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COLORADO MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES OFFERING BLACK FRIDAY SALES

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, November, 25th 2014 by THCFinder
co-dispensaries-offering-black-friday-dealsFrom new marijuana strains for the holidays to gift sets and pot-and-pumpkin pies, the burgeoning marijuana industry in Colorado is scrambling to get a piece of the holiday shopping dollar. Dispensaries in many states have been offering holiday specials for medical customers for years - but this first season of open-to-all-adults marijuana sales in some states means pot shops are using more of the tricks used by traditional retailers to attract holiday shoppers.
 
Here's a look at how the new recreational marijuana industry is trying to attract holiday shoppers:
 
OLD-FASHIONED DOORBUSTERS
 
Traditional retailers sell some items below cost to drive traffic and attract sales. Recreational marijuana retailers are doing the same.
 
The Grass Station in Denver is selling an ounce of marijuana for $50 - about a fifth of the cost of the next-cheapest strain at the Colorado dispensary - to the first 16 customers in line Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That works out to less than $1 a joint for the ambitious early-rising pot shopper. Owner Ryan Fox says his Black Friday pot is decent quality, and says he's selling below cost to attract attention and pick up some new customers. As Colorado dispensaries approach a year of being able to sell weed to all adults over 21, not just card-carrying medical patients, Fox says retailers have to do more than just sell pot to get public attention.
 
Pot shops are using old and new media to tout the sales. One dispensary is taking out a full-page "Happy Danksgiving" ad in The Denver Post and is inviting shoppers to text a code for extra savings.
 
VISIONS OF SUGAR PLUMS
 
Sweets and marijuana seem to go together like hot chocolate and marshmallows. Many dispensaries this time of year resemble a Starbucks at the mall, with holiday spices and festive music in the air. One of the state's largest edible-pot makers, Sweet Grass Kitchen, debuted a new miniature pumpkin pie that delivers about as much punch as a medium-sized joint. The pie joins holiday-spiced teas, minty pot confections and cannabis-infused honey oil for those who want to bake their own pot goodies at home. Even some edibles makers that specialize in savory foods, not sweets, are putting out some sugary items for the holidays. "It just tastes too good, we had to do it," Better Baked owner Deloise Vaden said of her company's holiday line of cannabis-infused sweet-potato and pumpkin pies.
 
HOLIDAY STRAINS
 
Some shops are angling for high-end holiday shoppers, not an increase in foot traffic. Colorado Harvest and Evergreen Apothecary timed the release of some top-shelf strains of potent pot for the holiday season. Spokeswoman Ann Dickerson says they're "sort of like the best bourbon or Scotch that will be competing on quality, rather than price."
 
GIFT WRAPPING
 
What holiday shopper doesn't appreciate free gift wrapping? Or a gift set ready to pop under the tree? The Growing Kitchen is making $49.99 gift sets for both the medical and recreational pot user. The sets include the edible-pot maker's new Mighty Mint cookie, a pot-infused confection new for the holiday shopping season, along with marijuana-infused salves for muscles sore from the ski slopes. Other dispensaries are offering free gift totes and stockings with purchases.
 
GIFT CARDS
 
For the shopper who wants to give pot but doesn't know how the recipient likes to get high, Colorado's 300 or so recreational dispensaries so far have been able to issue only handwritten gift certificates. That's because banking regulations prohibit major credit cards companies from being able to back marijuana-related gift cards the way they do for other retailers.
 
Just this month, a Colorado company started offering pot shops a branded gift card they can sell just like other retailers. The cards are in eight Denver dispensaries so far, and coming soon will be loyalty cards similar to grocery-store loyalty cards that track purchases and can be used to suggest sales or new products to frequent shoppers.
 

