A Medical Patient’s Experience in a Recreational Cannabis Market

When the State of Nevada announced it’s plans to implement recreational cannabis sales on July 1st of this year, I was elated. Cannabis has not only been proven to have medicinal benefits for a wide variety of health issues, but it can also induce relaxation, creativity, an elevated mindset, and even can help you lose weight! Plus, the war on drugs has been an overt failure, and making a substance that is less dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes illegal is asinine. But, I digress.

 

After my initial excitement about what recreational cannabis could mean for the progress of the cannabis industry in Nevada, I started thinking about the number of individuals that consume cannabis. I also started thinking about the number of tourists from all over America and the world that visit Vegas per year. Then I started to get nervous. I’m a medical patient, and I use cannabis to treat a variety of symptoms from depression, anxiety, and IBS. I rely on access to cannabis to feel better. I started wondering, amidst distribution disputes, if getting medical cannabis would be more difficult. (After about a month of recreational sales, we have heard these fears were unfounded). I went to a few different dispensaries to see for myself.

 

Luckily, my experience overall was pleasant. There were a TON of people lined up to buy cannabis, at all hours of the day, but most dispensaries have implemented separate lines for medical patients so that your wait time is shorter. I timed myself, and I spent under 30 minutes in most dispensaries, from check in to cash out. I was also worried about pricing. We’ve all heard rumors that 8ths were going to jump from $25 to $80! In reality, the price hike was modest – about a $10 – $15 increase across the board. But what about a cannabis shortage?! I will admit, dispensaries were running out of my favorite strains a bit quicker than usual, but there was still a wide selection to choose from, and some dispensaries have even reserved particular strains for medical patients only!

 

After all was said and done, I found that my anxiety over the issue was largely unnecessary. I ended up with concentrates, flower, edibles, and even a transdermal patch, paid a moderate amount, and spent way less time that I was anticipating waiting in line. The cannabis industry in Nevada is stepping up to meet the demand of both recreational and medical patients. As distribution licenses are awarded and dispensaries fine-tune their processes, I think the entire experience will remain positive for everyone.

RETAIL MARIJUANA IN LAS VEGAS: Reality Check Over Fairy Tales

If you’re watching the evening news across the nation about Las Vegas’ retail marijuana industry, you may find yourself convinced of some pretty inaccurate information. As someone who has lived here for 18 years and been involved in the industry since early days, it is my pleasure to provide a reality check. Here are some fairy tales you may be hearing:

*Las Vegas is running out of weed! Reality Check: Nevada has 87 licensed producers and cultivators, who are all actively growing and producing incredible product. With the controversy surrounding liquor distributors in Nevada, most dispensaries did the wise thing and stocked up before July 1st. The reality is that they may certainly be low or sold out of your favorite product, but no dispensary is completely sold out of marijuana and the regulators in Nevada are working overtime to ensure emergency measures are put into place to allow for retail deliveries. This speed bump should be resolved by the end of the coming week. There’s plenty of marijuana for retail consumers to purchase. This is NOT weedpocalypse.

*Eighths of marijuana are selling for $80. Reality Check: Where?! No, really, because I’ve been into every dispensary from July 1-9 and I can’t find an $80 eighth. I was trying because I saw it on the CBS nightly news, so I had to see it with my own eyes. The increased retail taxes have increased the average price of an eighth, but it has been 15-20% to account for the tax increase. You can still find eighths of quality cannabis flower at dispensaries in the $30-40 range. If you find that $80 eighth can you share it with me? I want to know what is in it and who was clueless enough to pay that much!

*You can smoke on the Las Vegas strip! Reality Check: Please don’t. No, really. It’s illegal to consume in public places and you’ll get an expensive fine for doing so. Plus, you make the rest of us law abiding cannabis consumers look like jerks. Help the cause of normalization and follow the law by only consuming out of public view in private places. Nevada is the most regulated cannabis ecosystem in the world today, so help us lead the way by following our laws.

*Lines are around the block. Reality Check: So true! From open to close, seven days a week we are seeing lines around the block at most locations. The dispensary teams are working tirelessly to ensure that every retail and medical consumer receives a positive experience. The average high in Las Vegas is over 100 degrees, so the wait is long and hot, but I heard so many people say that they’ve been waiting for retail marijuana sales for years and they’re happy to continue waiting. Most dispensaries have a medical only line for patients and the wait for those patients has been eliminated.

