MJBizMag May-June 2023 - 43

drop in sales " as office workers began
working from home, Olive said.
Then, in 2021, the Vapor Room was
encouraged to apply for a booth at
Grass Lands, the cannabis space within
Outside Lands, a three-day music and
arts festival in Golden Gate Park that
started in 2008.
The first Grass Lands was held in
2019, after California became the first
state to offer cannabis retail licenses for
events. Event operators obtained the
licenses and selected vendors though a
rigorous application process.
Massachusetts and Michigan have
since created temporary event licenses
that allow marijuana businesses to sell
cannabis at events.
" When we got the opportunity to
do Grass Lands-when we get the
opportunity to do any (events),
really-there's a lot of benefits in
regard to sales, in regard to getting
the word out there, " Olive said. " It's an
exciting opportunity to engage with
customers in a way where they're not
necessarily needing to come into the
store, where you can meet people in
a more festive environment, where
they're looking to have a really good
time, and they're excited about having
something so unique like cannabis
sales at a festival, where the past
10 years they've been sneaking joints
in their backpacks. "
Serious Fun
As fun as it is to legally sling diverse
cannabis products at a festival attended
by thousands of people, getting there
takes a stringent application process,
insurance and rigorous attention to
compliance on-site.
" It can be hectic because a lot is
going on. It's loud, and there are
people everywhere, " Olive said. " You
definitely have to be extra thorough
and make sure that, in all the chaos,
nothing is getting confused or
causing issues that you are going to
have to deal with later in (regulatory
compliance software) Metrc. "
The Vapor Room opened a new storefront in San Francisco's tech corridor just before
pandemic lockdowns began. Courtesy Photo
Grass Lands occupies about 11/2
football fields' worth of space inside
the Outside Lands perimeter, Olive
estimated. The setup includes art
installations, lounge areas, theater
stages, big-name vendors including
High Times and smaller retailers such
as the Vapor Room.
Olive said the Vapor Room, which
has participated in two Grass Lands
with a 10-foot-by-10-foot booth,
intends to return this year. The retailer
is responsible for bringing its own
signage, cash registers and inventory.
There is typically a line that, in
between popular acts, can stretch to
50 people-much like a beer or food
line at a concert or sporting event.
Customers range from experienced
cannabis users to newbies, according
to Olive.
Although people are ID'd at the
Outside Lands entrances-patrons
21 and older get a bracelet-and again
at the Grass Lands entryways, Vapor
Room staff ID people in line for good
measure.
" Because it's cannabis sales, we want
to make sure we're covering all our bases
in terms of compliance, " Olive said.
The staffers who monitor the lines
have iPads so they can create customer
profiles, display menus and offer
product advice.
Products are tracked and traced the
same way they would be in a regular
storefront: Metrc tags capture sales as
they happen.
Boost Personnel
Olive strongly recommends
overstaffing at events, partly so
workers can take breaks and also
because it lessens the chances of
compliance errors.
" There is potential for the chaos
and long lines to overwhelm or
frazzle your staff. But if your staff
is well-trained and focused on the
customer in front of them, they
won't be overwhelmed, " Olive said.
" We made sure to relieve our staff.
That is a very big part of it, giving
your budtenders at the events an
opportunity to rest and decompress,
go enjoy the festival a little bit and
then come back to work with a fresh
mindset. Because after two or three
hours of this, you're a little like, 'Oh
my god, this is a lot.' "
mjbizdaily.com | May-June 2023 41
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MJBizMag May-June 2023

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

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