A decade ago, if you were to walk into a head shop or a place that sold cannabis paraphernalia, you’d probably see Bob Marley photos, Rastafari items, and other stereotypical marijuana-related merchandise; whereas, today, that’s certainly not the case (at least not everywhere).
It’s been hard to break the stigma in a dispensary but when it comes to cannabis consumers, we have 5 key steps for you to take in your store that are pivotal to breaking the stigma surrounding cannabis.
While we’re still in the early stages of legalization across North America, we can expect to continue to see pushback unless we show the world that the times have changed and there is nothing to fear. Industry leaders are proving to the world that cannabis is being handled safely and with health, happiness, protection, and peace of mind at the forefront for consumers.
5 Key Steps to Break the Stigma in Your Dispensary
With that, you want to keep your brand in a momentum that is inviting and informative for all consumers, starting with these 5 things.
1. Keep it professional
So when it comes to your brand’s persona, you’ll want to keep a degree of professionalism in mind. It’s one of the big differentiators between licensed and unlicensed operations, and it’s going to be the first thing that people notice or look out for when they walk into your shop.
There are still stigmas surrounding cannabis, so you’ll want to do your best to treat your business as professional as possible. Keep your store clean and organized, hire professional and polite staff, and have everyone dress the part too. With this, your shop will be miles ahead of any stereotypes that still exist.
2. Get involved in the community!
Meet the major players around you like the Chief of Fire, Chief of Police, and other individuals who shine bright when it comes to leading your community. Take part in community initiatives and stand up for your business and why you’re really there.
Making cannabis a safer topic is important in every community. More people are purchasing and consuming now than they ever have before, and education is going to be a huge piece on normalizing the substance in your community.
3. Education is key
The best way to fight myth is with facts. Provide education to your consumers and to your community to legitimize your shop and show that you care whether people know the truth.
Create pamphlets that highlight the basics for cannabis education, compile a list for all the different uses and consumption methods available, or you could run classes and workshops based on the questions and assumptions your community is making about the substance.
4. Steer clear of pot-culture slang
When you hear ‘pot’ or ‘weed’ you probably imagine a person, smoking a joint or with a bong in their lap, high as a kite, and sinking into the couch — which is a stereotype you want to steer clear from.
The new generation where legalization was introduced leans toward more professional terms such as cannabis or marijuana and depending on where you’re from, the two terms are interchangeable.
5. Compliance above all
Even if you’re the most professional cannabis dispensary around, participate in community initiatives, and make a point to emphasize education, if you get any kind of compliance offence, then it’s all for nothing. Compliance is the most important thing to focus on when it comes to running a cannabis business, and one infraction is all it takes to break your reputation for good.
Businesses will refuse to partner with you, customers will refuse to buy from you, and competition in the area will take over.
Did you hear? The Verda Platform is LIVE! Find licensed dispensaries in your area and order directly from your phone! Read about what exactly this launch means for Verda and for licensed dispensaries of all kinds.