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Panic! At the Dispensary: Five Ways to Keep Consumers Happy in Long Lines During Halloweed 🧟

panic at the dispensary

Halloweed is upon us!

We’re here to help you have the most successful Halloweed yet, coming at you with 5 great tips on how to keep your customers happy and data from our friends over at Headset on how Halloween affects category sales.

It’s no secret folks hate long lines. With a major smokable holiday upcoming, long lines are inevitable. You don’t want to minimize the experience each customer receives with your budtenders, but you also don’t want grumpy folks that are upset with your lines.

What’s a dispensary to do?

Here are five fun ways to keep your customers happy in line.

  1. Candy:

    Regulations generally say you can’t give dosed products away, however, in the spirit of Halloweed giving away everyday candy is a great way to keep consumers focused. We recommend hard candy that requires longer than a few moments to finish. Having staff on hand to talk to everyone while giving out the candy makes each customer feel special. It goes beyond the normal greeting from the staff in the front and provides another high touch sales opportunity before folks hit the counter.

  2. Quizzes:

    This can be done high or low tech and provides an engaging way to train your consumers. A lot of dispensaries have tablets with menus placed throughout the line. Using free services like Quiz Maker can showcase products and cannabis education while keeping the line pleasant. If you want to go low-tech you can make fun printables to hand out with your candy. We suggest terpene quizzes. You could also form quizzes around the brands you really want to push off the shelves during this burst of sales.

  3. Water: 

    Yes, most of these ideas involve staff availability and there’s a huge reason for that. Any chance you can touch the customer and make them feel special is a great moment. Handing out tiny 8 oz bottles of water (preferably branded in your label) will create that goodwill you’re looking for and set you apart from the competition.

  4. Entertainment: 

    The spooky season lends itself to jovial fun, perhaps more than any other holiday. (I’m looking at you Christmas…) Because folks are looking to be surprised you could provide that element in your store at a low cost. Bring on event staff, utilizing your staff, or hiring third party actors you can transform your dispensary into a haunted house easily. The long line becomes a corn maze, the event staff is there to give candy, water, quizzes, and product knowledge throughout the maze.

  5. Staff Support: 

    Retail is a hard job. Don’t forget to take care of your staff. A happy staff creates happy consumers. Cater lunch and dinner for your front lines and make sure they have all of the support they need on high traffic days.

We hope these tips help. Let us know other ways we can support your dispensary by shooting us an email.


Super Mega Cool Data from Headset on Halloweed Sales:

Oregon Total Market and Category Performance:

  • When comparing 10/31/2018 to the previous two and following two Wednesdays (10/17, 10/24, 11/7, 11/14), we see an average 2% increase in Oregon same store sales on Halloween. In comparison, over the same time frame, the total market in California grew by 5%, and Washington grew by 11%. Colorado, however, actually had a decrease in sales with -8% growth.
  • In Oregon, Edibles and Pre-Rolls sold particularly well on Halloween 2018. Edible same store sales grew by roughly 15% on Halloween in comparison to the previous two and following two Wednesdays. Pre-Roll same store sales grew by about 11%.

This data makes sense. While Halloween isn’t necessarily a big cannabis holiday, especially in Oregon, it is a big party holiday. Cannabis consumers turn to more portable and party-friendly fare in edibles and pre-rolls.

Product Segment Growth and Top Sellers (from WA and CA):

  • In Washington, within the Edible category, the Cookie and Candy segments saw the biggest growth on Halloween, 2018 with a 14.6% increase for Cookies and a 12.1% increase for Candies. The top-selling edible in Washington last Halloween was the Blue Raspberry Marmas 10-Pack (100mg) by Magic Kitchen (in the Candy segment).
  • In California, within the Pre-Roll category, the Hybrid – Single Strain segment had the strongest sales and grew by 6% on Halloween. The top-selling Pre-Roll product on Halloween 2018 in California was the Balance Pre-Roll (0.7g) by the brand PUFF, from the Hybrid – Single Strain segment.

We don’t need to explain why cookies and candy sell better on Halloween (we hope). We have no real insight into why the Balance Pre-Roll by PUFF was most popular, but that pre-roll is made with Lemon Guru Kush which has a strong fruity lemon flavor, so we could speculate that buyers were looking for sweet candy flavor in their cannabis of choice.

We’ll leave you this Halloweed with the greatest holiday image ever produced, by the good folks at NASA in 2014:

The sun, captured at the perfect moment when it looked like a flaming Jack O Lantern.
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