The legal cannabis industry is continuing to grow at a rapid pace as new markets open up to medical and recreational cannabis on an ever-increasing scale. As a result, customers are now finding that they have more choices when it comes to where they purchase products. Basically, customers can visit a “mom and pop” type dispensary or a cannabis chain store. More often, customers are discovering the benefits of shopping at a marijuana chain store rather than a “mom and pop” store.
In the more evolved cannabis markets like Colorado, cannabis retail chain dispensaries are on the rise. These chains have multiple locations and they are experiencing accelerated growth. They often employ more than 200 people and sometimes have a headquarters that handles all corporate functions for the business operations. These chain stores are increasingly popping up in other states as well.
Green Dragon Colorado
Like all industries, it’s inevitable that stronger, better-managed stores get bigger and gain market share while smaller, less business savvy companies get acquired or go out of business. This evolution in the cannabis industry has long been expected and is now finally starting to proliferate.
An example of this phenomena is Green Dragon Colorado, a chain that has seen significant growth in the last few years. Established in 2009, with only three stores, the company now has 11 locations, with a 12th store on the way.
Alex Levine, part owner and Director of Operations, says he has seen the landscape change dramatically over the past year in particular. The chain stores are continuing to expand and gobble up market share.
While there’s no denying that chain stores are playing a more prominent role in the cannabis industry, one question still remains: Do chain stores sell good quality marijuana?
The answer is an overwhelming YES! Larger retailers typically have more money to invest in high technology, the best nutrients, nutrient testing and expensive engineering- all of which goes into growing the finest marijuana on the market.
Big cannabis chains grow in facilities that span thousands of square feet and maintain a steady flow of product by having a rotating crop system. This prevents them from running out of your favorite strains. They also have the room to experiment and create the best breeds as well as new cross breeds.
Quality isn’t the only advantage that large chains have over small “mom and pop” stores, either. There are all sorts of benefits when it comes to shopping at marijuana chain stores.
Chain cannabis stores tend to offer much lower prices than “mom and pop” shops. Larger production and bulk buying mean better purchasing power to lower internal company expenses.
This gives chain retailers, such as Green Dragon, for example, the ability to pass these savings onto the customer. In fact, Green Dragon offers some of the lowest prices of any chain store without sacrificing product quality.
Their motto is “Premium bud, not premium pricing!”
Cannabis enthusiasts know that the way you package your product is vital to ensuring it remains fresh. Green Dragon Colorado knew early on that this was a priority for consumers, so they were the first company in Colorado to prepackage their flower in nitrogen-flushed bags.
Why is this important? Think of a fresh bag of potato chips. You wouldn’t buy potato chips out of a large jar at the supermarket, yet that is how most “mom and pop” stores still sell their flower.
This just causes the flower to deteriorate and lose its freshness.
The larger retail chains typically offer a much larger selection of product when it comes to flower, edibles, concentrates and topicals. They also offer a great selection of vapes, glass, apparel and other branded items.
At Green Dragon, they have a team that constantly samples new products to see if they want to put them on their shelves. They are very picky when it comes to making a decision as they are inundated with new products and vendors.
If it’s an edible, for example, they not only examine how the product looks and tastes, but also check to see if it is packaged to keep the product fresh.
As a result of this scrutinous process, Green Dragon provides its customers with a selection of only the best products on the market.
As chain stores continue to expand, customers know that they can find consistent quality and product selection when shopping at their favorite chain.
In more mature markets, like Colorado, it’s becoming commonplace to find stores with multiple locations.
Consumers benefit from this as they can join a chain store’s loyalty reward program and redeem points at any location.
Employees at cannabis retail chains are now finding that they receive higher pay, health benefits, and in some cases, even 401k plans.
The chain stores have employee training programs to ensure the customer receives excellent service by a knowledgeable retail staff member.
At the end of the day, the customer benefits from all of this.