Where's Weed

How to Market Your Tasty Cannabis Concentrates

Where's Weed

Published on Dec 7, 2020

From California to Massachusetts, in adult-use and recreational cannabis programs, marijuana concentrates are steadily gaining popularity with dispensary shoppers. For dispensary owners and employees who are not obsessed with expensive rigs and solventless sauces, the rapidly evolving world of dabs can seem incredibly complicated. 

Luckily, budtenders and pot shop marketing departments don't need to know the scientific ins and outs of hydrocarbon extraction to tailor your shop to extract aficionados. With the right product selection, accessories and attention, your dispensary can quickly get up to speed with the latest advancements in concentrate consumption to attract novice dabbers and longtime extract lovers alike.

What Types of Cannabis Concentrates Do Customers Want?

Since butane honey oil first hit the mainstream cannabis scene in the late 2000s and early 2010s, cannabis concentrates have gone through several refinements in quality, consistency, look and effects

These days, cannabis concentrates are broken down like a family tree by solvent, starting material, extraction method and final consistency. At the top of that tree is a dichotomous split between solventless and solvent-based products. Solventless cannabis extracts are typically made by refining water hash and are best known as rosin. Rosins are the highest quality extracts available and often sell for as much as $100 per gram.

On the solvent-based end of the spectrum, extract artists use hydrocarbons, like butane and propane, or gases like C02 to strip the valuable cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant. Through purging, mechanical separation and curing, the solvents are removed, thus leaving any number of extract consistencies such as wax, batter, shatter, sugar, diamonds and sauce. No matter a concentrate's solvent, extraction type or end consistency, if made with fresh frozen plant material, an extract is automatically ascribed a "live" moniker; with fresh frozen solventless extracts labeled live rosin and their solvent-based counterparts labeled live resin.

In the early days of dabs, wax, crumble and shatter were the leading product categories, but as extraction technologies advanced, dabbers fell in love with diamonds, terpene-wet badders and live resins or rosins. 

Challenges Of Selling Concentrated Cannabis Oil Dabs

Photo by Jeff W on Unsplash

Despite the growing popularity of cannabis concentrates, converting marijuana consumers to the relatively new product category is still often an uphill battle. Concentrates can be intimidating for many cannabis users because they require additional accessories to use, are often manufactured with volatile solvent, can be sticky, messy and a hassle to handle. 

For many cannabis users, the thought of consuming super concentrated cannabinoids conjures memories of bad experiences with edibles or other too-high moments. On top of that, concentrates have one of the highest price points on most dispensary menus, leaving even the most excitable stoners hesitating at the cash register. So what can dispensaries do to create new concentrate users and entice seasoned dabbers? We've got a few suggestions. 

How To Attract New Cannabis Concentrate Buyers

When it comes to brand new extract consumers, the key to welcoming them into the world of concentrates is to make it as easy as possible. Stocking a variety of vape cartridges to help get consumers started is a great first step, but it's also important to focus on concentrate accessories and education. 

You will probably need to explain that the "sugar" on your dispensary menu is not edible and requires a vaporizer, but that kind of ice breaker is a great way to wipe away the mystique of concentrates and start a conversation. If your customers already have experience with vape cartridges, start by explaining what a dab pen is, how to dab and note that concentrates like rosin and live resin give users a better terpene and cannabinoid profile than most cartridges. In-store educational tools like "what are cannabis concentrates" handouts or wall posters that explain the difference between concentrates can be helpful. For a lot of new marijuana users, you may have to explain how to use cannabis concentrates in the first place.

Of course, that's where your accessory menu comes into play. Stocking a full selection of both vaporizers and dab rigs, as well as atomizers that fit 510 thread batteries, e-rigs or even extra items like torches, butane, carb caps, dab tools and dab mats. If you have all the accessories and the concentrates needed to be a dab expert, it is easier to show customers the products and how the process works and potentially bundle a bigger sale. If you're really invested in acquiring new dabbers, consider offering a starter kit discount if customers buy a dab rig alongside a gram of concentrates.

Best Ways To Keep Dab Lovers Coming Back To Your Dispensary

Experienced dab users, on the other hand, are more focused on product selection than their novice counterparts. To make sure your dispensary builds a reputation as a concentrate hot spot, stock a wide and varied selection of dabs at multiple price levels. There are plenty of dab lovers who opt for cheaper cured concentrates, but if you want to attract frequent extract shoppers, having a full run of top-shelf live rosins and resins is increasingly important. 

In addition to carrying your state's premier concentrate brands, taking care of your product selection is of utmost importance to dab lovers. That means keeping your concentrate inventory moving so the product doesn't dry out, stocking your dabs in a refrigerator to make sure they stay fresh and making sure that containers don't tip over in storage and make a gooey mess of the lids.

Keeping a supply of high-quality dab tools and accessories on-hand is also a surefire way to entice dab obsessives who frequently run out of butane and break things like banger nails and carb caps. Lastly, concentrate enthusiasts are like members of any subculture and love to talk shop about extraction methods, dab accessories and strain preferences. Having a staffer or two who are well versed in the intricacies of concentrates and is a genuine dab lover will help you attract repeat dab customers.

How do you market cannabis concentrates as a dispensary? Let us know in the comments below!


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