Industry Insights with SEC General Manager Windy Anderson
What has been going on in the industry for the last 90 days? How have things changed? What has stayed the same?
A lot has happened in the cannabis industry in the past 90 days. We have seen sales rise and a shortage in the production from our vendors both on the retail and bulk purchasing side. The highly sought-after, high-end Cookies brand by rapper and entrepreneur Berner launched in Washington State and is now being sold at Agate Dreams.
What we have seen stay the same? How adaptable and awesome our customers have been with all the new Covid-19 safety rules and the same goes for the amazing staff, both front and back house, at Agate Dreams. This company was one of the only Suquamish Tribally-owned businesses to stay up and operating daily through this Covid-19 crisis.
It seems like there is less product on the shelves these days, how has COVID impacted the supply chain in the cannabis industry? Is there a shortage?
We did experience a shortage in product during the height of the Washington State stay at home order. As the months have passed we have seen that supply chain issue improve and are seeing more product and more frequent deliveries from our vendors.
Is there a product type that has been unaffected by the interruptions?
We have not seen a shortage of vape carts. It seems as if Flower and Dabs were being purchased more by our customers.
Customers have noticed a slight price increase in flower, why is that?
We have seen price increases industry-wide from all of our vendors. It seems as if this is a trend that happens every year around this time as we get closer to “Croptober.”
Have you seen an increase in demand?
We have seen a large increase in demand even when we had reduced our hours due to the stay-home order. We typically see a rise in pre-roll and vape cart sales during this time of year but, we have seen a steady increase in flower sales.
What are some of the issues farms have seen?
We have heard from farms that it is hard for them to meet the demand and fulfill orders for all their stores. We find that we wait for harvest to occur and can be waiting for weeks without vendors’ products on our shelves. I know I’m sad when we run out of Tilted’s Tropicana Cookies.
Have you noticed different buying trends during the COVID-19 timeframe?
We have seen flower sales rise and people tend to buy more product at one time. Ounce, half-ounce, and quarters sales have risen over the past 7 months.
How has the increase in bud price/shortage impacted brand loyalty? Are you seeing customers trying new farms?
We have not seen the rise in price impact brand loyalty at this point. We will see as the months of this pandemic stretch out and we enter into the fall months. We are seeing a lot of the customers try new farms and leaning on the budtenders for a recommendation. I know I have my go-to budtender who never steers me wrong on a good bud recommendation.*
What are your predictions for the fall?
That we will start to see sales go back to normal and hopefully a dip in price since outdoor crops should be coming down soon.
What message do you have for customers?
That we here at Suquamish Evergreen Corporation, a subsidiary of the Suquamish Tribe thank you for the support and continued business over the past four and half years. Thank you for understanding the changes that have been implemented through the pandemic and we, just like you, are looking forward to things getting back to some form of normal. Happy Smoking!
*note: our budtenders can help pick an awesome recreational strain but are not able to give medical advice or recommendations – speak to your medical professional for help in that regard.