I had the absolute pleasure and honor of interviewing today’s guest, Peter Ingram. He’s the CEO of Maine Cannabis Exchange and one of the best people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. The integrity and passion he displays in growing his dispensaries are world-class.
A bit about Maine Cannabis Exchange:
They’re a vertically integrated State licensed medical cannabis business. They craft their own high-quality naturally grown cannabis flower into accurately dosed and third-party tested medicines.
Please check them out here: https://www.mainecannabisexchange.com/
Cannabud Marketing is the top digital marketing agency for Cannabis Dispensaries. Our specialized expertise will put you in the best position to succeed when working with us.
Book your audit with us here: https://cannabudmarketing.com/
What’s going on guys? Welcome to another episode of the dispensary marketing podcast. I’m your host, Brandon Quan, the founder of Cannabud Marketing, the number one dispensary marketing agency in both Canada and the United States. And I’m joined here by Peter from Maine cannabis exchange.
He’s the founder, he’s your go-to guy. He’s running the best dispensary in all of Portland, south Portland, all of Maine actually want you to welcome Peter to the podcast. Thanks for joining . Thanks, Brandon. that’s quite the introduction. I, I’m not sure. I agree with everything you said that’s way too big for what I’m doing, but, but I do appreciate your vote of confidence in what we’re up to.
No worries. Like we’re here to push you, promote you as best as possible, so, from not . so just to get started, tell us a little bit about yourself. Yeah, sure. well, I, I live in Maine, first and foremost, I decided to move here after graduating college. It’s a great state to, to be, taking advantage of being by the coast and, and this, beautiful countryside we’ve got.
I studied bio and so I, I left a college with a biology degree, studied up at Boden in Brunswick, Maine, very interested in technological sciences, very, interested in health and fitness, and mental health and fitness, and, and also spiritual health and fitness. And so, after working for geez, a couple decades in, business, I, I ran a company in New York city with some family, a few other things, in different places around the world, decided that I wanted to focus in on, on something more plant based and plant based medicine, seemed like a really good fit for what my interests were and my beliefs were.
So, back in 2014, I got a, a caregiver license here in Maine, which were really easy to get. You just had to apply and not have the, you know, the improper criminal records. And, and I started a little grow and, and went from there. So, that’s how I got going. My, my, my background is in business and in science and, yeah.
yeah. So did you always have that entrepreneurship gene, you know, were you always like, Hey, I’m gonna start a business. I’m always gonna do something myself. How did that whole process, you know, come? Yeah, I didn’t, I didn’t have a whole lot of a choice. My father was an entrepreneur and basically fed that doctrine to us, my whole childhood, my, my two brothers exact same thing.
So, so we all ended up running our own businesses. So one point we ran a business together, which was really fun and cool, but, but yeah, entrepreneurship has been part of the, the DNA since the beginning, right. That in education, my mom’s side is, is, are all teachers, all science teachers, in fact.
And so, I think that this industry, in particular having stores, in this industry is a really cool, confluence of those two backgrounds where business meets education, particularly, you know, now with cannabis and so much more knowledge about how the OID systems, work. it’s a really great place to be.
It’s really, really fun. So it sounds like, I guess timing played a pretty big portion, cuz like you said, you know, the health portion, you know, the entrepreneurship portion, it sounds like, you know, kind of the whole medical cannabis space, like is a perfect mix between the two. Like what, you know, did you always wanna start a dispensary or did it just so happen that this thing that came out was something that you’d be interested in? man.
Yeah, no that’s timing like so many things. Timing is really important. You know, I did a lot of real estate in the past locations, really important there, but timing is as well. But the timing on this for me, it was very fortuitous. you know, of course I looked at, looked at things critically and, and, and looked for the opportunities.
But I think about, you know, people trying to enter this business right now and how they could be such better business people than me. but the opportunity, when I was going for it was there. And I think that that window closes really quickly. other opportunities open up obviously, but, but, timing was really important.
I don’t think I would have been able to accomplish the, the things that we’ve accomplished so far as a company without the right timing. Yeah. Right. So I have a question just, you know, you said one of your focuses is like on the mental fitness side of things and you know, just my own curiosity deviating for the marketing podcast is like, I really get caught up in the like, okay, gotta be as productive as possible, gotta be on the grind all the time.
And like, even when I’m like not working, I feel almost guilty that I’m not working and I should be doing work and stuff like that. Do you, do you face that at all? And if you do, how do you kind of sort yourself out when it comes to that? I mean that that’s the entrepreneurial conundrum, right? Like you, you have all this freedom because you’re doing your own thing, but you, you’re a, you’re a slave to your business because if you don’t show up, nobody else is showing up necessarily and it doesn’t get done.
And then you’re, you’re a step behind. So, I think that’s where a lot of the mental fitness comes in, from, from, from a balanced perspective, you know, it’s, it’s actually a really cool industry to be in because so much of cannabis and cannabis use is about balancing, you know, your, your energy, your energy levels, whether it’s, you know, calming yourself for sleep or waking yourself for productivity.
But that’s, that’s a constant battle and I do use cannabis for that. And I think a lot of our, our customers do as well. Right. But, but yeah, I, I, there’s all sorts of ways to, to help with metal fitness. Obviously. That’s just part of it for me, plant medicine is part of it, but yes, there’s also, you know, the traditional stuff too, whether it’s, counseling or, good, good habits and meditation is a big part of my, my daily routine, those sorts of things.
Right, right. Yeah. I, I just started that up as well. You know, getting a little bit of meditation in just, yeah, just kind of, you know, just saying in that moment, right. Just being like, okay, you know, this just enjoy the process of what’s going on. It is what it is at this point. And, you know, try not to worry about these million different things that you, you, you can’t really control.
Right. You know, control control. That’s the, the word that comes to mind for sure, is, is trying to focus in on what you really can control. Yeah, exactly. you know, and ultimately you can control what you feel and how, how you, how you perceive things. and there’s a lot of things you can control, but, but yeah, I think part of meditation for me, like with you, it sounds like is, is grappling with what you can and cannot control and then, you know, accepting that right.
Acceptance of it is the challenge. Yeah. We try to control cause, cause I heard this interesting quote and you know, the guy was like, you know, you’re, you were successful when you say you are. I was like, like, I guess that makes sense. Right? Like, you know, you’re not successful when you reach this arbitrary goal, whether it’s financially, right.
Hey, I hit this number, boom. Or, Hey, I, you know, I got with this person, boom, or, Hey, I’m finally living in this space or finally I have a house. Right. Like, yeah. At the time, you know, you were successful when you officially say you are. Right. So I was like, ha that, that’s something very simple by like, it makes sense.
