MJBizMag August 2020 - 42

How to Compete With the Illicit Market
The Most
Confounding
Competitor
The illicit marijuana market continues to undermine legal cannabis
businesses across the nation-but licensed companies have multiple
tools to compete
By Omar Sacirbey
T
he illicit marijuana market
is a formidable adversary
unburdened by regulations,
taxes, employee expenses, childproof
packaging and other costs. But that
doesn't mean your business can't
compete with illicit-market competitors.
True, beating them on price might
be nearly impossible, but there are
other ways for legal businesses to entice
customers and provide value that illicit
operators can't offer. These range from
safe merchandise and advertising deals
to a wide selection of products.
Many cannabis executives believe
that by leveraging these advantages, it is
possible to outcompete illicit operators-
not to mention state-regulated peers.
" This is such a new, high-growth
market that you have an opportunity to
prove yourself to all segmentations of
consumers. Whether it's selection, quality
testing, the method (of consumption),
there's so many different reasons that
customers can connect with, " said Chris
40 Marijuana Business Magazine | August 2020
Melillo, vice president of retail operations
for Curaleaf, a multistate operator based
in Massachusetts.
Checklist for Taking on the Illicit Market
□ Target new cannabis consumers (page 41).
□ Provide good customer service and education (page 42).
□ Offer a wide selection of safe products that are readily
available (page 44).
□ Deploy smart advertising (page 45).
□ Be a good corporate citizen (page 46).
□ Offer competitive pricing (page 47).

MJBizMag August 2020

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