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Massachusetts Approves Four More Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, November, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
mass-approves-four-more-medical-marijuana-dispensariesPrior to last week, there were eleven medical marijuana dispensaries working their way through the licensing process in Massachusetts. Currently, there are not dispensaries operating at all in the state. You can now add four more dispensaries to the list of hoop jumping applicants. Per WBUR.org:
 
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has given three companies provisional approval to open four medical marijuana dispensaries in the state.
Patriot Care Corp., which already has a Lowell dispensary in the works, was approved for dispensaries at 21 Milk Street in Boston and 7 Legion Avenue in Greenfield. Coastal Compassion, Inc.’s proposed facility at 2 Pequod Road in Fairhaven and Mass Medicum Corp.’s on Revolutionary Drive in Taunton were also approved to enter the inspection and permitting phase.
 
The four dispensaries are proposed in counties that did not previously have any provisionally approved medical marijuana dispensaries.
 
It’s great that there are now fifteen medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts at one stage of the process or another. However, the fact that there are still zero open is unacceptable. Patients need safe access to affordable, quality medical marijuana. Hopefully these establishments open sooner rather than later.
 

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The (Acapulco) Gold Rush For Medical Marijuana Licensing In Illinois

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, September, 24th 2014 by THCFinder
gold-rush-for-dispensary-licenesHow great is the demand for medical marijuana dispensary licenses in Illinois? So much they may rival the iPhone 6 in popularity right now.
 
Monday was the last day to apply for dispensary licenses under the state’s Medical Cannabis Pilot Program and state officials were seemingly unprepared for the rush of last-minute applicants, all of them with a backbreaking load of paperwork and a non-refundable $5,000 application fee in tow. (Insert your stoner jokes here.) Program officials noted the (Acapulco) gold rush in a statement and called the applications “voluminous.”
 
That’s about the best way to guess how many applications were filed, as officials couldn’t even give an estimate on the number of applications filed. The Medical Cannabis Pilot Program will issue only 60 licenses, so these may actually be more in demand than the iPhone, and more valuable. Mark Huddle, an attorney for Illinois Grown Medicine, brought 25 boxes of paperwork to the Thompson Center as part of the application process for five dispensaries in northern Illinois. Huddle told the Sun-Times “everyone from Cheech & Chong types to hedge fund guys” applied for dispensary licenses.
 
Want to lay odds on who gets the licenses?
 
It’s a painstaking process to land one of the highly coveted dispensary licenses, part of what Gov. Pat Quinn calls one of the toughest decriminalization laws in the country. Chicago, using its power of home rule, tried to relegate dispensaries and cultivation centers within the city limits to planned manufacturing districts requiring special-use permits from the Zoning Board of Appeals, and establishing minimum spaces based on facility size. But new zoning regulations approved in July by the City Council Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards could potentially allow for medical marijuana dispensaries to be located near the city’s high-traffic tourist areas and tony nightlife districts. The regulations were passed after the state refined language in the medical marijuana law regarding where dispensaries would be located.
 

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Las Vegas Sees Plenty Of Applications For Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, August, 12th 2014 by THCFinder
las-vegas-dispensariesThe medical cannabis industry is about to dramatically expand in the State of Nevada. The State of Nevada is currently accepting applications for medical cannabis businesses. The largest market for medical cannabis businesses in Nevada will obviously be Las Vegas. Las Vegas will allow 12 medical cannabis dispensaries to receive licenses and operate. So far, competition has been stiff. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
 
Roughly 47 groups have thrown their hats in the ring for dispensary permits. Given that Las Vegas will ultimately allow just 12 dispensaries, at least 35 applicants will be rejected. The city received a total of 63 applications by last week’s deadline for medical marijuana business licenses.
 
There’s a lot at stake for the medical cannabis industry in Las Vegas. Whenever there are so many more applications for medical cannabis businesses than there are licenses available, I get leery. The criteria for a business to get a license likely won’t be who is going to do the best job, it will be either who is willing to pay the most money, or who wins a lottery.
 
When that happens, people that would be best at operating the business and have the most applicable knowledge may not get picked, and could get passed up for someone that is simply lucky, or has deep pockets without any past experience in the cannabis industry. With Las Vegas dispensaries recognizing the medical cards of other states, business will likely be booming for yet another industry in the vacation destination.
 