Right. I, I would take it a step further and say you’re successful when you truly believe that you are, you know? Yeah. I think that, that what you really truly feel inside and believe is so important to how to, how you perceive your life. Right, right, right. Carry, carry on your day. I’m I’m sure we, yeah.
We can have definitely have a separate kind of episode talking about this cause cuz I, I just started kind of getting into this stuff and it’s like super, I’m glad to hear it. Yeah. So exciting. It’s so exciting. And you know, with that, you know, the mental health obviously then the physical health is, is right there with it.
The spiritual health is right there with it. I think they’re also intertwined. you know, part of my mental health is, is taking care of my body. Right. And getting out there, doing exercise, being in nature, all those sorts of things and cannabis plays a role in a lot of that too, you know, in terms of, your experiences in nature.
Right. Right. So taking about to back to the markets you serve, obviously south Portland is the place to be. and if you are in south Portland, definitely go the main cannabis exchange. are you planning on doing any expansions kind of what’s the plan? You know, it’s interesting Brandon, We had bigger aspirations earlier on for expansion, into other markets in Maine, other markets in new England.
And then as, as the main market emerged, we realized that it’s gonna be really important to hunker down, focus in on our fundamentals and just make sure we can kind of hold our ground until the market kind of consolidates. So right now we don’t have any expansion goals. we’re really comfortable where we are.
We’ve got a, excuse me, we’ve got a cultivation that’s, reasonably sized for our own stores and be able to produce enough product for our stores. We’ve got a manufacturing component to our cultivation facility where we can produce basic products that are, you know, the high demand products for our stores.
Right. and we have, we have a lot of, we take a lot of pleasure in that. We take a lot of pride in that good, good quality ingredients. We can control, how the product is made and, and and we can also create a lot of value for our customers by keeping prices low, by doing those things in house. and we also love the fact that we’re networked in with the community, the, the, the caregiving community for our medical store and they don’t use, the suit licensees for our rec store.
We’ve got great, great craft producers. We’ve got great manufacturers in Maine. Maine has always been a place where, where craftmanship is held in high high esteem. And so we benefit from that and our customers benefit from that. So our relationships with other, with other, people in the industry is really important.
So, yeah, we’re really comfortable where we are. So two stores, a rec store, a medical store and our, and our cultivation in manufacturing is, is the right size for us. So it sounds like the cultivation side, obviously, you know, killing it, doing some really, really good job in terms of the quality of the product, the pricing of the product, you know, I always say, you know, on the loyalty side of things, if you want people to keep coming back, you know, good quality product, good pricing, good buying experience, and then a good customer experience.
Right? Yeah. so that leads me into kind of like, you know, your key differentiators, right? So I guess, you know, my, this is the original question is what do you think your key differentiators are as to buy people should buy. Right. But then as I kept asking that question, it kind of led me to, you know, what do your customers actually say? Right.
You know, so typically when customers walk into this store, what do they typically say, Hey, you know, you guys are so great because you do B, C, D FG. What are those? You know, you look at any one of our Google reviews and you can probably pick it out in the, if you’ve read 10 of ’em, you’d probably hit on the same three things, which is, Hey, it’s a really like convenient, easy place to go to.
So accessibility is a big part of it, you know, and we chose our locations because right off the Castaway bridge, you know, if you’re going to, or from Portland, you’re gonna pass our store. You’re gonna see our sign right on the cascade bay bridge. And, and so it’s super easy to pull off this road into our parking lot.
We got plenty parking. you know, we designed the, even the flow of the entrance of the building. So it’s really easy for people to access. We’re not gonna get cramed in to our, to our, our bigger store. Our littler store has other functionality issues, but, but our main store is doesn’t. And, and then just the flow of the space itself, people can walk in.
It’s not cramped, they’ve got plenty of room to move around. They it’s easy to see the displays. We designed everything so that you don’t have to crouch down and look, you can write everything right at eye level. And so, so access. And that was really, really important. That was one of the fundamentals when we were designing.
This whole thing is like, what are our, what are our priorities and accessibility? And it’s not just accessibility to like the physical access to this space, but it’s also, Hey, I want this place to be welcoming to my grandmother who may never have touched cannabis before, you know, my best friend who loves cannabis and has always loved it and knows everything about it.
And he’s, you know, super cool. but if you’re not cool and, you’re like me and you, like, don’t even know what’s on TV and that’s fine. I want you to be welcomed in our, in our place. I was in too many dispensaries where if I didn’t, I didn’t feel comfortable because I didn’t have the right vibe. Right, right.
I’m not a heavy consumer myself. I’m very interested in the product. I, I consume it, but I’m not a heavy consumer. And so, you know, a lot of times I’ve felt like I’ve walked into places and I wasn’t just, wasn’t cool enough to be there. Right. And I never want that for any of our customers. I want them to feel welcomed.
I want them to feel like they can ask any question whatsoever. And so accessibility is a big one. So that’s one of the things that people do say, they say, Hey, it’s really easy. This is like really, you know, nice store to go into. The other thing is customer service. Like you mentioned earlier, that’s, that’s, you know, you have to have it.
I think we’ve got great customer service. One of the things that we do, during our hiring process is, you know, we, we, we stack our applicants up against our core values and right up there on the top of our core values is kindness. You know, are these people kind, you know, are they gonna, are they gonna exude kindness to our customers, even when our customers are frustrated or are they are, they don’t want, know what they’re talking about? Cause they’ve never been in a dispensary before, are they gonna be kind and compassionate? And, and then education is a huge part too.
So, we want them to not only be, users of the product, but we also want them to, to be educators about the product. Right. So, so, and I think a lot of folks who have reviewed us on Google or weed maps, or really clear at other places have said, Hey, the staff is amazing. and then of course you need to have, you need to have good product.
You need to have good product. That’s fairly priced, right. We have a whole variety of stuff that we, we produce or we bring in and we try to, we try to offer a variety of things. So you can get anything that you want at our store. if you’re, you’re, you know, if you like to dab, great, we’ve got lots of options for you.
If you like flour, we’ve got, you know, 15 to 20 different strains on tap, you know, Sal edible, what, what, what, whatever you want. We’ve got it. Right. Right. So those are the three things. So on the, on the hiring side, was that always your process or did that kind of evolve over time? Like how, how did you come to the conclusion that you wanted to hire kind people or was that always one of your core values? It’s a great, a very good question.
So, I always knew what my, my core values were going into this, but I didn’t necessarily feel like I needed to, to put those on anybody else. So originally I just hired talent, you know, they did, they have the, the resume to support the activity. Did they have, you know, the acumen to, you know, be, be nimble on their feet.
Right. And, it was through growing pain. So we, we, we had to, we had to transition through some, you know, upper level people. And we had to, relieve some folks that just weren’t giving the customer the right experience. and it really came from, from higher, higher up. And I was forced, you know, within the last year to really reinvent our, our team ethics.