The retail marijuana industry in Las Vegas is thriving. We experienced an estimated $5 million in retail sales in the first 3 days, which will help our public education system. Las Vegas has the worst public education system in all 50 states- literally rock bottom. As a mother of two girls who are in school this is a cause I care deeply about. Our children deserve better and cannabis consumers deserve to enjoy the normalization of consumption that all of us advocates have lobbied in favor of.

Get your Vegas Weekend Box to experience the best that the Las Vegas cannabis industry has to offer. Order yours NOW! 

Becoming a Unicorn

The first month of a new career always brings fear and excitement.

I’m glad to say that here at Social Media Unicorn it has been a lot more excitement than fear. Everyone is great! Not only is my entire team fun to work with, they all have an in-depth knowledge of the cannabis culture and the wants and needs of the community we serve. With that being said, I am starting a weekly blog to inform and educate about the new innovative products, services, and happenings within our community. Stay tuned each week to see what this Unicorn is getting into 😉

Just recently, we had the pleasure of hosting a patient appreciation day for Tahoe Hydro Company with the lovely people over at Medizin. They operate one of the premier dispensaries that cater to Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. Medizin, unlike many other dispensaries, is also involved in cultivation. They have some award winning flowers like Chloe, one of the most medically beneficial strains that is offered in Las Vegas. We had a great time representing Tahoe Hydro Company while we were there. THC is a boutique cultivator out of Carson City, NV, that is sure to fit the needs and wants of any consumer out there. They have award winning strains: Blackjack (S), Gelato 45 (H), Tahoe Hydro OG (I), all winning their respective categories at the 2016 Jack Herer Cup. THC also just entered the preroll game with the introduction of their STIX line, currently offering Tahoe Hydro OG. Needless to say, they know what they are doing over there at Tahoe Hydro Company. We passed out tons of Tahoe swag and educated patients on our products and specials. It was great meeting and creating future Tahoe fans! I loved hearing all the positive feedback regarding our products. Huge thank you to Tanya and the whole crew at Medizin for making my first patient appreciation day a success!  

All in all, these first few weeks have been an adventure and a blessing. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by people who are so passionate about cannabis. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me as a Unicorn. Be sure to tune in next week for my next post and mark your calendars for our upcoming events!

Las Vegas Social Media Day – Fri. 6/30

Follow Tahoe Hydro Company on IG @tahoehydroponics

Get updates from Medizin at http://medizinlv.com 

CANNABIS SALES 101: Give before you get

Cannabis sales isn’t any different from selling any product to any consumer, but the cannabis community is too familiar with opportunistic sales representatives who don’t appreciate the basic concept of giving before you get. Under no circumstances should you EVER sell someone something on the first communication. EVER. Not in an email, not in a phone call, not in a newsletter, never ever. You always want to offer something of value or solve a problem before you ever approach the conversation about conducting business. 

I had a great example of this just today when I received a message from a stranger on my LinkedIN profile. As a social media influencer I am approached dozens of times every day to share things, to buy things, or just to help. I love helping. It’s part of my small town DNA to consider community before self, but there is a reality of being CEO of three different companies and that is that time is the most valuable commodity I have to offer the world. So, I opened my LinkedIN profile to receive a lovely message offering to sell me an advertising platform, banking, and financial options. Oh wait- I’m in the cannabis industry. So, none of what you are selling me applies to me. How could new random stranger have discovered this? Perhaps the headline in my LinkedIN profile? Or maybe the summary of what I do? Chances we are going to do business: slim to none and get your spam out of my inbox. 

The cannabis industry is the fastest growing industry in America today and in explosive growth markets like Nevada even crappy cannabis sales representatives can make a fortune, but I beg you: don’t be that crappy cannabis sales rep. You deserve better, your brand deserves better, and you can achieve so much more when you raise the standard. Be the exception to the sales rule and provide value. Give before you get and you’ll get so much more in the end. 

New Trending Topics in Cannabis: Summer 2017

Cannabis culture is always in flux. With a community that spans nearly every possible consumer demographic, it can be hard to nail down trends, but a glut of new products on the west coast has shed some light on the cannabis industry’s not-so-distant future.  

Read on for our favorite new trends – ones we believe will continue growing well into next year. 

Microdosing

We have talked before about the trend of super tiny doses that is picking up steam all across America. The euphoric high of THC doesn’t appeal to everyone, after all, so it’s only natural that low-dosage mints, candies, baked goods and beverages are beginning to fly off the shelves in every market. 

