Page 21 - Griffin Gazette Q4 2017
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   The Real Dirt on Grow Stores
           of medicinal production and sales. Several states, led by   If  you  could  stock  a  limited  number  of  products  that  would
           Colorado, have legalized cannabis for recreational use,  and   appeal to the widest spectrum of buyer interest, it would have
           have seen benefits for their economies and their residents. In   to be in the selection of growing media. We’re not talking about
           Colorado, unemployment is at its lowest rate since 2008 (and   the typical off-the-retail-shelf potting soils or seed starters,
           well below the national average), real-estate values have risen   but high-tech, high-quality growing media with only the purest
           (up 9.3% over prior year, according to Zillow) and cannabis tax   ingredients. No polymers, no starter charge, no fertilizers, and
           revenue yielded $40 million dollars for the state in the first nine   no blood  meals or pathogens either, just soil  that ensures a
           months of regulation (Way, 2014).
                                                               quick, healthy start for consumables grown from seed.
           Research has shown that cannabis and its psychoactive   The main ingredient to success in this department is soil.
           cannabinoid, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), are considered   Premier Horticulture continues to dominate the compressed
           safe  for  human  consumption (Drug Policy  Alliance, 2017).   bale market with their grower varieties, but others are chipping
           The medicinal world focuses more on the potency of CBD   away.  Sun  Gro’s  Advanced  Mix  #4  with  Mycorrhizae  is  as
           (cannibidiol) in cannabis, which is more therapeutic than   close to a must-have as can be for the consumer market.
           psychoactive as THC (Drug Policy Alliance, 2017). Because   Roots Organic Formula 707 from Aurora and Stonington Blend
           of  this, there are varying potencies of THC and CBD    Platinum Growers Mix from Coast of Maine are other high-
           for treatments.                                     demand products with excellent success rates.
           Further study  has delivered promising results regarding the   Seed-Starting Renaissance
           medicinal potential of cannabis to treat or relieve symptoms    One advantage to the renewed focus on  seed starting is
           of many chronic illnesses and conditions including severe    that stores are maintaining product availability longer into the
           autism and seizure disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, post-  spring. The segment has benefitted from consumers who want
           traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dementia, pain relief for HIV/  more organic and natural foods, given the intense marketing
           AIDS and many more (Drug Policy Alliance, 2017). The American   efforts from supermarkets and cable food channels. Packets of
           Cancer Society and the American Medical Association support   heirloom and non-GMO seed are trending upward.
           large-scale clinical trials to document how cannabis can
           be best used to its full medical potential (US Food & Drug    Do you have what your customers are looking for? Bentley
           Administration, 2017).                              Seed is a Griffin vendor that offers both heirloom and non-GMO
                                                               seed in their vegetable and herb packets. Whether or not it’s
           Several states are weighing the options with regard to   true, consumers believe that rolling the clock back on genetics
           medicinal cannabis, and these trial results will likely factor into    has a direct influence on taste and flavor.
           their decisions.
                                                               Do you devote retail space year-round, no matter how small, to
           Freedom of Choice                                   heirloom seed? We traditionally wait until the exodus of holiday
           In states like Maine, purchasing cannabis is prohibited—but   products is complete, and re-establish the seed-starting
           residents may grow and maintain up to six plants for personal   category around the first of the year. Today, though, seed
           consumption (Bergman, 2016). Just like that, a new segment   starting has no off-season.
           of the indoor gardening category is born! These consumers
           are looking for retail outlets that carry products to maximize   Are  you worried about  your  store’s  image if  you move  into
           their yields. Garden centers  that have adapted to this need   year-round indoor gardening, for whatever the crop may be?
           have seen significant growth in seed-starting products, soils   Think about the customer buying these products, not online or
           and containers. Peripheral products like LED lighting, specialty   in a grow store but choosing to shop your location. Paranoid
           fertilizers and soil amendments can further drive profitability   shopper syndrome? Maybe.  It could  also  be a sign of  the
           in this department. Even a modest 12-foot gondola run can   times and the start of a new chapter in lawn & garden retailing.
           generate a few thousand dollars if the product mix is right!  Why not?
           Once you decide to offer these products, knowing what to   References
           stock and where to display are the next challenges. Listen to   Bergman, Robert. (2016). Growing marijuana in Maine. Retrieved from
           your customer; they may request specific products or brands.
           Since this type of indoor gardening is relatively new, sourcing   Drug Policy Alliance. (2017). Is it true that marijuana has
           may be difficult through the usual channels. Some suppliers,   medicinal properties? Retrieved from
           Griffin included, allow sales of less-than-case-quantities on
           plant foods and lighting, giving you flexibility to experiment with   Twohey, Megan. (2000). From the frying pan into the fire. Retrieved
           your product mix and inventory levels.
                                                               US Food & Drug Administration. (2017). FDA and marijuana: Questions
           You may have read that Scotts recently acquired a few very   and answers. Retrieved from
           large and well-known hydroponic vendors. They clearly   publichealthfocus/ucm421168.htm
           anticipate growth potential over the next few years. Getting   Way, Art. (2014). Colorado and marijuana legalization one year
           into  this  category  sooner  than  later,  we can  gain  a  few   later: What has changed? Retrieved from

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