3 min read

Top 5 Questions Cannabis Retailers Should Be Asking Their Cultivators

October 10, 2019

The world of cannabis retailing is still evolving. With markets opening up as marijuana is legalized in states across the nation, the industry is learning as it goes. Because legal sales are a recent development, there are virtually no veteran retailers in the space. At the same time, large-scale cultivation operations also are going through a period of trial and error as they learn what growing techniques work best. This requires marijuana dispensaries to be extra careful about the products they put on their shelves. Offering products of the highest quality is essential for the success of any retail operation, while failing to do so can result in losing out to the competition. 

Newly licensed cannabis retailers have so much to learn in real time, it’s up to them to take charge by asking cultivators a number of vital questions. The answers will help them get a better handle on which suppliers offer the best products and which could ultimately hurt their sales. Meanwhile, growers will need to be prepared to answer these questions in order to build solid retail relationships and dispel any uncertainty about the quality of their crops. The following are some key questions retailers should ask potential cultivators.  

Are Your People Experienced?

It takes more than an eagerness to get your hands dirty to produce healthy crops. Growing operations need workers who are experienced, knowledgeable and disciplined. Caring for plants is more complicated than many people realize. Cannabis, in particular, requires specialized conditions and care to thrive and grow to its fullest potential. Any cultivator who wants to succeed in this new marketplace should be aware of the challenges posed by this crop and hire only the most knowledgeable employees. 

How Do You Control the Indoor Environment? 

A proper balance of humidity and temperature is vital for the health of a marijuana crop. This means an HVAC system is among the most important equipment for any grower. Unfortunately, too many choose systems that don’t deliver the best performance, and their yields suffer as a result. Choosing an HVAC system that is specifically engineered for growing cannabis plants and installed by experienced professionals can make a tremendous difference to the success of a grower’s operation. 

How Well Do You Know Your Cannabis Strains? 

Cannabis can vary a lot from strain to strain. In many cases, a cultivator will narrow his or her selection down to a very small curated selection. This ensures that the growers have detailed knowledge of their crop and can gain the best results from it. If a supplier appears stretched too thin by offering too many strains, it could be a sign that the crops aren’t getting the attention they need. 

What Kind of Water Do You Use? 

Advanced filtration systems ensure that the water used in growing facilities is as pure as possible. Automated irrigation prevents plants from becoming thirsty. Experienced professional growers know how to use technology to provide their crops with the best-quality hydration at the proper amounts. 

What About Cannabis Sustainability? 

The agricultural industry has a tremendous impact on the environment, and growing marijuana is no exception. As the sector transitions into full-scale professional cultivation, it’s advisable for cannabis retailers to consider how the products they sell may be affecting the planet. Asking how your suppliers source their water, whether or not they compost, and what type of packaging they use all should factor into your decision making. 

Whether you’re a cannabis retailer or a grower in the legal market, chances are you’re going to be learning on the job for some time to come. Don’t let guesswork and mistakes trip you up before you’ve established yourself. Asking these questions can be a good starting point on the road to lasting success. 

Guest Contributor: Dalton West of Surna