No matter who your brand appeals to, it’s possible for you to embrace the microdosing trend in some way. Offering a more diverse product line will only strengthen your longevity as a cannabis company, as you’ll be accessible to a new demographic. 

Customization

Modern cannabis consumers don’t want to be sold to. They want to create their own routine with useful cannabis infused products. That being said, a high dosage of THC won’t always be enough to woo patients and recreational users, who are continuing to learn more about minor cannabinoids. Custom ratios of cannabinoids, for example, a 1:1 THC:CBD strain or tincture, are appealing more and more to discerning buyers with healthy and active lifestyles.

If your company isn’t all over the latest cannabinoid science, and coming up with ways to utilize this new knowledge, you’re going to miss out. 

Discretion

As the rest of the world is finally beginning to recognize slick vape pens and edibles for what they are, the most discreet cannabis consumers are looking to go incognito. However, they also want their products to work just as well as if they had smoked a big joint.

Some of the most popular up-and-coming medical marijuana product types are water bottles, mints and transdermal patches worn under the clothes. These are branded to look like everyday objects we use all the time, making them ideal for travel or workplace use.


Set your product up for success in the evolving marketplace – contact our team to schedule a cannabis industry marketing consultation. 

How to Elevate the Cannabis Buying Experience

When we talk about an “elevated experience” in the cannabis industry, we’re not just talking about getting high. It’s a phrase that embodies the community’s mission to eliminate negative stereotypes through responsible consumption and education.

Think of it as brand strategy with the consumer in mind; you always want patients to feel comfortable, confident and informed when they’re considering buying your product to take home. Start giving back today with these tips.

Provide Facts

A full ingredient list and laboratory test are just the bare minimum of what should be included on your product’s packaging and your website, too. This would be a good start, but the truth is that patients typically want to know a lot more than simply what’s inside.

They want to know, as much as possible, what the onset time will be and how they will feel after using the product. Should it be used morning, night or all day long? How long should they wait before re-dosing? Think of an answer to every possible question a new cannabis consumer might have, and make it an integral part of your branding. 

Care About Details

High-end aesthetics and practicality are extremely important. This is true with both product and packaging design! Cannabis consumers really do care about the little things. They want to feel confident when they leave a dispensary that the product in their bag will work as advertised and provide a pleasant experience. If the consumer can’t gain that confidence simply by picking up the package, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board. 

Some specific small details that matter to connoisseurs and newer consumers alike:

  • Beautiful packaging which provides a clear product description, and a sense of the intended mood or effect. 
  • Clearly marked dosage meters or perforations on edible and drinkable products. 
  • Air-tight sealed packaging for cannabis flower, with appropriate humidity control. 
  • Proper labeling and lids on topical containers so they can be handled.
  • Current lab test labels on the outside of every package.

Promote Responsibility

Always do your best to inform the consumer – directly on the package – of everything they’ll need to know. After all, you or your sales reps will not be in the store with them when they are checking out your product. Don’t rely on dispensary staff to educate patients about safe and effective ways to use your particular product. The burden is on manufacturers to make that information part of their packaging, labeling and overall branding process. 


Elevate your brand to the next level with consulting, integrated campaigns and real, proven results with Social Media Unicorn, based in the thriving legal cannabis market of Las Vegas. 

10 Ways Lab Testing Helps Make The Cannabis Brand

Let’s get one thing clear: lab testing cannabis is an absolute must.

Though most legal markets require it by law, really, the only ones who still have to catch up to modern times are operators in California. It’s because of the west coast market that lab testing requirements in states such as Nevada are as strict as they are now. No other state wants to take chances on pesticides and molds! 

If you think getting your product tested at a lab is just a chore, read on to learn why it could actually make or break your brand. 

Builds Trust

Lab testing your products proves to the world that you are a legitimate operator in the cannabis space, creating products that are free of toxins and dangerous chemicals. Congratulations on putting drug dealer stereotypes in the past! 

Shows Transparency

Customers aren’t the only ones who are going to want to see your lab tests. By always having them current, you’re appeasing local and state regulators, too. The more we share with the world about the contents of medical cannabis products, the more progress we will make collectively as an industry. 

Displays Quality

You already think your product is the best – don’t you want others to think so, too? From the terpenes, to the humidity levels, to the major and minor cannabinoids, your trusty lab test should definitely make your product shine. 

Educates Patients

Not every patient or adult-use consumer is aware of the chemical composition of their cannabis. For those who are interested in learning more, it’s nothing short of fascinating to peruse the various lab tests at the dispensary. Make sure yours is one of them.

