Cannabis companies are lighting up the holidays with seasonal promotions in an effort to build better customer relationships.
Dispensaries in states where marijuana is legal, like Colorado and Washington, are getting into the spirit as early as Halloween, or “Halloweed,” offering special promotions, like eighths for half-off and boxes of pre-rolled joints at deep discounts. Once the Christmas season swings into gear, manufacturers will pitch retailers joints packed inside plastic candy canes, THC-infused chocolate Santas and elf gummies that will get you high.
“The issue is not supply,” said Patrick Woods, CEO of Toronto-based Tormont Group, a company that pairs U.S. cannabis companies with Canadian retailers. “What it comes down to is how do stores compete with branding, and attract consumers to walk into the store?”
To drive foot traffic around the holidays, the U.S. marijuana industry — which generated $8.5 billion in revenue in 2017, according to The Arcview Group, and is projected to reach $23.4 billion by 2022 — is adopting some of retail’s most tried-and-true tactics, like special deals, novelty items and promotions. But these cannabis companies have a longer-term goal in mind: Mirroring a broader trend in the retail industry, they’re also leaning more heavily on customer loyalty programs, using the phone numbers and emails they have collected to get a better handle on customer data to promote more personalized products.
They’re capitalizing on a growing market: For the first time, more than half of U.S. and Canadian consumers of legal smoking age surveyed by the consulting firm A.T. Kearney said they would try a legal cannabis product, especially if it came from a “well-established” brand.
Though national quarterly data on marijuana sales is hard to come by, ancillary businesses — such as data analytics firms and seed-to-sale tracking operations — say sales tend to slow down around the holiday season. It’s unclear why, but some dispensaries curtail their hours in the winter.