Pitching Cannabis Products to Dispensaries


Pitching Cannabis Products to Dispensaries

February 21, 2023 | Education

Although it may feel like it ever less, cannabis consumers still like to support local independent brands, and they will use their favourite dispensaries to discover them. 

Getting your products stocked can be a challenge. Some dispensaries are focusing on their own vertically integrated products to have more control over their profit margins, and others are hesitant to take on new product lines because of hostile conditions. 

But with the right approach, you can make lasting partnerships and get your products in front of your local community and a wider audience.  

Understand the challenges dispensaries near you face

The people you speak with at a dispensary are likely to be thinking about: high taxation eating into profits and how to navigate state taxes, banking and cash management, keeping on top of regulations, or perhaps tough local competition. Consider how you might be able to connect with them by offering value over and above your brand. Can you help them ease their tax burden by offering competitive margins? Could you offer exclusivity or promotional deals to help them with local competition? Does working with you also come with local connections or knowledge bases around regulation? Or can you do cash on delivery to help them with their banking woes? 

Consider whether you’re open to consignment options

In a space where chaos and uncertainty are the only sure things, a dispensary might offer to stock your products on a consignment basis to lower their risk. While it will offer you the visibility of being in store and introduction to a new customer base, consider whether your cash flow can withstand the gap in payment and take a little time to think about the terms that you would be happy with and be ready to negotiate if you’re open to this option. 

Show them you know them and their audience

If you’ve made contact with the manager, owner, or buyer, and have been given a time slot to chat with them, make sure you spend some time in-store beforehand. Look at their website and social media pages to get a sense of their brand, and get a sense of where your brand would fit in their ecosystem. 

Show them you’re the authority on your product 

The shop needs to be able to feel confident about selling your product to customers; give them no reason to doubt your diligence or longevity. Be prepared to talk confidently about not only potency and terpene profile testing, but also your pesticide testing, microbial testing, heavy metal testing, homogeneity testing, and moisture content testing and know your state’s regulations in and out. You should also be able to chat off pat about your brand vision, your sales to date, your target audience, and your growth plan for your brand. 

Come with ideas

Show your buyer that you’re committed to their customer base and be prepared with some creative ideas to help build loyalty from the ground up. Christine Gamez, Store Manager at Jade in Reno, Nevada, told Broccoli Report, “We will lean in on the brands to show up, educate, sponsor, and overall create a presence to get their name out there. Once they start to take off, it’s usually months before we see a change in patrons’ purchasing habits.” 

Remember staff education and samples

More than any other type of retail environment, staff education in dispensaries is paramount. They’re the people speaking with customers all day, they’re passionate about the products, and they are constantly called on to give advice for lots of different types of needs. Provide enough samples for staff and come with learning materials and labeling information to pique their interest. Store managers and buyers listen to them and want to be confident they can extend your brand knowledge to their customers. 

Practice pitching and networking

Even in a space as unique as this one, all the normal relationship-building rules still apply. Keep your pitch short and sweet, highlighting the benefits of working with you and what makes your products unique, listen intently to feedback, and attend as many local events as you can. Samples and smiles will get far.


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