So this was new. Yeah, it was surprisingly, I thought that it was always there, but, but it, you know, as, as we grew and I was kind of distracted from the very core group of people that had started the business with me and, you know, then all of a sudden we’ve got, you know, 20 people and then, you know, it just gets bigger.
And, and I was a little bit outta touch with it. And then I realized that the team mentality just kind of was all shattered and broken and, and our, and we were gonna lose good people. And so I really focused a lot on helping, the team design Our core values, you know. What are the top three, what we got honesty, kindness, and communication.
And then there’s a whole one list of ones, but, but, we really focus on those, those top three and in the process of kind of sorting through the folks that, that didn’t fit with that kindness model. and also the honesty obviously, then we, we kind of kept the people that were in line and now moving forward and we are hiring, kind, there’s a consistent kind of matriculation.
Right? Of course. So and so, and so, as we hire, if that kindness and that, you know, accessibility, like we want that person that we’re hiring to also be open arms to everybody, every walk of life, you know, every personal choice. we don’t want anybody walking into store that doesn’t feel welcome.
So the people that we hire have to have that disposition and that kindness, and, and that’s really done wonders for not only our customer’s experience, but our staff’s experience. Like we, you know, the other day somebody was, getting ready to open the doors and there was some singing going on, you know, down the hallway now, shout out, Hey, I love hearing you sing, you know, you’re not walking on eggshells.
You’re not worried about what your coworker’s thinking, you’re feeling right at home. And that’s beautiful. Right. Right. I mean, we spoke about this before. Right. It was like, it’s, it’s the culture of things. It’s like how you, as a business operates on core values, that’s essentially what it is.
Right. Yeah. And I find a lot of times, like you said, are they talented? Do they have the resume to fit the job description of what I think they’re gonna do? Yes. Okay. Let’s go higher. But then a lot of times it happens back. It’s like, okay, they, they know what they can do. Maybe they do it well, but there’s another side of the business, which is that, that, that EQ side.
Right. Cuz you are interacting with people, right. Whether it’s your own colleagues or whether it’s people you’re trying to sell to. And if, if there is a disconnect between that, then you you’re, you’re breaking that chain. Right. That is the weakest link of the chain. And then you’ll have to kind of do a, you is like restructure everything.
Right. So it’s grow what you went through. Right. Yeah. And I think every company that’s, you know, that’s grown a little bit, particularly in a fast, fast paced market has, has gone through this. I don’t know any business that’s been successful that hasn’t had growing pains. Right. And we have plenty of them.
We still, you know, we’re still working through ’em but, as I’m sure I’m, as I’m sure you are, you know, it’s, that’s, that’s, that’s the name of the game though. And if you can keep, if you can keep growing, you know, right. With those pains, I think you’re, you’re in good form. Yeah. You know, the other, the other thing that I wanna talk about in terms of, in terms of our differentiator is, you know, as a biologist and, someone who’s extremely interested in an environment in the environment, I find it pretty ironic that I’m in this industry.
I, I, I didn’t consume a lot of cannabis. I can tell you a little bit about my background. I, I, I never drank in high school. I, I, I got drunk after I was 21 for the first time in college with the assistance of my best friend who happened to go to another school up here, Colby and I had him come down and I was like, Hey, I wanna get drunk this weekend.
The first time. Right. It was after soccer season. Cause I was a big athlete. I didn’t wanna, I didn’t wanna ruin any of my sports. Yeah. And yeah, I was, I was really green and, and pretty, pretty naive. But, but anyway, he came down and he kind of, he kind of shepherded me. He, he was my usher into this like, you know, altered experience, that I had with, with alcohol.
Right, right. I didn’t like it. He, you know, he walked me through the whole process even like I even got sick that day, you know? And that was part of, that was part of what the experience I wanted. I was like, I just wanna know what it feels like. Anyway, he was the same guy who introduced me to cannabis, a year later.
And you know, was the, this, the strain was Alaskan thunder, fuck. You know, sorry for the language. I didn’t name it but, but it was, it was a little seed that he, he brought over to my, my dorm room and I grew it in my closet and I’d never really experienced cannabis before. And it was such a happy plant.
I, I just laughed and laughed and laughed. And, it was consequently a, a, or subsequently a, a plant that we grew for many years, when I opened the business because I really wanted it back. And I wanted the customers to experience that, that joy. and it’s one of my favorite strains, but, I, I got sidetracked here, but the environmental consequences.
So, so, so I find it strange. So I don’t have this huge history with cannabis that I’m in this industry. Right. But, but you know, like I said, the juxtaposition of health, mental health, physical health, spiritual health, and science is cannabis is a great place to be, Except for the environmental consequences of all the, you know, the carbon that are, are, you know, our lights produce and our cooling systems, and all the packaging that the state requires and, and the, the municipals requires, it’s just, it’s, it’s really a paradox for us.
So we spend a lot of energy and I spend personally a lot of energy trying to figure out how to, how to offset that. And so I’m proud to say that our three facilities, our two stores and our cultivation, we’ve in we’ve, invested into, solar so that we can offset our carbon footprint. So I feel really proud about that.
Right. And then the other thing that we’ve we’ve done is we’ve explored, packaging solutions that are compostable. And so it’s not a hundred percent, not all of our packaging is compostable right now, but we’ve got to the point where many of our products are in corn based or soy, soy, or canola based.
Bioplastics, you know, the problem with bioplastics is that a lot of them are, I think they only have to be 30% bio and the, they can be 70% plastic. And so yeah, they say it’s compostable because the, the biopolymers are holding together plastic. And so you bring it home and you put in your compost and the bio polymers break up and they leave these nice, beautiful little piece of plastic in your, in your organic compost.
What good is that? Yeah. so, so we’re going towards a hundred percent bio bioplastics for our joint tubes, for our, for our eighth bags. And those are our biggest, our biggest sellers. So we produce a lot of waste that way, and then we’re gonna offer composting for our, our customers at the, at the facility, at our stores.
So I’m really proud about those efforts and we’re continuing to try to make strides there cause I think it’s important, you know? Yeah. And for any business that’s kind of entering this market, it’s not just the nice thing to, to do. It’s not just showy, but honestly, aside from being the right thing to do, it’s, you know, 50% of, of consumers now say that it’s important to them, you know, that the product, how the products are packaged, like what sort of are they in plastic? You know, and, and they’re making their, their purchasing decisions based on, based on that and the companies that support, support the, the products.
Well, I mean, I, I had an extensive chat with a, an eco waste company and they’re based out in California and, you know, they, they handle all the cannabis waste and stuff like that. So there’s different regulations and how you can dispose and, you know, just different things like that. Right. But we really got into the whole, like the single use items, like debate pens and the cartridges and stuff like that.
