Vending medicine to a dispensary can be more complicated than you might expect. As a movement and an industry, medical cannabis has come a long way from the loose and freewheeling days of its early inception. As dispensaries become increasingly regulated and professional, it’s only natural that those who provide medicine to them do so as well. The following are suggestions for how to increase your chances of success when vending your cannabis.
Do Your Homework
Research the dispensaries you plan to visit. Note the types of medicine they carry. If they have J-1, Jack Frost and XJ-13 on their menu, they may not be interested in your Jack Herer no matter how wonderful it may be. If you’re planning on dropping in or cold-calling dispensaries with their products, check their website for purchasing hours and standards. Some dispensaries require vendors to attend an introductory seminar and have open vending hours on select days.
Know Your Medicine
Be prepared to answer basic questions about your medicine and how it was made. That doesn’t mean you need to know every single detail of cultivation, but you should at least be aware of the growing medium and nutrients used, the amount of time your variety flowered, when you cut it down and how long it has been curing. If you’re working with an obscure hybrid or one you developed yourself, be prepared to share its genetic background (however loosely) with the person viewing your product. Dispensaries specialize in providing known quantities to their patients, who often have very specific needs in regards to the sativa/indica balance of what they’re purchasing.
Your medicine should be as presentable as possible. Flowers should be carefully trimmed and almost fully devoid of leaf and with a minimum of bare stem. Grade out all shake and most small material. Some dispensaries may require your pound consist of flowers no smaller than the size of a nickel. You may think you’re losing money by doing this, but think of it as making the potential for moving your medicine greater by a significant factor. It’s also important to make certain that the material is properly cured and ready to hit the shelves. Units should be weighed into pounds, but it’s recommended to add several grams to this, thus enabling your unit to still weigh a pound after on-site testing or giving a sample to the purchaser.
Use only food grade containers or bags for your product— not grocery bags, garbage bags or the like. While glass is wonderful for cannabis storage, it’s ill-suited for transportation and can lead to disasters. Turkey bags or small Rubbermaid bins work great. Vacuum sealing is an option, but it’s best to put your product in another bag before being sealed to protect it. Be sure to seal bags before the buds become compressed into a football-like shape, allowing adequate breathing room. Cannabis will never come back from that “squish of death” and you’ll burst many of the resin glands.
Be on time, but don’t be too early. Waiting outside of a dispensary before they open should be avoided at all costs. Not only is loitering an annoyance to the dispensary, but it’s a security risk for you — it’s not hard to figure out what the person with the big black duffle bag is doing waiting outside of a dispensary. Keep a low profile and wait in your vehicle or somewhere safe until the facility is open for business. Consider bringing someone with you, both to watch for potential trouble and to be in the car with any medicine that may otherwise be left unattended if you were solo. Leaving pounds of medicine in an unattended vehicle is a terrible idea and is just asking for a smash and grab. When departing, you should also watch your mirrors for suspicious activity, as it is not uncommon for vendors to get tailed and then taken advantage of when their guard is down. If the dispensary makes an appointment for you to return, show up promptly on the designated day and time. Missing an appointment could mean missing an opportunity forever. Basically, you should treat selling your medicine like any traditional business transaction — a proficient, professional approach is bound to yield you positive results.[Originally published in issue 15 of Cannabis Now Magazine.]
Do you sell cannabis to dispensaries? Share your tips in the comments.