VIDEO: Dispensary operator talks competing against the illicit market and new safety protocols during COVID-19 – Long Beach Post

Adam Hijazi, president of the Long Beach Collective Association and operator of two Long Beach dispensaries, spoke with the Post during its live chat series on Wednesday about the state of the cannabis industry in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Like other businesses, dispensaries saw a spike in sales when the state and city issued stay-at-home orders in mid March, Hijazi said, but the legal industry still faces challenges when it comes to competing with the illicit market.

Hijazi said that as more legal dispensaries in Long Beach work on offering delivery services—an arduous process that requires multiple security measures—operators have also had to deal with bad actors.

“There has been reports of individuals making calls and trying to either fraud or take away the products when the deliveries happen,” Hijazi said.

It wasn’t the case before, he said, and it does open up the potential for dispensaries to “get slaughtered out there.”

“It’s tough to really compete, in the sense of—not the quality, not the lab testing—but on the prices,” he said.

Listen to Hijazi address the issue starting at the 15:18 minute mark.

Hijazi also revealed new protocols for consumers to safely access cannabis locally:

Dispensaries are ramping up delivery options to reduce foot traffic at showrooms. The Long Beach Health Department approved curbside pickup for dispensaries. Walk in option, but implementing social distancing and limiting group purchases to just individuals. Online orders via each facility’s preferred method—whether their website or third-party platform like WeedMaps.

Listen to Hijazi talk about the various options customers have to buy products beginning at the 19:21 minute mark. 

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