News and Best Practices

How to Hire a Great Budtender

8th March 2017

For many cannabis retailers, finding budtenders is a friends-and-family exercise. They first consider people they know, and more often than not are able to find a suitable candidate among friends and... Read More

Marketing Methods You May Be Missin...

8th March 2017

  When was the last time you tried to think outside the box in marketing your dispensary? For many owners, managers and employees, just keeping the momentum of business as usual can be... Read More

Cannabis Genetics and Breeding Made...

8th March 2017

When selling cannabis to customers, it’s easy to get inundated with lots of scientific jargon and insider terminologies. We talk about indicas, sativas, hybrids, cannabinoid ratios and terpenes,... Read More

Benefit As a Certifiably ‘Green...

22nd February 2017

We all know recycling makes for an eco-friendly business. But what about a no idling policy in the parking lot to reduce emissions? Or recording how much waste your company creates in a... Read More

CannaCon Offers Products, Tips for ...

22nd February 2017

SEATTLE—Practically each week on the calendar this year has seen another opening of another cannabis show. Last week it was CannaCon in the Pacific Northwest. The event, held Feb. 16-18 just... Read More

‘Utility Patents’ Pose Threat t...

22nd February 2017

Cannabis is one of the most diverse species in the world. But diversity is under threat from wide-reaching plant patents that can eventually pull certain strains from grow rooms and off dispensary... Read More

Professionalize Your Dispensary Thr...

8th February 2017

  As cannabis moves into the mainstream, customers and industry watchers are expecting dispensaries to present themselves as professional businesses. The industry is evolving quickly, and... Read More

Three Conferences Offer Something f...

8th February 2017

DENVER—Each of the three major cannabis conferences held here last week addressed different aspects and audiences. But they shared something in common, too: They recognized Colorado as the focal... Read More

Take the Guesswork Out of Medical M...

8th February 2017

In the headlong rush of modern living, it’s easy to lose track of the small indicators that point to your overall wellness. When you’re using cannabis to treat a medical condition, keeping track... Read More

Know the Risks of Hiring Family

23rd January 2017

Some of the most successful dispensaries and recreational cannabis stores are family-owned and operated. Family bonds and team coordination have propelled these businesses to the top of the product... Read More

Follow the Steps for a Successful D...

23rd January 2017

A cannabis delivery service can be an excellent way to bring medical marijuana to ill and homebound patients. However, legal delivery is available in only a few areas, such as in certain cities on... Read More

Uniting to Diversify the Industry

23rd January 2017

Imagine the opportunity to assemble the entire cannabis industry on the foundations of inclusion and diversity. That’s the reality that Women Grow is trying to nurture. “Diversity is a big,... Read More

Standardizing Industry Knowledge fo...

9th January 2017

In recent years, the cannabis industry has gained popularity and respect. It has become a workforce of professional scientists, horticulturists and customer care specialists, product manufacturers... Read More

Hiring the Best Budtenders: What to...

9th January 2017

The right budtenders are indispensable to any cannabis shop. Since they’re on the front lines, budtenders are the most critical employees for the success of your business. It’s important to know... Read More

New Products Giving Customers More ...

9th January 2017

The evolving cannabis market has made way for new products that put customers more firmly in the driver's seat. Whether it's monitoring how much THC they consume, finding more discreet ways to... Read More

New Fire Guidelines To Increase Emp...

20th December 2016

The cannabis industry deals with constantly changing regulations, and the focus of these regulations is typically public safety. But a new set of guidelines, arriving late next year, will have the... Read More

Pre-Employment Screenings Protect Y...

20th December 2016

As a dispensary owner or manager, you want to hire the right employees for the job. But how do you know whether or not they have criminal records and other “red flags”? Does your state or local... Read More

Options Ease the Pain of Cash-Only ...

20th December 2016

As the cannabis industry evolves, new solutions are helping solve dispensary managers’ most vexing problems. Among these are services designed to avoid the cash-only model that dominates the... Read More

Instructing Customers on Pure THC a...

6th December 2016

Cannabis-infused edibles have become the biggest craze. In newly legalized Oregon, edibles make up a quarter of all product sales. And last year in Colorado, the edibles market soared by a 125... Read More

Help Customers Understand Indica an...

6th December 2016

“Indica” and “sativa” are two terms every budtender casually throws around. To new customers, indica is often synonymous with “downer” and sativa is synonymous with “upper,”... Read More

A Winning Recipe: Resilience, Probl...

6th December 2016

What does it take to hold your own in the volatile cannabis industry? Nancy Whiteman, the co-owner of the cannabis products manufacturer Wana Brands, can tell you. “I would say resilience, a... Read More

Advise Your Customers On New Potent...

29th November 2016

You should already know about the many different types of hash available, how they’re made and how they may benefit customers. But now, consider some additional types of hash. These are probably... Read More

Dispensary Thrives in Community Aft...