And how difficult, how really difficult it is to try and figure out a way to, you know, whether it’s recycled, just dispose of it properly in a way that’s environmentally friendly. Right. Cause you have the cartridge and then you have the, the cannabis oil that’s left inside that you can’t necessarily do anything of, and you have the battery and then it’s not modular because it’s just a single use.
So you can’t like take it part and separate it into different things. So yeah, we were talking about it he was like, he, he, the, the, the person I was interviewing asked, so what would you do this situation? I kind of just like sat here for like maybe five seconds. I was like, yeah, I I’m at a loss.
I really have no clue what to do. Right. Yeah. so, and, and that’s, and that’s like, and if you, and even if you could take it all part, you know, and put it all on there, separate little bins, like you’re unique because you might contemplate doing that, but most people just don’t have the time or the wherewithal to do that.
So it’s gotta either be regulated or it’s gotta be super simple. and, and, you know, we’re not perfect. You know, there are still disposable options at our stores because people really want them, but I’m, I’m trying hard to move away from those. And one of the ways you make it, you know, interesting to people is you make it price, price affordable, but that, that’s not the case with these, you know, these compostable bags are more expensive than the, the throwaway Mylar ones, but we do it anyway.
But until the pricing comes into parody, I don’t think it’s gonna be easy to do. Yeah. Yeah. You have to, you have to align the incentives. Right. If the incentives aren’t aligned for anyone that it’s very, very difficult to at least make that totally. And one of the things we do is we, we offer like a dollar incentive every time somebody brings back their exit bag, which is Mylar, and non-com compostable, they get the dial dollar off their, you know, their order and it’s simple, but, you know, it keeps the bag from going in the, in the waste stream, which is great.
Right, right, right. Yeah. So, do a lot of things. It sounds like you’re doing a really, really awesome job in terms of just making sure your customers are taking care of. Right. And obviously making sure are the same care of as well. Dry. Yeah. So, now the next big question is for a lot of not just dispensaries, just businesses in general is, okay, how do you get people coming in through the door? What are your different types of marketing that you do? And you know, which ones are successful for you? Yeah.
Well, the state, you know, obviously limits what we can do. They have every state’s different, you know, so, you know, We can’t do billboards, we can’t do radio, specifically because we have to, we have to prove that a very large percentage of the audience is 21 or over. Right. And it’s, it’s really hard to do that, in most cases.
So, you know, some of the things we’ve contemplated is like, you know, geo geocaching around certain area and geo, I don’t know, geofencing around certain areas, you know, demographic related, target marketing, you know, based on age or, or whatever you got. But, we haven’t had a lot of success.
We did do, we did do like banner ads on reputable websites through, I dunno if I should name companies or not, but it was a company outta Massachusetts that, that does this at a very large level with like high quality travel sites and things like that. We didn’t have great success, even though they were marketing to like a very specific, you know, geographical area and a specific demographic that already purchased cannabis possibly from one of our competitors like that.
And really, I mean, they were, they, they were showing us the numbers saying, Hey, yeah, we’re meeting our targets. And like, it’s pretty lame still. Yeah. So, so I pull, I pulled out of that. I didn’t think that the, the return on the investment was good enough. we don’t do any direct mail. We don’t do radio, because of that, TV.
Really the stuff that we focused on is, online. So our SEO stuff, you know, with you guys has been fantastic that nudge, nudge. Yeah, no, that’s, that’s, that’s certainly been one of our best investments. And so the one that we consistently, you know, consistently making and, I think we’re getting value from, we do social media stuff, but we we’ve been really lame at it to be quite Frank.
You know, our Instagram and our Facebook are, are hurting, but I’ve recently brought somebody on to help kind of streamline that, which I’m excited about. And hopefully we see some changes there and we spend a bunch of money, you know, we spend a bunch of money on weed maps, Leafly. and I hate that, honestly, because as soon as I stopped spending money, I lose that.
So I don’t feel like I own anything. It was the same thing when I was in real estate, we’d spend a bunch of money in Zillow, you know, try to market it in Zillow. And the more you spent, the more you money you made, and as soon as you stopped, you were nobody. and that’s kind of how these other platforms feel, but it’s a necessary evil right now because so many consumers do go through, you know, those platforms.
But I think that as our website gets more and more searchable, then at some point we may even consider like, yeah, it’s not worth it to, to market on these places. Are you finding? So I had a chat with, an owner out in Montana and their thing was, there they’re always 10, 10 years behind everything that’s going on because I ask them like, are there any marketing channels that aren’t necessarily working for you and to give you full context as a 10 year thing, they’re like, yeah.
You know, very few people order online. They, they always call in and a lot of it is word of mouth can really use the internet, like the internet, you know, using the internet is like a relatively kind of new in terms of, buyer behavior. Right. Okay. so, I, I went to the question about like, okay, so a lot of times I’ve been hearing that, you know, companies like weed maps and Leafly, they had talking about timing, very good timing.
They were the first ones to kind of do what they were doing as kind of compliance regulations. Restrictions kind of took that away from them. They kind of lost that sort of value add in terms of, Hey, I can charge you $10,000 a month and you’re gonna get a return. A lot of times I’m finding a lot of like, kind of owners are not seeing that sort of return.
So are you seeing kind of like a, not to bash any sort of marketing strategy, but are you seeing that sort of downward trajectory with weed maps and leafy, or is it still continue working well? Or is it even going up? I don’t know if I can give you a straightforward answer on that because I have, I have a nice team that I’m working with at, at weed maps and also Leafly.
My, my reps are pretty good and I are really good, I should say. And I, I, I have made it a point to meet with them weekly and I’m asking, I’m telling ’em, Hey, look like, I’m not gonna keep this service unless I’m talking to you weekly. Right. And, and every week I want you to tell me something else so that I can do, I, I just want a little bit, cause I can only take a baby step at a time.
Cause that’s what I, what I am capable of. Right. And, and so every week I take a little baby step in the right direction and consequently, our numbers are doing pretty well nice, but it takes maintenance. Right. And, my perspective Brendan was that I’m not gonna pay for this service if it’s not, if it’s not working for me.
Right. But it’s also, but also at the same time, I’m thinking I have a whole bunch of things in play and I shouldn’t like, can anyone or try anything new until I’ve really maximized the things that I’ve got yeah. In every part of my business. And that’s really what I’m working on now. So maybe asked me earlier if I wanted to expand.
Well, not right now. I mean, ultimately yeah. I’d love to have, I’d love to have four stores. I’m allowed to have four, four adult use stores in Maine. I’d love to have four adult use stores and, and you know, a bigger cultivation, but not until I’ve, I’ve really made every part of my business. Hum. The way it’s supposed to.
