What to Expect When Shopping at a Maryland Medical Cannabis Dispensary

If you’re new to the world of medical marijuana, first things first: Welcome aboard! You’re one of thousands of Marylanders who trust in the gentle, sustainable, and all-natural healing power of cannabis to treat a wide range of chronic symptoms and conditions. 

Like all medical marijuana patients, you’ll need to register with the state to acquire a card issued by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC). Once you’ve successfully registered, it’s time to visit a medical marijuana dispensary. 

Maryland is home to several dozen such dispensaries, and if you’re unsure of what to expect there, you can relax: Shopping at them is a lot like visiting a drop-in medical office, with friendly, patient staff who take all the time you need to help get you familiar with this new form of medical care.

So with that in mind, let’s take a moment to get oriented towards what you can expect when shopping at a Maryland medical cannabis dispensary!

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Dispensary Experience: Start with the Card

Before you get ready to visit a dispensary, you’ll first need to get registered with the MMCC. We recommend you visit their website first to make sure you have all necessary documents.

Once you’ve successfully registered, you’ll need one more thing before you can visit a Maryland medical cannabis dispensary: A written certification from a registered medical provider. While the MMCC doesn’t provide a list of registered providers, third-party sites such as this one provide lists of registered providers in Maryland. 

After your consultation with one of these approved physicians, he or she will issue a certification using the MMCC-issued Patient ID number you received after successfully registering. And now it’s time to plan your visit!

Shopping at a Maryland Medical Cannabis Dispensary: “Boring” Is Good!

If you’ve felt trepidation about visiting a Maryland medical cannabis dispensary, allow us to put your mind at ease. While you may have grown up with the notion that cannabis was a “gateway drug” or that anyplace that sold it would be dark and disreputable, the reality is that when you shop at a medical marijuana dispensary in Maryland, the experience is much closer to visiting an optician’s or a drop-in medical clinic.

At medical marijuana dispensaries like Remedy in Columbia, the look and feel are clean, well-lit and above all welcoming. The staff are friendly, helpful, and most of all patient with new customers’ questions. Specialized “patient advisors” are on hand to help orient you, and the dispensary offers free virtual consultations for those who are new to the world of medical cannabis. If getting registered for your MMCC card feels challenging, patient advisors will even help you navigate the process! 

Do be aware that because of medical marijuana’s federal status, you’ll need to either bring cash or a debit card to use at one of the two on-site ATMs. In addition, you should visit this page for a handy checklist of documents you’ll want to bring.

All in all, the whole experience may feel a little “boring,” and that’s a good thing! While marijuana actually has a long history as a safe and trusted medicine, the cultural stigma attached to it may take a little time to disappear completely. Fortunately, your first visit to a Maryland medical cannabis dispensary should go a long way towards making you feel right at home!

Email Marketing for Your Dispensary

Email Marketing for Your Dispensary

Setting up email marketing for your dispensary is a fairly simple process and it is relatively inexpensive as well.  It can also help you generate lots of repeat business if it is done correctly.  The customers who receive your newsletter will have opted in to receive it, so they are already waiting to hear from you.  With the cannabis industry being a fairly new business it is important to build a loyal customer base before the industry becomes even more competitive.

Building Your List

The best subscribers to your email list are the ones who chose to be there.  You can collect email addresses two ways, the first is with a form on your website, the visitor signs up directly and you don’t have to worry about adding them manually.  Another way to collect email addresses is at the point of sale.  When your customers visit your dispensary just ask them for their email address, you can even have a well-designed hard copy of your newsletter to show them what to expect when they are looking for dispensaries near me.  New customers are great but returning customers are better.  Here is some help building your email list.

What to Put in Your Newsletter

Once you have gathered a list of subscribers you have to keep them engaged, you don’t want them hitting the unsubscribe button.  You need to think like one of your customers, what do they want to read about?  What are the questions that people most frequently ask when they come into your dispensary?  That can give you ideas as to what to write about.  Another thing to remember is that you don’t want your newsletter to sound too salesy, you want to offer good information that lures the customer into your store.  Many companies will hire an agency to handle marketing for them, and that will include email marketing.

How Often to Send Your Newsletter

You need to strike a balance between send emails too often that end up irritating your customers or not sending often enough and they forget who you are.  Sending out a newsletter either once per week or every two weeks seems to be the sweet spot.  You don’t have to follow this formula to the letter, sending our notices of flash sales can work too.

Email marketing is as old as the internet, yet it still remains one of the most effective marketing tools that you have to build your brand and increase revenue.  It costs little or nothing to implement but offers a huge reward.

Building Your Cannabis Brand

Building Your Cannabis Brand

McDonalds, Starbucks and Disney are all brands that you immediately recognize and all of them invoke some kind of emotion.  You immediately recognize the logos and no what to expect when you go into one of their stores.  How do you create the same kind of branding for a cannabis dispensary?  Branding is the foundation of your business and doing it wrong can cost you.  In an industry that is as new as cannabis, build your cannabis brand is crucial if you want to survive the first 5 years.  Here is how you can build a brand that lasts well into the future.

Who is your customer?

If you want to build a brand that lasts it starts with your customers.  Who do you sell to?  Stop and think about this for a moment and bear in mind that you are not Walmart and “everyone” is not your customer.  Do you sell medical cannabis, if so then your customers are people who suffer from chronic pain or some other medical condition that marijuana helps with.  If you sell recreational marijuana then your ideal customer is someone else entirely.  Here are some questions that you need to answer before you start marketing.

You need to start building your brand by answering this questions.

How do you get in front of these customers?

Building a brand in the cannabis industry is more than just slapping your business name and a marijuana leaf over your merchandise and calling it a brand.  The visual elements of your brand such as your logo and website are where it starts.  You need a logo that defines you!  This is going to represent your business forever so you need something that represents you that you love.

Stay away from the clichés

If you want to build an authentic cannabis brand then stay away from the clichés that plague the industry.  Cannabis had to overcome a lot of stereotypes in order to have legalization come to pass.  Stay away from the marijuana leaf and things that scream marijuana, use different art and colors that are more authentic.  Work with a graphic designer to create the look you want.

The cannabis industry is new and if you want to survive the initial stages of growth then building your brand is crucial to that.  You want your dispensary to still be standing five years from now, the time to build your brand is now.