Page 21 - 2017 Griffin Gazette Issue 4
P. 21

Research and Development                                             years’ head start on the box stores, which could be a huge
State-level government support for cannabis has swelled in           competitive advantage.
recent years, with more than 20 states approving some level
of medicinal production and sales. Several states, led by            The Real Dirt on Grow Stores
Colorado, have legalized cannabis for recreational use, and          If you could stock a limited number of products that would
have seen benefits for their economies and their residents. In       appeal to the widest spectrum of buyer interest, it would have
Colorado, unemployment is at its lowest rate since 2008 (and         to be in the selection of growing media. We’re not talking about
well below the national average), real-estate values have risen      the typical off-the-retail-shelf potting soils or seed starters,
(up 9.3% over prior year, according to Zillow) and cannabis tax      but high-tech, high-quality growing media with only the purest
revenue yielded $40 million dollars for the state in the first nine  ingredients. No polymers, no starter charge, no fertilizers, and
months of regulation (Way, 2014).                                    no blood meals or pathogens either, just soil that ensures a
                                                                     quick, healthy start for consumables grown from seed.
Research has shown that cannabis and its psychoactive
cannabinoid, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), are considered              The main ingredient to success in this department is soil.
safe for human consumption (Drug Policy Alliance, 2017).             Premier Horticulture continues to dominate the compressed
The medicinal world focuses more on the potency of CBD               bale market with their grower varieties, but others are chipping
(cannibidiol) in cannabis, which is more therapeutic than            away. Sun Gro’s Advanced Mix #4 with Mycorrhizae is as
psychoactive as THC (Drug Policy Alliance, 2017). Because            close to a must-have as can be for the consumer market.
of this, there are varying potencies of THC and CBD                  Roots Organic Formula 707 from Aurora and Stonington Blend
for treatments.                                                      Platinum Growers Mix from Coast of Maine are other high-
                                                                     demand products with excellent success rates.
Further study has delivered promising results regarding the
medicinal potential of cannabis to treat or relieve symptoms         Seed-Starting Renaissance
of many chronic illnesses and conditions including severe            One advantage to the renewed focus on seed starting is
autism and seizure disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, post-             that stores are maintaining product availability longer into the
traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dementia, pain relief for HIV/     spring. The segment has benefitted from consumers who want
AIDS and many more (Drug Policy Alliance, 2017). The American        more organic and natural foods, given the intense marketing
Cancer Society and the American Medical Association support          efforts from supermarkets and cable food channels. Packets of
large-scale clinical trials to document how cannabis can             heirloom and non-GMO seed are trending upward.
be best used to its full medical potential (US Food & Drug
Administration, 2017).                                               Do you have what your customers are looking for? Bentley
                                                                     Seed is a Griffin vendor that offers both heirloom and non-GMO
Several states are weighing the options with regard to               seed in their vegetable and herb packets. Whether or not it’s
medicinal cannabis, and these trial results will likely factor into  true, consumers believe that rolling the clock back on genetics
their decisions.                                                     has a direct influence on taste and flavor.

Freedom of Choice                                                    Do you devote retail space year-round, no matter how small, to
In states like Maine, purchasing cannabis is prohibited—but          heirloom seed? We traditionally wait until the exodus of holiday
residents may grow and maintain up to six plants for personal        products is complete, and re-establish the seed-starting
consumption (Bergman, 2016). Just like that, a new segment           category around the first of the year. Today, though, seed
of the indoor gardening category is born! These consumers            starting has no off-season.
are looking for retail outlets that carry products to maximize
their yields. Garden centers that have adapted to this need          Are you worried about your store’s image if you move into
have seen significant growth in seed-starting products, soils        year-round indoor gardening, for whatever the crop may be?
and containers. Peripheral products like LED lighting, specialty     Think about the customer buying these products, not online or
fertilizers and soil amendments can further drive profitability      in a grow store but choosing to shop your location. Paranoid
in this department. Even a modest 12-foot gondola run can            shopper syndrome? Maybe. It could also be a sign of the
generate a few thousand dollars if the product mix is right!         times and the start of a new chapter in lawn & garden retailing.
                                                                     Why not?
Once you decide to offer these products, knowing what to
stock and where to display are the next challenges. Listen to        References
your customer; they may request specific products or brands.
                                                                     Bergman, Robert. (2016). Growing marijuana in Maine. Retrieved from
Since this type of indoor gardening is relatively new, sourcing
may be difficult through the usual channels. Some suppliers,
Griffin included, allow sales of less-than-case-quantities on        Drug Policy Alliance. (2017). Is it true that marijuana has
plant foods and lighting, giving you flexibility to experiment with  medicinal properties? Retrieved from
your product mix and inventory levels.                               drug-facts/10-facts-about-marijuana/marijuana-medicinal-properties

You may have read that Scotts recently acquired a few very           Twohey, Megan. (2000). From the frying pan into the fire. Retrieved
large and well-known hydroponic vendors. They clearly                from
anticipate growth potential over the next few years. Getting
into this category sooner than later, we can gain a few              US Food & Drug Administration. (2017). FDA and marijuana: Questions
                                                                     and answers. Retrieved from

                                                                     Way, Art. (2014). Colorado and marijuana legalization one year
                                                                     later: What has changed? Retrieved from

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