July 13, 2020 5 min read
This story originally appeared on WeedWeek
The gigantic Planet 13 dispensary in Las Vegas was conceived as a tourist destination as much as a store.
It calls its 112,000-square-foot facility a “Cannabis Entertainment Complex,” offering “an unparalleled customer experience focused on unique interactive entertainment.” These include laser-light displays, electronic lotus flowers controlled by customers and an “aerial orb show.” And — oh, yeah — you can buy weed there, too. The web site also telegraphs Planet 13’s ambition “to operate ultra-high-end dispensaries in tier-one markets nationwide.”
Plans like that are on hold industry-wide. Of course, Planet 13 was conceived well before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Once it did, the company had to quickly shift resources from its “showroom” and toward the more mundane tasks of delivering weed or distributing it curbside.
In March, Nevada authorities ordered dispensaries to close their shops to the public and offer delivery only. Planet 13 hurriedly increased its delivery fleet from five cars to a 30.
Dispensaries could open their doors again in May, but that didn’t do much to bring customers back. In a conference call with investors last month, Planet 13 executives reported that, at $100,000 a day, sales were only half of what they had been before the lockdown. It marked a huge improvement over the $10,000 the store was generating daily in March, but with the pandemic now worsening again, things won’t get back to “normal” for a long time yet.
And even then, “normal” will look very different from before. Among other things, there will be much more emphasis on Internet purchases, deliveries, and curbside pickup than anyone had envisioned before the crisis.
For dispensaries, delivery is not just a matter of buying cars