Proves Potency

Simply saying that your flower, oil or edible is the strongest just doesn’t hold much water in today’s cannabis economy. A certified laboratory test is the only way to prove to retailers and customers that yours is the real deal – and worth the price. 

Creates Consistency

What makes a cannabis consumer come back again and again? A product that looks, smells, tastes and works the exact same way every time. Of course, there will always be slight variations between batches of cannabis products, but your lab tests will help you keep them as consistent as possible to please your biggest fans. 

Helps Retailers

By viewing the lab tests on your products, dispensary managers and staff should be able to discern a few things. First, it will help them figure out how to price and display it among their other inventory. Second, they will be able to appropriately direct patients to the right product for them based on the chemical composition of each product. 

Supports Industry

Bottom line, cannabis testing laboratories need to make money, just like the rest of us in this space. Make a friend and ally for life by developing a value-based relationship with your lab that goes beyond just the “bare minimum” testing requirements.

Calms Opposition

In this industry, we are always trying to counter fear-based arguments from prohibitionists. Lab testing cannabis shows that these products are safe and therapeutic – making them the ultimate tool in the fight against anti-cannabis trolls. 

Boosts Legitimacy

All in all, testing your product makes the cannabis industry and the people in it look a whole lot better to the outside world. We hope you take it seriously as all of our clients do!

5 Tricks To Selling Cannabis In An Evolving Marketplace

The cannabis industry continues to gain legitimacy across the country and with that, comes the challenges of integrating a formerly black market business into the legitimate economy. Obviously the traditional methods of selling cannabis products are far removed from the days of old. We now have dispensaries connecting consumers with an array of cannabis products. How does one get their products into those dispensaries? Here are a few tricks to selling weed like a pro:

Identify With Your Prospective Dispensary

This is critical. You must easily and quickly be able to get to the heart of what the dispensary needs and values. Asking high value, sometimes tough questions will help identify the problems a dispensary is currently trying to solve. Perhaps they are lacking in a particular variety of cannabis product. While you may have a host of offerings, getting to the root of what they actually need is crucial to sales success. By identifying crucial needs, you are no longer a salesperson – you are a problem solver.  

Practice Good Listening Skills

Take note of the following quote: We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. While this quote is originally attributed to the Greek philosopher Epictetus, it’s been repeated with gusto through generations and for good reason: as soon as you begin talking you cease listening. Dial down the ‘sales pitch’ and listen to what people are actually trying to tell you. You could be speaking to the wrong person or spending way too long talking about a product that has no relevance to their consumers. Pay attention to how much talking you’re doing. If you catch yourself over-talking, stop explaining and start asking. A probing question followed by solid listening will get you further than the best elevator pitch.

Appreciate Your Product

Really get to know your product and what makes it stand out. Sometimes you will only have mere moments of a dispensary’s time and you need to be able to concisely share why consumers will want your product and what sets it apart from the rest. You should be well prepared to answer any product questions you are asked quickly and concisely. Much like the listening skills mentioned above, a long winded showcase of your product isn’t likely to win over a prospective dispensary, a concise explanation will. In kind, you also need to be aware of your product’s competition and how your product compares. This is not an invitation to knock another product, but to appreciate what makes yours so special and how it can fill a need the dispensary has.

Keep Detailed Records

During your exploration of a potential dispensary, it may become apparent that you do not have the solutions to their immediate needs and that’s OK, it happens. When faced with objections or a sales impasse, it’s crucial that you do not check out. Continue to learn about this prospect, what motivates them, what drives them, and what solutions they need both now and in the future. Solutions may unfold in the future that you can now capitalize upon. Alternatively, many brands appreciate learning about the needs of their customers. Notate all the decision makers and people you spoke with. Information fills your arsenal for sales tomorrow, even if you don’t get the sale today.

Always Keep In Touch

Relationships need nurturing and that’s essentially what sales is: building relationships with potential customers. All customers, either established or potential ones, should receive contact from you regularly. Focus on your past experiences with them to check in on how they are doing, provide new solutions as you uncover them, or share with them a relevant piece of information. Contact should be brief and useful, but the most relevant component is consistency. By fostering your relationships on a regular basis you are establishing trust and community, something that is critically important, especially in a community minded business such as cannabis. Keep in touch and they will respond in kind.

Gone are the days of black market sales and we are in a new age of regulated sales. While this is a welcome change, it definitely takes the aspect for the sales relationship to another level. If your brand needs help with sales and service, contact Social Media Unicorn and let us help.