Marijuana Business Magazine February 2020

Marijuana Business Magazine | February 2020 68 In researching a suitable venue, Canna Demos assigns each retailer a value based on branding, the location of the pop-up space and the staff ’s willingness to learn about a particular product and provide feedback. Canna Demos looks at the demographics of a store’s customers and what brings them in the door. The company also collects information about the number of people who come into the store, how much they buy and the prices of staple items on the shelves. When conducting in-store promotions on behalf of a brand, Canna Demos’ ambassadors answer customers’ questions and try to steer them toward the products appropriate for their needs. “People don’t just want to hear why they should buy something,” Kaiser said. “They need to know that the product will solve a problem for them. The seller must find out what that problem is through conversation, as cannabis is not a one- size-fits-all.” Denver-based Sweet Grass, a maker of cannabis-infused baked goods, times its pop-ups to coincide with the promotions it lines up each calendar year, scheduling the events at stores that get the most foot traffic. During its pop-ups, the company typically offers customers a form of “buy one, get one” (BOGO) promotion in which the second item costs $1 or is sold for 50% off the regular price. Permanent Pop-Up Holding pop-up events in marijuana retailers is one way cannabis companies can connect directly with consumers. But because the pop-ups are temporary, there’s no guarantee that a company’s products will stay top of mind the next time a customer visits the store. That’s why CalEthos, a Tustin, California-based holding company that owns cannabis stores, has created a retail concept dubbed Showcase. The company plans to build a chain of large-format retail stores in Southern California that will have permanent spaces for cannabis suppliers to display their products and interact with customers. CalEthos CEO Michael Campbell is in the process of negotiating deals for several locations. Similar to the cosmetics counters in department stores such as Nordstrom or Macy’s, Showcase stores will range in size from 20,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet and provide leading cannabis companies with custom brand boutiques offering 84 feet of display shelving. There also will be a “chill zone”—refrigerated stations and wall coolers that will display hundreds of infused beverages and edibles. “We wanted an environment where there was a permanent brand ambassador and they could showcase everything they make,” CalEthos President Piers Cooper said. The Showcase Café will offer food and drinks as well as catering services for the facility’s events center, which can accommodate up to 200 people for daily classes and seminars about cannabis. CalEthos also is looking at ways to include a medical component in the stores—whether it’s an on-site consulting physician, pain-management doctors or compound pharmacists. That could be challenging because of privacy laws and the challenge of manufacturing medical cannabis compounds in the Showcase stores. “We’re wrestling with that, but we will have a section dedicated to the medical side of cannabis,” Campbell said. Showcase also has an app that saves customers’ orders as they shop and can make recommendations based on previous purchases. CalEthos plans to build up to 10 Showcase facilities throughout Southern California over the next decade. It expects the first store to open by the end of the first quarter of 2020. “We’re willing to look at other markets, but they have to meet our demographic,” he said. “We’re not competing for the experienced marijuana user. We’re going after the newbie, the curious, the millennial housewife, the over-50 crowd and (baby) boomers.” – Margaret Jackson CalEthos plans to host in-store boutiques that let consumers explore a cannabis company’s full product line. Photo courtesy of CalEthos Canna Demos staffs a pop-up for Shift. Courtesy Photo Making Your Products Pop