This summer, British Columbia joined only a handful of other Canadian provinces by relaxing the rules around recreational cannabis delivery. Now, residents of BC can legally order weed online for direct delivery to their doorstep.
Across Canada and the United States, cannabis delivery is becoming the norm. Just like with pizza, cannabis delivery is a convenient time-saver. But, in a time of rolling public health measures, it also offers consumers an added layer of safety.
Existing retailers and dispensaries now find themselves competing with stand-alone cannabis delivery companies. Delivery naturally requires highly localized advertising tactics. You've got to understand your market, drill down into detailed demographics, and master the data.
Consumers Demand Cannabis Delivery
The biggest markets in North America, including California, Oregon, New York, and now BC, allow direct cannabis delivery. However, when many of these markets first opened up, delivery was off the table. Regulators presumably thought direct delivery would make an adult-use substance too accessible and enforcement difficult.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened.
COVID-19 initially shut down most in-person sales. Yet, in the same breath, cannabis was declared an essential service. As consumers struggled through sweeping lockdowns, layoffs, and their deteriorating mental health, cannabis sales exploded. According to Statistics Canada, 2020 cannabis sales grew by 120 percent over 2019. In the US, the market grew by 46 percent in 2020.
With consumers stuck at home and more willing than ever before to spend their money on cannabis, the black market ended up stepping in to fill the gap.
In one notable example, an Ontario dispensary forced to shut down due to public health measures faced stiff — and immediate —black market competition.
As a spokesperson for The Hunny Pot stated, "Within hours of being forced to close our doors, illicit market delivery services started advertising directly on our storefront."
Consumers in Ontario and across North America demanded access to cannabis in a way that the legal markets could not fulfill. With the black market chomping at the bit, regulators stepped in.
As Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General of BC, stated, "Since the federal legalization of non-medical cannabis, we've been working to support a strong and diverse cannabis industry, shrink the illicit market and keep products out of the hands of children and youth."
Opening up cannabis delivery is just one more way to meet consumer demand while combating the lingering threat of the black market.
Getting Your Cannabis Delivery Company to Stand Out
According to one large delivery company, Eaze, new customer sign-ups increased by 59 percent, and first-time deliveries rose to 44 percent. This was all within the first 30 days after the pandemic was declared.
Clearly, the potential of the cannabis delivery market is unprecedented. Cannabis delivery companies and retailers offering delivery services are popping up all over the US and Canada. There are already a dozen or more delivery options in Vancouver, BC, and the market has only been open for direct delivery since Jul 15, 2021.
So how do you stand out in such an increasingly competitive space?
Programmatic advertising offers the competitive edge you need in the cannabis delivery market. Programmatic leverages AI to buy and sell digital ads in real-time, working with geographic, demographic, behavioral, and psychographic data to drill down into highly customized audiences.
What does this mean for you?
First, the Wunderworx Programmatic Platform was one of the first compliant platforms built from the ground up for the highly regulated cannabis industry. It's 100 percent compliant with the ever-moving target of cannabis regulation.
Second, it means you have a much greater ability to assign and retarget advertising, working with the numbers and pivoting as needed.
Third, it's an omnichannel solution. No matter where you want to advertise — mobile, web, DOOH (Digital Out Of Home), OTT (Over The Top) — programmatic seamlessly integrates. It is capable of cross-device advertising and cross-channel frequency capping.
Cannabis delivery is one of the biggest consumer trends to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's here to stay. Incorporating direct delivery services into your roster captures provides more value and more options to both new and existing customers.
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