businesses have temporarily closed. People are urged to remain home, only going out for the necessities such as groceries, gas, pharmacies, and pet stores. In many states, also included among this list of essential businesses are both retail and medical marijuana dispensaries. This is great for both business owners and customers, however, this does not mean “business as usual.” As we all try to adjust to a new way of doing things, the way that customers can shop for marijuana has begun to change as well. Here are some simple tips to help your retail cannabis business thrive during the COVID-19 shutdown.
1. Communicate New Covid-19 Rules
Keeping your customers informed of your operating status is crucial. If you are shifting hours to align with local stay-at-home orders or are adjusting customer check-in protocol- let them know! This can be done through an email or text blast, or posting on your website or social media pages. Customers might assume that your business is closed because of the Covid-19 shutdown, especially if they don’t hear from you, so keep them informed. Doing so may also help reduce the amount of phone calls from people asking if you’re open and what your operating hours are. Let your customers know what to expect and how they can still get access to you.
It’s also a good idea to let your customers know what you as a business are doing to help stop the spread of germs, such as additional cleaning and sanitizing practices. Many other essential retail businesses have started reserving certain hours for people who are elderly or disabled so that they don’t have to have exposure to other customers. The added benefit of implementing this practice within your business is that it helps prioritize those with a medical need for cannabis.
2. Improve Your Online Presence
While many people are stuck at home, internet use has increased. With this in mind, it might be a good time to audit your online presence and see which areas need improvement. This includes your own website, business review and directory sites, and social media profiles. Update any outdated information on your website if necessary and develop new content to keep your page fresh. You especially want to ensure that you have some sort of notice posted on your website to let customers know about any changes to business hours or operations, as mentioned above. Also, take this time to engage with your customers online. Try to have genuine interactions with people who support your business by sharing educational or entertaining content with your customers.
Make sure to put a Covid-19 disclaimer on your website if you are choosing to operate during the shutdown.
3. Pre-Order & Delivery Services for COVID-19
If you’re operating your business in a state where online orders, curbside pick-up, and delivery are permitted, make sure you are taking advantage. These are all great ways to reduce the amount of people in your store. Not only is it even better for social distancing, it also provides an added convenience for your customers. Some states, such as Maryland, have adapted quickly and implemented new temporary guidelines to allow order ahead and curbside delivery.
Partner with Existo
No matter what ideas you come up with to help your legal marijuana business during this time, safety and compliance are still important. There’s no leniency on regulations for either of these, even during the Covid-19 shutdown. If you encounter any challenges and you’re needing some guidance as you navigate this new way of doing things, reach out to us! At Existo, our experts offer innovative solutions for your legal cannabis business with a compliance first approach. Contact Us to get started.