MJBiz Magazine April 2022

Page 12

FIVE QUESTIONS with Ryan Sinclair

Post-Pandemic Retail Your CBD Store’s chief marketing officer discusses retailing trends in the cannabis sector By Kristen Nichols

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ustomization and no-contact delivery are two big retail trends that appear to contradict one another: Consumers are looking for personalized formulations, but they don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of time in a store. The twin trends present a special challenge for cannabis retailers—both those selling high-THC marijuana in regulated markets and those selling low-THC hemp extracts nationwide. That’s because cannabis retailers must also navigate a thicket of confusing legal requirements as they fend off challengers from the illicit market. To find out how a large, multistate cannabis operator captures the wellness-minded consumer while juggling complex regulations, MJBizMagazine caught up with Ryan Sinclair, chief marketing officer for Your CBD Store, a Florida-based chain of franchised cannabinoid retailers with more than 500 locations in the United States and United Kingdom.

How has the pandemic changed cannabis retail? There’s greater consumer desire for convenience. They’re willing to spend more to get that convenience. For some of the other CBD brands, they didn’t have the brickand-mortar locations that we had with a community we’d already created. I think that’s one thing

12 April 2022 | MJBizMagazine

health claims about your products? We have an extensive training program that all our store owners go through to learn how to communicate everything around CBD and the endocannabinoid system. We’re not going to put a product out there and make claims that it can prevent COVID or cure COVID. But there’s an opportunity to dig deeper into those cannabinoids and the potential that those cannabinoids have. Ryan Sinclair

that’s helped us not just maintain our business levels through the pandemic but continue to grow. Going forward, there’s a tremendous opportunity for us to grow our online presence. The key there is focusing on it in the right way. We deliver an amazing experience in our stores, providing that touchpoint, that interaction with someone who can help walk you through a journey or help explain a new product. We want to be able to translate that to our online experience. And that’s something that we’re in the middle of working on right now.

Consumers have seen a flurry of headlines about CBD’s potential to treat COVID-19. How do you capitalize on that news without making illegal

One retail trend that accelerated during the pandemic is no-contact shopping and curbside delivery. Do you think no-contact shopping is coming to cannabis? It’s a huge point of differentiation for our brands, having that expert in the store and having that interaction in the store. Especially as we continue to bring new products to market, it’s important for that interaction to happen. But I will say a key focus for us going forward is to improve our online experience that we offer our customers, whether that’s helping them order products online that they can pick up in-store or providing them additional information on new products that are coming out and an easy way they can go pick them up. Still, that connection to the wellness expert in our stores