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Opening A Medical Marijuana Dispensary In Massachusetts Is Not Cheap

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Mon, May, 12th 2014 by THCFinder
mmj-dispensaryFile this in the “it could be worse” file. While the rules and regulations of medical marijuana facilities in Oregon are far from perfect, at least it doesn’t cost millions of dollars to get established. Medical marijuana dispensaries are not even allowed in all medical marijuana states. For those states that do allow medical marijuana dispensaries, the start up costs vary. Licensing fees are different in every state, as well as other expenses.
 
There is a trend in the medical marijuana industry – the newer the program, the more expensive the start up costs. When dispensaries popped up on the West Coast during the 2000-s, there were next to no regulations, and no licensing fees. Compare that to states like New Jersey and Massachusetts, which have heavy regulations and a limited number of dispensaries allowed.
 
Many people think that opening a medical marijuana dispensary is cheap and easy. However, that’s not the case, no matter which state you are operating in. There are a lot of expenses involved with a medical marijuana dispensary, such as staff related costs, building costs, equipment, heating bills, electricity bills, marketing, etc. And that doesn’t even include the medicine itself. It’s not as easy as renting a cheap space and putting a jar full of meds on the shelf.
 
In the case of one medical marijuana dispensary in Massachusetts, start up costs are in the millions. The New England Treatment Access is one of 20 medical marijuana dispensaries that received a license by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health earlier this year. Per MassLive.Com:
 
 NETA is receiving a $9 million loan from Howard Kessler of Boston. Of that, $3.8 million will go to capital costs at NETA’s three locations, with $500,000 allocated at the Northampton site. The remaining $5.2 million will go to operating costs until NETA breaks even.
 
In its first year of operation, NETA hopes to net more than $700,000, assuming 1.6 ounces per patient per month and a price of $4,800 per pound. Projected revenue is $9.8 million for 2015, reaching $19 million by 2017, NETA states in its DPH filings. The dispensary hopes to reach a peak patient level of 3,200 in 2016.
 
This of course is the high end of medical marijuana businesses. One of the people on the payroll of New England Treatment Access is retired Democratic Congressman Barney Frank, who serves as New England Treatment Access’s Director of Government and Community Relations. Before starting a medical marijuana business, research the start up costs extensively, otherwise you run the risk of getting over extended financially. Make sure to calculate for unforeseen circumstances, which in the marijuana industry, are almost virtually guaranteed to happen.
 

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South Jersey's sole marijuana dispensary finds patients scarce

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, May, 9th 2014 by THCFinder
nj-dispensary-few-patients
Only six months after a grand opening, South Jersey's sole medical marijuana dispensary is struggling to survive.
 
This spring, Compassionate Care Foundation was planning to triple its production, using a $357,000 loan from the state Economic Development Authority. Simultaneously, the dispensary was preparing to convert cannabis leaves into liquid medicine, transdermal lotions, and lozenges, according to Bill Thomas, the nonprofit's CEO.
 
About 100 pounds of the leaves sit in brown grocery bags at the dispensary, waiting to be sent to a manufacturing plant in Pennsauken to be turned into the new products.
 
But where are the patients?
 
Located just outside Atlantic City, the dispensary has but 600, who currently can get only marijuana buds. The number is far short of what he needs to pay bills and support an expansion, Thomas said. For now, the $357,000 project to expand growing space is on hold.
 
When the nonprofit applied for one of six dispensary licenses offered three years ago by the state Department of Health, Compassionate Care projected it would have 5,000 patients upon opening and 10,000 in its second year. "Our cultivation facility has the capability of servicing up to 20,000 patients at two ounces per month," its bid said.
 
But so far, only 2,200 patients statewide have registered to buy cannabis.
 
Many patients complain that the application and doctor approval process takes three months, on average, and is too cumbersome for the program to succeed, Thomas said.
 
Patients also report they spend about $1,000 on doctor visits and registration "before they even get in the door" of the dispensary, he said.
 
Because of marijuana's uncertain status - it is still illegal under federal law - insurance does not cover the visits.
 
Nor does it cover the cost of the drug, about $400 an ounce.
 

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