Properly dealing with legal issues and hurdles is one of the biggest challenges cannabis retail operations face on a daily basis. The nascent set of cannabis reciprocity laws developing across the nation is a good example of this. Today, we’re going to look at some of the potential impacts of these laws, and how they can affect your business:
1. Status of cannabis reciprocity laws in your state
The first question you need to answer before selling to customers with out-of-state cannabis cards is whether a formal legal structure for cannabis reciprocity exists in your state, as not every state allows these sales, or allows sales to all types of potential customers (some states may allow medical patients to qualify for purchases, while banning cannabis retail operations from selling to recreational users). A quick breakdown of most states’ laws can be found here.
2. Educate customers on usage/possession laws
Next, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with all the local and state regulations relevant to cannabis possession and usage that may be unfamiliar to your out-of-state visitors. Sometimes these can be pretty crazy; for example, in Nevada it is illegal to water ski, surf, or embark on a carnival ride while under the influence of cannabis, believe it or not. Transportation issues are another thing to consider refreshing your staff on; you don’t want people inadvertently smuggling drugs across state lines. Education is a fantastic way to add value to this customer demographic – check out this article for some additional strategies that can help maximize profits when selling to cannabis tourists.
3. Enhanced compliance burden
Most states are understandably more concerned with drafting, implementing, and policing their own set of laws and policies than evaluating other areas approaches to the matter. Consequently, you may need to track more or less data related to these sales, or deal with additional non-standard procedures of some sort. Investing in a well-designed cannabis POS system can often help mitigate this issue and take the confusion out of the process – give this article a read to learn more about some of the common compliance issues cannabis dispensaries face.
4. Huge economic opportunity
While dealing with the issues above is certainly a hassle, there is a good reason for cannabis retail operations to consider doing so – cold, hard cash. Articles describing the financial bonanza states are reaping from the green craze are everywhere, like this one describing the economic rejuvenation of the Oakland area. Just take a moment to consider some numbers – Nevada, primarily due to Las Vegas, gets over 40 million tourists annually. If just one percent of those tourists have cannabis cards from states with reciprocity, that is over 400,000 new customers annually for the state. While other states probably can’t match the tourism power of Vegas, this still remains a potentially huge source of revenue for cannabis retail operations everywhere.
As you can see, making the choice to service cannabis tourists definitely has some potential pitfalls associated with it, but most cannabis retail operations will ultimately embrace the practice as reciprocity laws continue to develop and evolve in order to secure a lucrative new customer demographic. For more news and insight relevant to cannabis dispensaries, subscribe to our blog.