And I’ve kind of, kind of got, down, down the rabbit hole with the, you know, the Toyota way and reading, reading some of the books about, you know, about really cutting your, cutting your costs out and identifying where your, where your waste is and right. and on, on the same token, it’s, you know, well, how, how do we also maximize our incomes based on what we’ve already got in play that we’re not, they’re not leveraging and certainly weed maps mean you you’ve showed me a bunch.
You, you and brands showed me a bunch about what we can be doing, you know, through the Google platform. That’s, you know, it’s out there it’s, it’s free or, you know, with, with, you know, professional help. Like you guys, you can get there even faster, but that’s been, that’s been really huge for us, but it’s taking what we already have and just making the most of it.
Right, right. So on the, I guess, and like you said, it’s a lot of things, right? It’s like you have these specific systems in place and you know, maybe they saw you on beat maps, but then they just Googled you afterwards and then they went through Google. So it’s hard to necessarily attribute what is successful until you can really get a good idea about what’s going on.
Right. Yeah. So just wanted to take a deep dive in terms of the value for the listeners out there. If you were to maybe take, I don’t know, two or three, or maybe a handful of priority marketing tasks or strategies that you would employ for your business, which ones have been the most successful successful for you? maybe on a revenue generation side, or even on a profitability side, just however way you wanna determine success for your business.
Yeah. I mean, I, honestly, this is not my strong suit, so you have to take it with a grain. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like I, I’m kind of shooting from the hip when I answer this, but my gut tells me that, Most of our business comes from, from Google searches that that’s, that’s my that’s I think, where, where we’re getting our, our biggest benefit.
And I think that there may have been a, spreadsheet or something that I’ve seen, that that’s backing that up, that, that a large, the largest percentage of our, our traffic comes from Google searches, you know, organic searches with our name in it. Yes. and then I think, I think followed, followed by, I think probably weed maps is probably our next, next biggest one.
But I also think that grassroots stuff has helped us a lot. Right? Yes. So we, we have, you know, signage, simple stuff like signage, you know, like, are your signs easy to understand, like, what is your sign? You know, does it say, you know, main cannabis exchange, craft cannabis, you know, dispensary, south Portland, Maine, and like, you can’t read the whole thing, you know, I’ve had suggestions, Hey, you should put your website address up on, you know, like just, there’s a whole lot of dumb stuff you can do, but right.
But, but you know, we got a big old cross, you know, and I think that people, people recognize that, you know, and we’re, we’re extremely visible from, from the street. anyway, so those, those are the things I think have given us the biggest bang for the buck. But by, by and large, I think that the, the online presence on, on Google has helped us most.
Have you, have you experimented with lawn signs at all? We have. I mean, I’m not sure exactly what you mean by lawn signs. We’ve got those, like, you know, the flag ones that wave in the winds. So not the flag ones. So again, interesting outside perspective is that, another, another, one of the clients that I was working with, they, they, they just use lawn signs and I was like, you know, just give it a shot.
Right. It’s I don’t know. What’s a, what’s a lawn sign. Is it like the way you see like just a retainer thing that you stick in the ground? So it’s just was like, they got a bunch of those going up right now because people are running for state states. Exactly, exactly. So, you know, when people vote, whatever you see these lawn site and stuff like that.
Yeah. Right. And, Funny enough, we’re talking about all these online things that can work, SEO, Google driving dispensary near me, all these keywords and stuff like that. Yeah. And he was like, before we started working together again, talking about like just foundational and traditional marketing things, like just getting ads out there.
He’s like, I put up lawn signs outside and like you said, the vote vote for me, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Yeah. I was thinking about it. I was like, okay, it’s I dunno, 200 bucks for a handful of lawn signs, just put them everywhere. And you know, people know what’s going on. And funny enough, he had a decent amount of people kind of come in.
I don’t know what he defined as decent, but I’m assuming for 200 bucks, like you can, you know what I like any of customers pretty good for that amount. yeah. I dunno if that would be part of, kind of your brand identity to do that. But I do know that, you know, signs work apparently just by saying, Hey, come visit us.
And I know you have that age gated thing. So you probably can’t put main cannabis exchange. You might say, right. E come visit us for some flower and then put like a link on the, whatever it is, like a cheek thing. Yeah. Put it up everywhere. and it was successful. And the cool thing about that is you can also like AB test these signs.
So in the marketing world, you have AB testing, meaning that you changed one variable to see if this, that, that change resulted in, closer to the, to the goal that you’re looking to achieve. Right. So you can play around with these lawn signs, right? You can do like, you know, happy Valentine’s day from CE.
And as you continue doing this, it’s a cheaper way than spending $10,000 on a billboard sign. Not saying that you guys can do it anyways, but instead of paying $10,000 on a billboard sign, people that hit these high traffic areas are always gonna see this sign, but in different variations and sooner or later, you’re gonna hit a threshold that people come in.
Right. and then I’ve, I’ve heard that yeah. In my small sample size that at least in the medical space, the demographic of people who purchase are, are slightly higher. Right. Typically 55, plus an at least from what I heard. Right. So a lot of these guys and girls, they’re not necessarily doing the whole Google search.
Right. They’re, they’re the ones that are walking around, going for strolls and stuff like that. Right. They’re the ones that are driving around or being driven around. Right. And seeing these signs. And that might be another way for you to tap into another channel what’s going on. So I don’t know if that provided any insight or that might help at all, but I think it’s at least a low cost way for you to experiment a way, like, if it works great, if it doesn’t like, it’s, you know, the investment, isn’t that big.
So that’s why I asked. Yeah. And I think it’s a really good point. I think that, you know, we, we tend to think that everybody is always searching online because so many people do. But, but yeah, I think there’s a lot of people that probably there’s a, there’s a percentage of people anyway, that don’t, and this is gonna draw them in.
It brings back some memories when my first jet started in real estate, I was, you know, driving around, like we buy houses, signs, you know, it’s, I don’t know, it brings back good memories and bad memories, a lot of calls off those don’t ever put these signs up the hard time, you know, like we don’t wanna see your type of people here.
And, but anyway, you, if you don’t, if you don’t, I had a neighbor come by the other day. Cause we put up a huge sign on the side of our, our building. It’s big as this, the city would let us and came by and it’s kinda very diplomatic, like yeah. So that that’s quite a big sign you’ve you’ve put up there, you know, it’s like the first thing that people see when they come to south Portland and I’m sure a lot of people don’t appreciate it.
And I said, yeah, it’s it’s just large enough to offend a lot of people. So it’s gonna be doing its job. Yes. You know, cuz if it’s not, if it’s not big enough to get offensive, it’s not big enough to get noticed. You’re not gonna get your bang for your buck. Right. So, so no, I think the science is a good idea.