29th November 2016

Business name: Organic Alternatives Location: Fort Collins, Colo., about 65 miles north of Denver Number of stores: One Date first store opened: January 2010 Type: Medical and... Read More

Follow Basic Procedures in Branding...

29th November 2016

The days of cannabis products packaged in poorly labeled clear plastic bags are long gone. Efficient, safe and standardized branded packaging is now available in every market. The same brand can... Read More

Take Extra Steps to Strengthen Your...

21st November 2016

Because you deal with large amounts of cash and a product that’s not easily identifiable, your business must make security a priority. You can’t completely eliminate theft, but you can develop a... Read More

Benefits Abound in Public/Private R...

21st November 2016

Washington state voters passed Initiative 502 to legalize cannabis in 2012, and city officials in the southwestern town of North Bonneville saw the writing on the wall. They figured that “we would... Read More

How Flavonoids Add to the Entourage...

21st November 2016

Just when we were starting to get a grasp on cannabinoids and terpenes, cannabis enthusiasts threw at us a new class of chemicals: flavonoids. To date, chemists have identified about two dozen... Read More

Change Agent

New Society to Offer Certification ...

15th November 2016

If Alan Babcock has his way, the industry will have an independent certification program to help practitioners earn credentials for their knowledge and experience, and industry professionals will... Read More

Stand Out with Craft Cannabis

15th November 2016

Nuanced aromas and sophisticated flavor profiles may have once been the sole purview of fine wines and craft beers. Not anymore. The emergence of craft, or boutique, cannabis is creating a new... Read More

Provide State-Compliant Packaging t...

15th November 2016

Developing standout packaging is key to building a strong brand identity and helping differentiate one product from all of the others. But in most states, packaging is highly regulated. Knowing the... Read More

Know Which Hash Is Best for Your Cu...

8th November 2016

We’ve come a long way from the concentrates that our parents dabbled in. Today, we have an entire smorgasbord of hashes to choose from. Smoking hash has many benefits over smoking flower. It can... Read More

Taking on the IRS and Section 280E

8th November 2016

Cannabis businesses are used to facing opposition and resistance, but their biggest adversary may be the Internal Revenue Service; in particular, section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code. But... Read More

Tackle Disruptions in Your Supply C...

8th November 2016

Does this sound familiar? Let’s say you have an edible that’s flying off your shelves. Your customers can’t get enough of it. But when you try to order more, you learn you won’t be receiving... Read More

Cultivating Knowledge for Everyone

1st November 2016

DENVER—With state compliance, product safety and so many other issues to contend with, dispensary owners and managers might never consider attending an event to network with cultivators. But if... Read More

Keeping Your Store’s Cannabis…S...

1st November 2016

If you run a dispensary or rec store, you need a solid, fireproof safe for storing cash. Obviously, this is the best way to protect your money, especially since you might not obtain legal access to... Read More

Increase Your Role in Serving the C...

28th October 2016

As a dispensary owner or manager, you may be relatively new to many local communities. Stepping into the spotlight provides a unique chance for you and your businesses to emerge as community leaders.... Read More

Train Your Palate to Taste Quality ...

25th October 2016

Every cannabis connoisseur has that moment, that motion they make with their mouth after they take a deep, delicious puff of well-grown buds. They may smack their lips, flap their tongue or inhale a... Read More

Adapting to Change Is Key to a Disp...

25th October 2016

  Business name: Golden Leaf Location: Steamboat Springs, Colo. Number of stores: Two (one medical, one recreational) Date first store opened: Medical: August 2009 Recreational: February... Read More

Train Your Nose to Smell Quality Bu...

17th October 2016

Smell and taste go hand-in-hand. You’ll find a lot of overlap between smelling and tasting quality buds, but there’s a few particulars specific to the act of catching a whiff. Before we get into... Read More

Being Smart about CBD

17th October 2016

Acne. Sleep disorders. Irritable bowel syndrome. Liver disease. Post-traumatic stress disorder. These are just a few of the conditions for which cannabidiol (CBD) may provide therapeutic benefits,... Read More

Understanding Humidity Could Preven...

17th October 2016

Humidity is one of the blessings and curses of any grow environment. If it’s too humid, your plants get soggy. If it’s too dry, your plants will wither. If you get the humidity “just right,”... Read More

Combat turnover using a staffing fi...

11th October 2016

Early numbers indicate that the cannabis industry is creating explosive growth in the job market. According to the Oregon Cannabis Jobs Report, the retail cannabis sector in that state has created... Read More

Vendor Profile
Innovations in ...

11th October 2016

Business name: Cannaline Primary product or service for the cannabis industry: Stock and custom printed packaging for flower, concentrates, edibles, and accessories. Location: Elkridge,... Read More

Understanding Sample Testing, Part ...

