MJBizMag May-June 2023 - 34

Reimagining Retail
Education
Edge
By Omar Sacirbey
A dim tunnel leads consumers to
Underground, a retail experience
hosted by Greenlight Dispensary.
Courtesy Photo
arijuana
multistate
operator
Greenlight
Dispensary was already a top player
in its home state of Missouri, winning
" best dispensary " accolades from
local media and drawing hundreds
of customers daily, when CEO John
Mueller opted to take operations
" underground. "
In late 2021, Mueller rolled out a new
retail idea called the Underground,
where medical marijuana patients
could consult directly with brand and
product experts in an environment
that was festive, not sterile.
The concept quickly became a
patient favorite.
The Scene
" We take you through a dimly lit
concrete tunnel and blow cold air on
with an
Missouri retailer creates funky
special-events spaces that connect
consumers directly with brands
you so you feel like you're crossing
the border. Then, we pop you out and
it's basically (refurbished) shipping
containers, " Mueller described.
Inside, the lights are a little lower
and there might be a DJ, depending on
the location. There are usually seven to
nine brands, each with a 6-foot-by-6foot
booth.
Each vendor typically sends brand
representatives and five to 10 products
that are checked into Greenlight's
inventory. Customers can talk directly
with brand representatives and make
purchases using POS systems provided
by Greenlight.
" It allows that consumer to talk
directly to that cultivator about how
they grow, or that vape pen-maker
about why their widgets are better than
the next widget, " Mueller explained.
Transforming the shipping
containers, which sit in parking lots
next to the stores, into a sales floor is
less expensive than building a second
store, Mueller noted.
Since launching the Underground in
Independence, Missouri, the concept
has expanded to Kansas City, Joplin
and Ferguson, while two additional
locations in the state are under
construction.
Mueller said the events, which are
held once per month, draw roughly
1,200 people-about twice as many
shoppers as an average day-on top of
the store's usual online orders and inperson
sales.
Because Missouri launched
recreational marijuana sales in
February, Mueller expects the concept
will become even more popular.
Regulatory Advantage
To launch the Underground, Greenlight
needed regulators to approve the
32 May-June 2023 | MJBizMagazine

MJBizMag May-June 2023

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