Yeah. Yeah. So, so give it a shot. Let me know. I’m very, very curious and you know, hopefully, hopefully it works. You can even do, a parody. There’s another kind of mine that did a parody of the lawn signs and saying, you know, you know, vote for John, you know, vote for CE. Right. That ended up getting picked up by like a social media page that went kidding little viral, which is really fun.
That’s a neat idea. You know, I don’t know, you know, how, how it went off, but I feel when you do offline activities, the more creative you can get to kind of break away from what people typically do from the, you know, buy here, then put a phone number, right. Like that’s not different, but if you can put like, you know, made the fourth and then you have a Darth Vader thing coming and saying, Hey, you know, made the fourth, be with you, come visit us CE.
It’s just like a really cool way for you to just generate more eyes and generate more people talking and, and, and generate that awareness for your business. Because if we’re looking at that customer acquisition framework. So, you know, I don’t know if I, I told you this since we last spoke, but I kind of built out, okay, what makes dispensaries tick in terms of growth and sales, right? It’s three main things.
It’s awareness. People need to know you exist in the first place or also it doesn’t matter. It’s conversion. You need to convert the people who are aware of you and then it’s loyalty, right? Your brick and mortar, one location. You need to have customers coming back over and over and over again. Right? Yeah.
Yeah. So on that awareness piece, it, it definitely gets you more aware. And especially if you have a medical side where people may not be looking online, you know, give it a shot. I think, think it might be something worth checking out. I love, I love grassroots marketing. I think it’s gr I think it’s great.
Super and it’s super fun. Yeah. Yeah. so on, you know, back to the online stuff, let’s chat a little bit about kind of like the email and SMS stuff. So I know you mentioned you had some loyalty programs in the past, so, but let’s, let’s talk about that. Like, you know, so I know you you’ve switched through a couple loyalty, you know, softwares or companies, however you want to say it.
Yep. What, what did they say to you that made you want to sign on with them? And why did you end up leaving after that? Obviously it’s an ROI question, but what was kind of like the, the nuts and bolts of it. Yeah. So, so, thanks for bringing that up. loyalty. We do offer a great loyalty program. Aside from the, you know, the SMS programs.
We, we do offer a five, 5% back to all of our customers on every purchase in terms of loyalty points. And, and so people can build up quite a lot of loyalty. Right. it’s a huge expense. It’s actually probably one of our bigger marketing expenses. It is our biggest marketing expense. Right. But it’s, but it adds a lot of value for our customers.
So a lot of folks really appreciate the loyalty program. So, you know, we try to reach out to them. I think it was, spring big was the first one we used. and it was, it was, it was something we probably underutilized to be fair to them. We, you know, just like I was saying earlier, we’re trying to focus in, on optimizing all the, the components of our business right now.
But when we were getting things going and the store was being built out and, you know, our cultivation was getting built out. we probably didn’t didn’t, leverage the assets we had well enough. Right, right. But anyway, a lot of those, messages weren’t getting delivered, through the stream big platform.
And I don’t know if that’s been rectified by now or not, or if it was something that we were doing, but we were having a really bad receiver or opening rate, or I’m not sure what the term they use, but so was this SMS sorry, or email SMS. We never, we’ve never done email. Just SMS. Yep. and so we ended up going with another company that, that claimed to have, better rates of, of people opening up the, the text messages cuz of their, their system was a little bit different.
And I know we’ve got some competitors here locally that are, they’re doing the same, the same thing and using the same platform. Right, right. So I presume, I presume it is doing a better job. and we do get, we do get pretty reasonable opening rates. Right. The challenge that we’ve got is not everybody wants to give their cell phone information up.
And so it’s, we don’t have nearly as many people participating in that program. as I was hoping that we would, right. In fact, I don’t think we’re gonna continue on, we, we’ve got, you know, a year, year long contract and I think we’re gonna be backing out of that one. Right. and just focusing more on spending those dollars on either grassroots marketing, like you’ve been talking about, I mean, we got great spot for a sign flipper and I, and I’d love to see a quality sign flipper out there, flipping a sign.
Yeah. and, and, and then also, incentives for our bud tenderers to, you know, to try to try to engage customers better. Yeah. you know, and then, and then try to boost online reviews, things like that. Yeah. So, you know, you’re, you’re sold the idea that, Hey, you can reach out to customers and tell ’em about your deals and you know, and this is the best platform.
And for some people I think it probably is, they get a little message. I get, I get a text on my phone. I’m, I’m part of our program as well. And yeah, it’s, it’s nice to get that text at the same time. I’m also on, you know, Instagram and I’m not a, I’m not a social media user, but I do check once a day to see what’s going on, on our, on our site and other people’s sites.
And, yeah, I think that that’s probably just as successful of a, of a platform to reach out to people and let ’em know what’s going on. Right. Right. So, and I may be wrong. I’m, I’m totally like, this is not my specialty at all. No, no. I mean, look like, it, it, it really varies, like not to say that one marketing platform may or may not work.
Right. We’re, we’re, we’re essentially talking about like, why would you do billboards when you can do something else? Right. But maybe in another industry, billboards are the main thing that works. Right. Like never in a million years, would I recommend you run commercials for, for, you know, you know, your, you know, the dispensary, right.
Not just cuz you can’t, but like I don’t think it’s just a good use of marketing spent. Right? Yeah. But you see all these car, these car companies running commercials, 24 7. and you know, that gets to a question that I get asked a lot is like branding company came up to me and said, Hey, you know, do you wanna revamp of your brand? Right.
We’ll do your logo. We’ll make sure all of your posts, like all these different things are good. So then they come to me obviously, cuz they’re working with me. They’re like, you know, should I move forward with this? And you know, first I’m like, well thank you very much for asking me I appreciate, you know, you looking for my advice, but it’s always like at the end of the day, it’s like it’s, it’s it’s ROI and attribution as to can this benefit the growth of your company, right? And a lot of times from a branding perspective, taking it back to the commercials, it’s very long term.
But when it works, it really, really works because I’m not gonna go out and buy a Ford truck just looking at the commercial. But if I’m looking for a truck, a Ford will pop up in the top of my head and then you get enough people thinking that eventually they’re gonna come in and buy. But how long has Ford been running commercials for that to happen? Right.
How long has Coca-Cola and Pepsi been running commercials so that whenever you have a barbecue, you go pick up a can of Coke or, or a thing of Coke and then you take it to the party. Right? So, you know, when it comes to the branding stuff, right? Like maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. And like you said, you, you know, you might not be the, the, the number one expert on this particular thing, but like different marketing tactics work for different industries and different people.