11th October 2016

By now, you should have a basic understanding of sample testing, from the methods to the selection process. If not, just jump back to Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3. Now comes the fun part: at-home... Read More

How to Train Your Eyes to Detect Qu...

4th October 2016

When we first encounter some freshly stocked buds, our eyes are usually the first sensory organs to engage. Whether you’re a budtender, a professional grower, a trimmer, a store manager or even... Read More

Closing the Cannabis Gender Gap

4th October 2016

“Wild.” “Negligent.” “Fringe.” These are some of the negative perceptions that still linger around women who use cannabis, says Sally Vander Veer. She’s president of Medicine... Read More

Understanding Sample Testing, Part ...

4th October 2016

Now that you understand the basics of lab testing, it’s critical to understand how sampling is done. You’ve seen this already. You walk in to a dispensary, you find a strain that sounds... Read More

Common Compliance Violations and Ho...

27th September 2016

In a highly regulated industry like cannabis, failing to comply with the law can be a costly mistake. It can also an easy mistake to make, given the number of laws that govern cannabis at the state... Read More

Understanding Sample Testing – Pa...

27th September 2016

In Part 1, we described the basics of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) sample testing. Today, we’ll discuss another common technique: gas chromatography (GC). As mentioned in Part... Read More

Need a Gun? Not with a Medical Mari...

27th September 2016

If you hold a state medical marijuana card, regardless of who you are and regardless of whether you’re in a state with legal MMJ, you may not be able to buy a gun. You can thank a recent ruling... Read More

DISPENSARY PROFILE
Dispensary Fe...

20th September 2016

Business name: FloraMedex, LLC Location: Elmwood Park, Ill. Number of stores: One Date first store opened: April 2016 Type: Medical Manager: Jared Boyar, agent in charge Number of... Read More

Be Prepared for Product Recalls

20th September 2016

Product recalls are an unfortunate possibility for any business, but dispensary owners in particular must be prepared for them. All products are subject to recall, including bud, edibles and other... Read More

Understanding Sample Testing — Pa...

20th September 2016

If you spend any amount of time with professional cannabis growers and processors, you’ll start hearing about sample testing. For example, “These buds tested at 20 percent THC.” Or “These... Read More

Concentrates in dispensary

Concentrating on Customer Education

13th September 2016

If Colorado’s statistics are any indicator, concentrates are quickly becoming the next big thing in the cannabis industry. In the first quarter of 2016, retail sales of concentrates in the... Read More

Has There Been Enough Cannabis Rese...

13th September 2016

  LOS ANGELES—It’s an all-too-familiar refrain: “We just don’t know enough about the effects of cannabis.” From the DEA to Hillary Clinton, bureaucrats and politicians use the lack... Read More

Remoisten Buds

How to Safely Remoisten Buds

13th September 2016

It happens: You’ve got some amazing flowers, so you buy or grow a ton of them and now have plenty on hand. But when you’ve got a lot of one strain, there’s a good chance it’ll dry out before... Read More

Dispensary Profile

DISPENSARY PROFILE
Former Coal...

6th September 2016

Business name: High Q LLC Location: Silt, Colo. Number of stores: 1 Date first store opened: November 2014 Type: Recreational Owner: Renée S. Grossman Manager’s name: Reid Ewart... Read More

Online Marketing

Using Online Marketing to Soften Se...

6th September 2016

Are you looking for ways to reduce Section 280E’s impact on your dispensary’s balance sheet? The solution could be as close as the nearest computer. Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code... Read More

Cannabis Products for Pets

Should You Carry Cannabis Products ...

6th September 2016

For many pet owners, their animal companions are a beloved member of the family. So, as the therapeutic qualities of cannabis products for pets continue to emerge, the question arises: Can it help... Read More

Cannabis and Social Media: What Can...

30th August 2016

  Editor’s note: This is the final installment of a three-part series exploring the status of the cannabis industry on social media today, and what you can do to make sure your hard work... Read More

How to Prepare a Job Description

30th August 2016

The important elements of running a dispensary or recreational retail store include customer service, sales, inventory, security, management, marketing, community awareness and legal compliance. The... Read More

Intellectual Property for Cannabis ...

30th August 2016

Every business’s primary goal is to develop a brand that creates an association between their company and quality. Dispensary owners are no different from more traditional businesses in wanting to... Read More

Data: The Key to Keeping Your Dispe...

24th August 2016

Every day, your dispensary generates a wealth of data that can drive better decision-making and help build a better business. How you gather and use this data—as well as how you encourage data... Read More

Is a Delivery Service for You?

24th August 2016

With the expansion of legal cannabis, a delivery service might be the next logical business step for dispensaries or new entrepreneurs. Although delivery would provide a vital service to many... Read More

Federal Appeals Court to DOJ: Back ...

