Like any product on the market, marijuana pricing starts with supply and demand. Where legal, the price increases with state and local fees and taxes. Things like local tastes, quality, processing, packaging, and more also influence the price.
Plant products have a shelf-life. A marijuana dispensary may sell a high-quality strain, but if the store’s clientele does not favor it, it will age and deteriorate. Writing for Leafly, Patrick Bennett says, “Cannabis can have an indefinite shelf life, but only if all of the proper conditions have been met.” And, not all growers or retailers manage those conditions well.
So, a dispensary may put marijuana strains on sale from time to time with advertised deals and discounts.
Should you buy your strains on sale?
You should take advantage of deals and discounts – at sources you trust. But, trust may take a while to build.
Buying on sites like Craigslist.org or on social media is a bad move. Such sellers lack credentials, records, and reputation. That’s like expecting your neighborhood dealer in a hoodie to make legit deals with you.
Where pot is legal, it allows providers and customers to build relationships. Smart business owners will manage their inventory in several ways. They will sell at deep discounts as loss leaders to attract customers.
They will discount and coupon items that move slowly, not because they have quality issues. The products just don’t seem to be in demand in that market. For example, a store patronized by college students may not be able to move the most exotic strains because they are price prohibitive in a market that is searching for the familiar and affordable.
- Retailers may find that certain branded products do not move as well as others, so they will offer deals to get the inventory off their shelves. If you know the store and the product, you should take the deal.
- Retailers may find some seasonal connection between supply and demand. Farming may produce certain strains with best quality at certain times of the year. If that abundant supply coincides with a high demand for that product at that price, you will not see any price adjustment. But, savvy retailers will promote the availability with discounts and deals to hype the product on hand.
- Retailers will offer discounts to move inventory that makes room for new products or new strains. Competition requires they be current on tastes and preferences. Each owner wants to be the store that introduces the new item or moves ahead of the rival.
- Retailers want to be trend setters, so they will offer discounts on strains just coming to market. They will do it to reinforce the customers’ sense that their preferences are valued and reliable. And, they want to reflect customer input.
- Retailers may seek to promote local growers, organic farmers, or hydroponic products. They will discount one or the other to bring customers in and to introduce them to something new. Or, they will do so to reconfirm the customers’ priorities.
- Retailers will link discounts in advance to connect with major events like 4/20 celebrations, cannabis trade shows, or marijuana advocacy conferences. Smart ones will parlay that to a quarterly event creating a scheduled expectation for the customer.
- Retailers will build customer databases from the identification records they gather. The databases help them develop customer-targeted digital marketing campaigns that offer discounts and deals on products, promotions, and known customer preferences.
The Marijuana Marketing Gurus suggest adopting one of three marketing strategies, each of which might use deals, discounts, and coupons:
The Walgreen’s Model
This strategy works at branding heighten customer recognition and loyalty. It ties the customer to the store and not the product with customer service, visibility, and access.
Early Adopter Model
Advertising marijuana is heavily restricted. So, producers build reputation and branding by offering marijuana retailers they can pass onto customers with coupons and discounts. Unable to reach customers directly, they develop customer relationships with the marijuana dispensary owners.
Beer Industry Model
Beer makers chose marketing strategies carefully to differentiate their product from others in a highly competitive marketplace. They create memorable branding, logos, and catchphrases. And, since they cannot do that on television or in print media, they must center their efforts on materials in the dispensary itself or on its website.
Sample marketing approaches
One website directory listed the following deals on June 13th. They are listed here, not as endorsement, but as a description of how different retailers position themselves:
- 10% OFF an item of your choice when you take a photo of our shop/product with our business card and post it on social media.
- Leave us a review! You’ll receive 10% OFF your ENTIRE purchase
- Moms get 10% off!
- Munchy Mondays! All edibles are on sale 10% off!!
- Happy Hour all MJ 10% off! M-Th 6-7 pm
- 1g Honey Rolled, Terp Infused, Diamond Dusted Goldfinger’s $10-!
Should you buy your strains on sale?
If you trust your marijuana dispensary and/or a trusted website directory, there is no reason not to buy your strains on sale. If you know that your dispensary is not passing off bad product or misrepresenting quality, you should go for the savings.