MJBizMagazine September 2021 - 46

Retail Revoution
Thousands of
convenience stores
already sell hempderived
CBD products.
Some experts believe
the stores would be a
natural fit for marijuana
in the event of federal
legalization.
But when that becomes a reality, it's
going to shake up the retail landscape
that we see today, " he said.
Gomez was less bullish on the idea
that cannabis will be sold at mainstream
retail. Even with federal legalization,
she said it would be a long time before
marijuana is available through national
chain stores such as Walmart.
Cannabis retailers, however, shouldn't
sit on their hands.
" There's a great deal of opportunity to
make this experience a lot more exciting
for consumers, " Gomez said.
" If you look back about four or five
years ago, the average dispensary was
a very drab and depressing experience.
Women historically have hated shopping
at dispensaries, which has caused a lot
of lost revenue from female consumers, "
she said. " Now, cannabis dispensaries
have become a lot more upscale. ... A
lot of MSOs have worked really hard to
make these stores very approachable for
a wider range of consumers. "
5. AMAZON
Federal legalization could usher
a new player into the industry-one that
could have an even bigger impact on existing
marijuana retailers than convenience
stores and other mainstream retailers.
On June 1, online sales and distribution
giant Amazon addressed the cannabis
46 MJBizMagazine | September 2021
question for the first time. " Our public
policy team will be actively supporting The
Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and
Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act), "
Dave Clark, Amazon's CEO of worldwide
consumer, wrote on the company╩╝s blog.
" We hope that other employers will join
us, and that policymakers will act swiftly
to pass this law. "
The statement drew immediate
attention from the cannabis industry,
with many theorizing it was the Seattlebased
company's first step toward
launching marijuana sales.
Delivery Giant Sees
'Writing on the Wall'
" The big elephant in the room for
a lot of retailers out there today is
Amazon, " Maturo said, adding that the
online retailer is lobbying the federal
government to take a more definitive
stance on marijuana.
With all of Amazon's distribution
networks, the retailer is in " a pretty
good position to deliver directly to
consumers, " he said, adding that the
company could easily act as a fulfillment
center for multistate operators.
" Companies that are prioritizing
delivery really need to be watching what
Amazon is doing, " Maturo said. Because
as much as Amazon appears to be in
the early stages of backing marijuana
Omar Sacirbey is a reporter
for MJBizMagazine and
MJBizDaily. You can reach him
at omar.sacirbey@mjbiz.com.
legislation, the company likely " sees this
as an opportunity for them to get in and
potentially kick over that part of the
business. "
But Gomez believes cannabis
consumers' buying habits could make it
harder for Amazon to take over the space.
E-commerce typically requires consumers
to wait days for deliveries, for example,
whereas cannabis delivery companies
often provide same-day service.
" Cannabis consumers don't shop that
way, " Gomez said, pointing to Canada's
e-commerce medical marijuana model,
which she called " not really all that
popular with Canadian consumers. "
Additionally, the government's desire
to tightly track marijuana commerce is
likely to be a hurdle for companies with
Amazon's ambitions.
" Every state requires seed-to-sale
tracking, " Gomez said. " They require
cannabis to only be sold through
those legal channels, those licensed
dispensaries, and there's not a lot of
incentive to allow ... more channels,
which can be much more difficult to
control and track and regulate. "

MJBizMagazine September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBizMagazine September 2021

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