So, you know, I, I don’t think it’s, you know, I think you’re doing completely fine. Just face on what I’m saying on the back end. So you’re crushing it right now. We’re we’re trying, and we’re trying to put our money where, you know, where it makes sense. Cause we don’t, we don’t have a ton of money. We’re we’re, we’re a small company.
Right. And we wanna spend, you know, we wanna spend what we have to spend, but not more than that. And you know, like to your point, you know, the car company’s been doing this advertising for a long time, you know, that, that Cola, that Cola assemble has been there for a long time. We all, we all recognize it.
And it’s a good question. Like what, what is your return on your investment for those sorts of things? How, how long does it take to get your brand message out there so that people recognize it. Right. And, you, I, I, I don’t, I don’t know the answers to those, except I do know, I do know that being loud and being local is really helpful.
Yes. Yes. Being, being city famous is, is what I call it. Like, you don’t need this brand recognition nationwide you’re if you’re famous in your city and you’re the go-to place because people like who you are and like all that stuff, then, you know, you’re, you’re good to go on, on the loyalty side. So again, it looks like you’re taking it back to the foundations of stuff.
Right? Good customer service, just making sure the customer is well taken care of it and doing things. So I had a chat again with another owner, and they were saying that they, they do a lot of bundle packages. So during events, whether it’s super bowl or just like literally any event that you can have.
Right. cuz they have the, the exit bags as well. Right. And they essentially said they wanted to curate and offer so good that if somebody forgot their exit bag, they would drive home to go pick it up and come into this store, right? Yeah. And what that ended up doing was that significantly increased the word of mouth generation.
They got from their customers because they were like, I got this thing from this person. And then boom. And then we went up from there. So again, the loyalty piece, the word of mouth really, really grew. And, you know, again, this is what this podcast is for just sharing, you know, just kind of ideas, what work.
But not only that in these bundle packages that they gave out, right? So the, the exit bag was one strategy, But then they have the bundle bag. So let’s just say it’s a super bowl snack pack where you get pre-rolls flour edibles for whatever cost that you can do. Right. But what that ended up doing was like, this person ended up bringing this snack pack for this event.
And obviously they’re not gonna have all the products in there cuz maybe they just like smoking the flower, but there’s edible. So then a friend tries it. Right. And then the friend is like, where’d you get this edible from word of mouth keeps going. Right. So I don’t know if that might be part of your, you know, strategy or if you wanna incorporate something like that, but bundling different products is an effective cross selling strategy because what I’ve seen is that, a lot of buyers, if, if you like flour, you’re gonna come in and buy your flour.
Right. Very rarely, you know, would they come in and buy three other products like a beverage or an edible or, or, you know, something like that. If you do your dads, you do your dads. Like you don’t really mess with anything else. Right. But what these bundles did, it really opened up another like avenue for cross selling products.
And then you have then two different verticals at which you can sell in because now the person is interested in flour and they’re also interested in edibles. So you have now two ways that you can kind of sell them two different types of products versus if they’re only interested in flour. And again, I’m not sure that’s great idea.
No, I think, I think it’s a wonderful idea and we, we’re always thinking about ways that we can get more people exposed to our products. Right. And that’s a great idea. And that’s not one that we’ve, we’ve gone plated before. you know, it’s interesting sales in general, you know, a lot of times you feel like they’re doing a lot for you because you’re, you know, your, your gross sales are way up cuz you’re ran your four 20 sales, but then you look at your margin.
You’re like, wow, we did it just as well as, as we did on, on a regular Wednesday when we sold half the amount. But our margin is just as strong. And so you’re right. So like if you’re gonna go through that effort and you’re gonna go through, you know, the amount of inventory that you’re gonna burn through, like how is that, how is that working for you? Exactly.
I think that, I think your, your example, there is a really good one. I’m gonna give it a try. Yeah. Give it a shot. You know that, that’s what you got me here for. yeah, yeah. Appreciate it. so, you know, on the, the landscape of the cannabis space, like, I mean, it really changes even, you know, Canada, couple years, just all the way to the west coast.
I’m just getting very different perspectives on like what they’re seeing the, the cannabis landscape change. So I was just curious, like what have you kind of seen in terms of the landscape? What, what kind of major changes, you know, kind of have you seen so far? Yeah. You know, my, my, my paradigm is here in Maine, so it’s it’s specific, but, I would say that Maine, and talking to other people in other, in other, states hasn’t necessarily done a great job, in how they, and how they laid out the, the framework for the program.
I think, I think the folks that I’ve interfaced with it in Maine have been wonderful to deal with. You know, the licensing process was lovely. Like the, the people that I, the people that I interface with that do their job really well, But I think that the structure isn’t the best in the fact that there’s, you know, there’s really no limits on the number of licenses that are ever gonna be produced.
The state will issue an unlimited numbers along as the municipality will allow for it. And as more and more municipalities come on board, we just see more and more competition dumping into the market. Consequently, you know, we’re really not a state where out-of-state investors are looking to, to open up a shop or, or to buy an asset because you know, who knows what the playing field’s gonna look like.
Whereas, you know, we also, you know, Connecticut opened up their licensing process or like 15,000 applicants for like, I don’t know, a handful of spots so that that’ll never happen here in Maine. You know, there’s, there’s a, there’s a benefit to that too. Like small players who might not be as sophisticated, like myself can actually get a piece of the pie at least for now.
So the challenge that I see in the, in the, in the landscape now is that as more and more competition comes to the market’s harder and hard to hold on that little piece of pie. Right. so market share is market share is real challenging to, to hold onto, right. I think that’s gonna play itself out. You know, I know operators who have opened up shops spend a whole lot of money and that are like just watching as no customers come to their shop and they’re, you know, losing money every single day.
So, you know, there will be, there will be a consolidation. And, and then, then we’ll kinda be on par with some of these other states that have had fewer licenses issued and, and maybe then a better opportunity for MSOs to come in and, you know, consolidate. So, so we’ll see how that goes. you know, the, the legislative landscapes changing regularly, and we’re constantly kind of having to Bob and weave with new, laws coming, new regulations, the medical program, just, just a complete, you know, adjustment.
We can do all, all sorts of different things and we have other requirements now. so we’ll see. I, I would, I would say that the, the biggest challenge for us is, you know, we don’t know what the competition’s gonna look like tomorrow because it just gets worse and worse every day. Yeah. Then on the, buyer demographic, not even necessarily the, the demographic, right, just on, on, on what people are purchasing and even who people are, who who’s buying the product, have you seen any changes since, you know, obviously your medical and recreational came out, like, you know, what are you seeing on that, that, that, that standpoint.
Yeah, I’m, I’m excited to say that we see a lot of older people now, you know, we see a lot of folks who, you know, maybe 60 plus who are, who are, you know, coming back to cannabis or trying it for the first time they’re hearing from their friends that, that it’s helped with, you know, whatever it is that, that they’re, they’re ailing from.
