Less than two months after select dispensaries had their grand openings, Vermont’s retail cannabis market is embarking on its first holiday season.
Meredith Mann, the co-owner of Magic Mann in Essex Junction says it has gotten off to a blazing start.
“It has been very busy,” she said. “People are stocking up to see their family and have a relaxing Thanksgiving.”
Mann has been an advocate in the industry for over 30 years and opened her shop for business earlier this month. She says the demand on Black Friday didn’t compare to the pre-Thanksgiving crowd.
“Everybody is buying a lot of pre-rolls,” Mann said. “We’re rolling them and making them quicker and making them quicker than we can sell and make them right now.”
Other dispensaries in Chittenden County say they are seeing similar festive foot traffic.
“Wednesday was awesome,” Sarah Coshow, the director of retail operations at Green State Dispensary, said. “Everyone preparing to go home to the family. They did a lot of preparation by standing in line and picking up some pre-rolls and edibles.”
While Black Friday has come and gone, shops say there will be plenty more opportunities for deals, including an ongoing points system.
“We have a joke that every day is kind of like Black Friday around here,” said Reily Amerosa, an employee at Winooski Organics. “We give discounts all the time, we give veterans discounts, medical discounts.”
October’s introduction into Vermont’s retail cannabis market left several dispensaries with depleted shelves, as many Green Mountain cultivators had just started their harvest.
“It’s a little bit like a bakery because we only have a certain amount from certain growers,” Amerosa said. “Some people have more, some people have less. It’s definitely more about how people did last year.”
However, the maturing market has seen an increase in product, leaving dispensaries confident in their ability to withstand a continued uptick in demand.
“I’ve been spending most of my time having, building and keeping relationships with cultivators and manufacturers, some that I’ve had for years and I’m excited to finally put the pieces together,” Mann said.
Coshow added that the process for acquiring inventory has streamlined.
“There is an uptick in licensing right now where they are moving a little faster through things,” she said. “Also, the testing has gone on a lot quicker. So, there’s been a lot of calls from people that want to drop us off samples.”
Mann says a challenge for dispensary owners has been advertising, as much of their marketing must go through the state’s cannabis control board. Much of her clientele has been repeat customers.