23rd August 2016

LegalIn United States v McIntosh, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit made a decisive ruling that helps bolster protection for dispensaries and medical marijuana professionals. The ruling... Read More

Cannabis and Social Media: Are Site...

23rd August 2016

Editor’s note: This three-part series explores the status of cannabis and social media today and what you can do to make sure that you don’t see your hard work on social media evaporate with... Read More

Time to Expand or Add a License?

16th August 2016

Business is good, perhaps even booming. So you begin considering expansion of your retail cannabis business, either opening another store or expanding your existing one. It seems like a simple... Read More

Cannabis and Social Media: A Rocky ...

16th August 2016

For businesses to succeed in the 21st century, they must harness the power of social media. Even plumbers and farmers promote their businesses through social media. Cannabis businesses are no... Read More

Look for Industry Experience in an ...

16th August 2016

Understanding insurance coverage can be tricky, particularly in the emerging cannabis industry. As a business owner, you must know what kind of coverage meets your unique needs. As your operation... Read More

Store Manager Watching Video Halts ...

12th August 2016

Sometimes it pays to keep an eye on business, even when you’re at home. Damon Martinez, manager of the Have a Heart cannabis store on the north side of Seattle, was watching the store’s... Read More

What You Need to Know About the New...

12th August 2016

Overtime pay: It can be costly to dispensary operators, and most try to structure their staffing and scheduling to avoid it if possible. But new regulations on the overtime rule from the Department... Read More

Effective Ways to Buy from Patients...

12th August 2016

If you’re in a state that allows or virtually requires you to buy from patients and caregivers, you may find that acquiring product can be as time-consuming and difficult as selling it. How can... Read More

Scotts Miracle-Gro’s Investment i...

9th August 2016

Scotts Miracle-Gro has continued to follow up on its promise to make cannabis a major area of focus for the company. Earlier this summer, the firm announced an agreement to purchase Dutch lighting... Read More

BEING A BETTER MANAGER
What is...

9th August 2016

How do you know if your dispensary or rec store is successful? You’re open during normal business hours and you have a steady flow of customers. You also sell enough product to warrant ordering... Read More

Trained Nurses Can Be a Critical As...

9th August 2016

The endocannabinoid system, which responds to cannabis when a patient ingests it, is one of the most extensive receptor systems in the human body—yet many trained nurses and other health care... Read More

Hiring Budtenders

What You Need to Know to Hire a Gre...

5th August 2016

Running a dispensary or rec store requires you to do dozens of things, often simultaneously: buy product, process cash, make sure you’re in compliance with state and local regulations and a myriad... Read More

Patient Incentives

The Art of Patient Incentives and D...

5th August 2016

As dispensary owners and managers, we are making a difference every day. There is unique satisfaction in getting to know a patient and offering cannabis knowledge to help them. There are many types... Read More

Change Agent

BEING A BETTER MANAGER
Your Role...

5th August 2016

BEING A BETTER MANAGER - As a cannabis store owner, manager, assistant manager or supervisor, you are a change agent. You are constantly called on to initiate, implement and manage change. The change... Read More

Assessments, Software Can Help Disp...

2nd August 2016

Your dispensary risks paying a steep price if you fall out of compliance with state law. You can be locked in months-long administrative holds, your products and bank accounts can be seized, and you... Read More

Laying Out Your Dispensary with the...

2nd August 2016

Why is your bud counter where it is? How come your T-shirts and pipes are over there? And what’s up with your lobby area? Chances are that the layout of your store has evolved over time. Maybe... Read More

Marketing Your Dispensary Without C...

29th July 2016

When retailers want to increase sales, they just advertise on television, radio or the internet, or do something like putting leaflets on cars. But it’s not so easy if your are looking for ways of... Read More

Should You Use a Patient Intake For...

29th July 2016

Does your dispensary use a patient intake form for all new customers? If not, maybe you should. Intake forms can be a powerful way to quickly learn about the patient so you can provide personalized... Read More

Learn, Share and Don’t Be Secreti...

29th July 2016

TACOMA, Wash.—New or prospective cannabis cultivators should learn as much as they can and not be afraid to share their knowledge with others, the Cultivation Panel told its audience here at the... Read More

Taking Large Cash Payments? What Yo...

26th July 2016

If you’re in the cannabis industry, chances are you deal with large cash payments as a part of your daily work. But are you aware that the IRS requires you to file a special form anytime you... Read More

Spinning Trash into Community Relat...

26th July 2016

The next time you’re in Oakland, Calif., on a Saturday morning, keep an eye out for James Anthony. He’ll be the one in the yellow vest picking up trash. So why would one of the cannabis... Read More

Training Is Key to Security for Cas...

26th July 2016

Running a cash-only business is risky. And the key to mitigating that risk, according to Derek Porter, is staff-wide training. “Strictly enforced security regiments with the overall staff:... Read More

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