MJBizMag May-June 2023 - 35

concept at the state level, and
local planning and zoning
boards had to sign off on the
events.
A key regulatory advantage
that made the Underground
possible in Missouri is that
the state allows marijuana
industry badge holders to
work for more than one
licensed cannabis business.
That way, someone can be
a regular employee with a
marijuana brand while also
" moonlighting " at Greenlight
or any other cannabis
business.
In Missouri, " an agent
badge (allows me to) work
in one dispensary today and
work at somebody else's
dispensary tonight. Your
agent badge follows you, "
Mueller explained. " It allows
that vendor-that cultivator, processor-
to basically use their own agent badge
and then come in-house. Then we train
them on our POS station. "
Brand-Turned-Budtender
Mueller said he carefully chooses which
brands to invite, and he hasn't asked
a brand to attend twice in a row to
increase variety. There is no fee to the
vendors who participate.
" You curate it like you would a good
museum art show. We try to have a
nice blend of flower products, vapes,
edibles, unique concentrates, etc., "
Mueller said. " Flower is still king, so we
try to have at least three vendors with
flower. "
Mueller added that many
brands launch new products at the
Underground.
Among the benefits to both brands
and patients, according to Mueller, is
that brand representatives and patients
can speak directly at the Underground.
" By connecting that consumer
directly with the brand, the brand is
attempting to sell their own wares
Representatives from
seven to nine cannabis
brands " moonlight " at
Greenlight Dispensary
during Underground
events. Courtesy Photo
and give them their own specific sales
pitch. It also allows that brand to
use their social media reach to drive
(consumers) directly to their booth, "
Mueller said.
Vendor Perspective
Mark Hendren, the president of
Humansville-based Flora Farms,
which has retailed at Greenlight
Underground events in Ferguson,
Independence and Joplin, said his
company uses customer feedback to
decide what products to bring. He
also tries to have a mix of premium
products, such as Flora Farms' Bubba
Fett and GMO flower strains, as well as
more affordable options.
Flora Farms staffers also bring
displays and information about their
products so that customers can learn
more about the vertically integrated
cannabis company.
" It's all about connecting with the
person in front of you, and you can't
lose sight of that in the bustle of the
event, " Hendren told MJBizMagazine
via email. His advice for other
vendors participating in
the Underground: " Wear
comfortable shoes, and don't
skimp on the coffee. "
Consumers make separate
transactions at each booth
rather than bundling all their
purchases like they would in a
traditional dispensary setting.
Product prices are also
lower than usual.
" We lower our margin
structure, " Mueller said of
the Underground events.
" And then, generally, the
vendors are either launching
new products or they're
blowing out something that
they're in excess of, so there's
already deep discounting
there. There's probably a
25%-30% discount over what
they would normally get
... because I want to push
product through there. "
Poised for Growth
Mueller said the Underground
spaces that Greenlight has built so
far have proved to be too small, and
the company needs more room to
accommodate vendors and consumers.
The store in Independence
recently acquired the space next
to it, so Greenlight can expand the
Underground space to have a bigger
sales floor.
The Cave, as the retail concept in
Branson will be called, will be much
larger and include a full-size
stage for bands and other artists,
Mueller said.
Mueller wants to take the concept
to other markets where Greenlight
operates, but for the time being,
neither the rules on badges (as is the
case in Illinois) nor market conditions
(as in Arkansas, South Dakota and West
Virginia) are conducive to expansion.
" For this to work, you need either a
recreational market or a robust patient
count, " Mueller said.
mjbizdaily.com | May-June 2023 33
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MJBizMag May-June 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBizMag May-June 2023

MJBizMag May-June 2023 - 1
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