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The Legal Cannabis Industry is Growing. AV Integrators Shouldn’t Ignore It.

Marijuana companies want the weed-buying process to be an experience. That should be a clear opportunity for AV integrators.

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In Massachusetts, where Commercial Integrator is based, recreational marijuana stores have now been open for more than a year and about $400 million worth of product has been sold since last November.

The global cannabis industry is booming, expected to grow exponentially in the coming years as more states — and possibly the entire U.S. — legalizes and regulates marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

I had the pleasure of writing about cannabis and how the process unfolded in Massachusetts from the November 2016 vote to legalize and regulate up until a few months ago when I took this job.

Have you ever been to a dispensary? The first thing you’ll notice is the smell. I personally enjoy the smell and I think it adds to the experience.

The dispensaries I’ve seen in Massachusetts have no shortage of visual cues and information about the company, its background and mission. Many often display or hand out literature about the science behind cannabis and the effects it can have on your body and mind.

Buying cannabis is an experience, and the pro AV industry is built on providing that experience to help elevate a company’s brand.

There are clear needs in the cannabis market that AV integrators can help solve:

Marketing and branding

Despite public opinion coming around on legalization, many are still unconvinced that cannabis should be as easy to buy as a six pack of beer or handle of vodka. AV integrators can help tell the industry’s story with innovative advertising solutions like digital signage and video walls and help erase the stigma that cannabis is an unprofessional industry run by a bunch of stoners.

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In Massachusetts, each company can operate up to three dispensaries on top of up to 100,000 square feet of cultivation canopy. Many of the companies that sprouted up to take part in the Commonwealth’s cannabis industry came from industry pioneers on the West Coast. When a new state legalizes weed, companies with enough resources typically have their eyes on that market.

With that many potential locations, companies will need solutions that allow them to seamlessly communicate between locations.

Digital retail experiences

Buying cannabis is an experience, and technologies like digital signage, self-service kiosks and sound systems can help elevate those interactions and make for a better, easier and more informed purchase experience. These tools can also be used for educational purposes and help customers better understand how to purchase cannabis products that are new to them.

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