A Day In The Field: Opening Day for Recreational Cannabis Sales

by | Jan 10, 2023

Today, January 10th, 2023, is a momentous day for Connecticut. Today, recreational cannabis is finally available for sale to adult users. So, what did we, at 3PRIME, do? We sent one of our employees out into the field to see just how day one of recreational sales went in Connecticut.

Our journey first took us to RISE, formerly Bluepoint Wellness, in Branford. Upon arrival, it was decided it wasn’t even worth it getting in line, as it wrapped around the building. The biggest downfall with this stop was 90% of their parking lot is reserved for their medical customers and only 10 or so spots were allocated for recreational. They used the neighboring business’ parking lot as overflow. One trend we’ll see throughout this is that police were directing traffic at the locations visited.

RISE, smartly, opened pre-orders to recreational customers last night. However, their recreational selection was minuscule compared to their medicinal. As a recreational user, you were only able to purchase flower, pre-rolls, or vaporizer cartridges. A major inconvenience to users who prefer edibles, tinctures, or other forms of use.

After deciding to skip out on RISE, the journey led us to Affinity Dispensary in New Haven. Arriving there was incredibly easy and we managed to get a parking spot right away. There was a line, but nowhere near what it was at RISE. There was some confusion, however, in line, as an employee came out to ensure that people were pre-ordering. There was no indications anywhere except on their website that (for today only) you needed to make pre-orders.

While in line, we quickly managed to place an order via their Dutchie menu, and from there the process expedited. Planning to be in line for 45 minutes to an hour was what we initially expected, but after pre-ordering, the time spent in line ended up being about 10 minutes.

Once inside, however, everything went like clockwork. It was easy to get checked in, have your ID scanned, and then allowed entry into the transaction area. While in here, we only waited for a couple of moments as another customer was checking out. The transaction went as smoothly as purchasing in a state that has been doing recreational sales for years. Paid cash and was out the door promptly.

Like all dispensaries, it is cash or debit only. And debit is treated as an ATM transaction, so your purchase will be rounded to the nearest $10 and there will be an additional service charge. It’s in your best interest to bring cash, as it’ll save you a couple of dollars.

While both locations’ online menus featured common elements, helping dispensaries make truly useful and SEO-friendly online menus is one of our core recommendations. It’s the way to stand out amongst the crowd – having your individual product pages show up where a competitor’s will not. When you’re ready to take the next steps in your dispensary’s search strategy, get in touch with 3PRIME today!

Some key takeaways from this day, that we noticed, included the following:

  1. Ease of transaction, just like states that have been doing this for a while, the entire transaction process from entering the building until exiting was flawless.
  2. Media coverage, don’t want to be on camera? Might want to wait a few days before making a trip.
  3. Web Presences: We started noticing in the days leading up to today that businesses had begun updating their Google Business Profiles and social media presences with new business names to signify that they do recreational transactions.
  4. Social Media presences are empty: We are missing coverage of these changes on the business’ social channels, this should be spread wide and loud.
  5. eCommerce is not built for SEO, by using a Dutchie embed, businesses are losing out on critical rankings on Google for their products against their competitors.

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