And I think it’s a great, a great therapeutic obviously. one of the reasons we got into it, and I started getting, I started the, the company, in 2014 when, my, my business partner at the time in real estate was, had a niece who was having these seizures. And she was a student at Bates college here in Maine.
And, and she was having these seizures, nothing worked. And finally her family got recommended to try a, a high CBD, low THC, flower strain called ACDC. And they did, and it worked for her. It stopped her seizures. And so they actually, traveled, or they, they, they had, they had someone travel out west to bring us strain the strain to Maine.
And, and then it was distributed all around Maine ACBC and it’s a wonderful plant. It’s the first plant that I grew, I got it from her. I was like, yeah, I’d like to, you know, start this little business. And so we started just making tinctures for, for pediatric patients actually through, the pediatric neurology department at one of the hospitals here.
And, and that’s how we learned how to dose and we learned how to test and all those sorts of things to make sure it was safe. and those same products are really, you know, helping a lot of these, these older clients who have the same troubles, like whether it’s neuroplasticity, whether it’s, you know, the onset of certain neuro degenerative diseases, or even just sleep, you know, inte intestinal inflammation, all these things that are depression, you know, appetite.
So we’re seeing a lot of, we’re seeing a lot of older folks enter the market, which is great. you know, the, the, the, the consumption patterns are, they aren’t changing as fast as I thought they were gonna change. When we were looking at the data from Colorado and Washington, we were getting started with our stores back in, you know, 2018, 19 when we were starting to plan it all out, it was looking like edibles were gonna be like off the charts and concentrates were gonna be off the charts and flowers just gonna become, you know, a thing of the past, right.
But flour sales are still really strong for us. You know, we, we grow good flour, a lot of the cultivators in man grow good flour. People still like the experience. So, you know, flour and joint sales are really still high. They make up the meat and potatoes of what we do, but edibles are definitely catching on, particularly as we get more and more quality, manufacturers.
I mean, the products are really good. The goat’s good food. It’s good. It’s good tasting, it looks good. and, and you know, the dosings becoming more and more accurate. Yes. So people are getting the experience that they’re expecting to get. Yeah. so we are seeing a lot edibles and, you know, obviously concentrates are also very popular now and vapes, but, but yeah, the flower still is still the king of the castle.
Yeah. Flower, flower, rains, king flower, rains king. Yeah. so, okay. So I know we’re, we’re almost short on time. So, second last question. Do you have any additional nuggets that you would like to share with, you know, any of the other listeners or dispensary owners? And I always say whatever you deem your golden nugget to be, it can be any part of the business.
Geez. you know, I’ll kind of, I’ll kind of reiterate some of the stuff I said already, which is, you know, I’m not a big company with huge MSO up, you know, aspirations. I don’t want to go interstate or, you know, large. So, so I can, I can say, I, I, I, who are in my size operation, like from a home grow to a, to a very small, business, Just to really focus on the fundamentals and don’t get, don’t get greenwashed, you know, don’t believe that every cannabis operator is rolling in dough because a lot of us are just holding on right now, particularly with like the two 80 tax code issues.
Even though if you make a little bit of profit, even if you break even you’re paying a ton out on, on tax liabilities, that can’t be written off. So, and, and the competition is really strong. Like we have quality vendors coming to us all the time with great product and I have to turn ’em away and it kind of breaks my heart.
Cause I wanna support everybody in this industry. Who’s doing a good job. Right. but we just have limited shelf space. And I think that’s a really, really competitive landscape. So I would say if you’re up and running and you’re doing your thing already, just really focus on your fundamentals.
Like we’re like we’re trying to do and, you know, try to maximize the, get the most out of every spend you have. Right. and if you’re just contemplating getting into the market, think really hard about it because it’s, there’s a lot of people who are gonna be failing out of the market and, it may not be the best, the best use of your nest egg.
Right. at, at this time. So, and that’s not me trying to be scared of competition. It’s me trying to be like, gosh, if I tried to do what I’m doing right now and get going, I’d probably lose my, lose my shirt. Right. Yeah. So that’s my, that’s my little nugget. not, not, not super optimistic, but it is, it is reality.
No, no, there’s a, there’s that aspect of realism, right? It’s like, look like, you know, you may see all these people like start, you know, become a, a green entrepreneur, you know, do all of these things. And the reality is there’s, there’s still a lot of problem. It’s becoming more and more clear to me cuz I’m on that one side.
I’m like, Hey, marketing, sales, blah, blah, blah growth. It all looks fine and dandy. But when you’re an actual owner, there’s so many other things that you need to take consideration. It’s not just sales. You have employees, you have overhead, you have vendors and you have competitors coming in just so many different things.
Right. So it’s not like, boom, let me start a business and make a bunch of money, you know? you know, the, the, the timing probably isn’t the best at this point in time, people need to get their systems together and you know, that’s just what it’s right. Yeah. And what, what is your unique proposition? Right? What, what is your unique proposition and can you really say it’s unique, right? Or is it something that’s gonna come through Amazon next, next month? Or is it something that’s gonna come from outta state, you know, in a year when it gets de criminalized, right.
What is your unique, unique platform? And I, and I can be very straightforward. I know exactly what my unique per you know, paradigm is. And it’s, it’s the fact that I’ve got this piece of real estate, that’s got high visibility in a really high traffic area. Right. You know, that is, that, is it all the other things we talked about, the environmental stewardship, the, the customer service, the quality product that just that’s like, that’s a must have, that’s like, everybody’s gonna has to have that.
That’s, that’s like bare, minimal. So what gives, what gives you your unique perspective? Like, you know, I, I, I’m not flushed with like, outof state investor money. We just have a, a pretty darn good location. You know, we worked really hard to get and, you know, and, and so that accessibility component is part of, part of our offering.
So anyway, yeah. Be realistic. That’s a big part of it. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. And lastly, where can people find, main cannabis exchange if they, you know, wanna find you yeah. Drive over the Castaway bridge to south Portland, come check out our awesome beaches, nearby our, our beautiful lighthouses, summertime visitors.
We’re excited to see you. but you can also check us up on the web main cannabis exchange.com or check out our Instagram handle that sta main cannabis exchange. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Peter, thank you very much as always is it was a pleasure chatting, you know, love the, you know, just the small nuance things that were able to talk about, like on this podcast versus, Hey, you know, just kind of chatting over email or something like that, but that was it for another episode of the dispensary marketing podcast.
Like I said, I’m your host, Brandon Quan, if you need any se, well, not any services. If you need marketing for your dispensary, just hit me up on CannabudMarketing.com and I’ll see you over there. Thanks again, guys. Bye. Thanks Brandon. Take care. Cool.