"HighIQ Webinar Series: Developing Profitable Sales Channels - Retail Distribution Hacks for Cannabis

HighIQ Webinar Series: Developing Profitable Sales Channels – Retail Distribution Hacks for Cannabis

Alternative Text
GrowerIQ is the operational backbone ERP that unites the fragmented systems required by cannabis production facilities around the world. The company now powers facilities in more than a dozen countries, and four languages - enabling true seed-to-sale traceability.

Retail Distribution Hacks for Cannabis

Is your team producing high-quality cannabis products, but struggling to get your product onto retail shelves?

Our own Rob Perry, Vegar Samuelsen, and Katy Perry, the CEO of Toke Cannabis, will be sitting down to cover topics including:

  • How to approach the Recreational Market
  • The Process from Distribution to the Consumer
  • Cannabis Marketing in Canada

In addition, attendees can expect to learn more about GrowerIQ’s CRM (Customer Relationship Management) feature, & how we track product shipments. Come prepared with your questions, as we’ll have a Q&A session at the end.

Join us on Monday, November 27, 2023, at 1 pm EST to learn more about the how to develop profitable sales channels with the GrowerIQ platform.


Rob Perry  0:03  

Hello everybody and welcome back to another edition of HighIQ. This is a webinar series that we put on here and GrowerIQ is a way of just sharing information with you know, peers friends, various customers, bars in the industry to really just help make the industry a little bit better and life a little bit easier and better for for everybody working in it. Today's episode is building profitable sales channels and the sales hacks for cannabis so, so a lot of talk out there these days about you know how to distribute cannabis, cannabis sales and distribution channels, how to get in there, how to expand your footprint, how to expand shelf space, and we're going to learn a little bit more about that today. The focus today is on retail but actually a lot of the same principles apply to medical distribution and considerations of the end users. And these sorts of things, right across the globe right across different jurisdictions. Though we are aware that many jurisdictions currently do not allow retail sales. To support us here with the with today's episode we have as always Vegar Samuelson from GrowerIQ who's back to take us through some of the some nuances and GrowerIQ that can help with distribution are going to take a look at that later. And also Katy Perry is joining us from Toke cannabis. So Katy is the the CEO and owner of a chain of retail dispensaries here in Canada, based in Toronto, but across southern Ontario. She has many years of experience in the industry, and can really, really give us some of those tricks and hacks as to how to get your get your product in there from the perspective of a retail owner. So Katy, there's no one better to describe, you know what you do and how you do it, then then you so let me let me here. Just pass the mic over to you. And yeah, let us let us know how it's done.

Katy Perry  2:36  

Okay, wonderful. Thanks, Rob. As Rob introduced me, my name is Katy Perry. And I am the owner and operator of tau cannabis, which is a retail chain, I come from the legacy market and was able to pivot into the legal market. A few years ago, I think we opened our first store in November 1 2020. And so what I'm here to do today is help you guys figure out how to increase your chances of getting your products on a retail menu in Ontario specifically, but I feel like these tricks can really help you across the board. So bear with me while I share my screen with you all this is a trick that I just actually learned how to do so. Okay, cool. I was successful. Okay, so this is me, Katy Perry, Toke Cannabis. And the first point that I'd like to bring up for distribution hacks and sort of helping to get your product on the menu is check the menu of the stores, you actually want your products listed in. What I find a lot of producers are doing is they're sending representatives to stores asking us to carry your products, when we actually already do carry your products. And so once you realize that we are on the menu, you can redirect your pitch and you can talk about new stuff, you can get our feedback, you can give us additional selling points, you know, you can tell us what's new and coming down the pipeline. And we can create a different kind of relationship because the biggest hurdle has already been passed in a way is that you're already on the menu board. So make sure you do your homework and do your due diligence before you send your reps out for the stores that you really want to carry your products. Check because if they're a great product, we probably already carried them organically. So that would be the first hack that that would help. The next hack is know who when and how. What does that mean? Well, it means know the right person to chat with at the organization called Cold Calling is a noble exercise. But if you're not pitching the right person, it sort of falls on deaf ears, right? So make sure you know who the right person to get in contact is. I always recommend making an appointment. We're all really busy, especially, you know, from my own perspective, I'm running a chain of eight retail stores, my day is usually pretty jam-packed. I love making time to hear about new innovations and new producers and new products. So just shoot me an email or call the store, shoot me a message on Instagram, tell me when you want to come by, and I'll make sure that we can accommodate you. Just popping in for a visit. Although that sometimes works, it's sometimes more frequently than not does not actually work at least that well with myself. The next point I want to talk about is your product and your demographics. Not every product is for every person, if you are able to tell me who your product is for, and what gap you're going to be filling on my menu, the chances of you getting your product on my menu are a lot greater than if you're not telling me what gaps you're filling. You know, every store carries slightly different products at Toke we have a core product list that we carry across the board for everybody. But we also have a few variations, depending on geography, and demographic type. And we have certain stores that cater specifically towards senior citizens. And so those stores tend to be a little bit more health and wellness-oriented. We have other stores that are you know, on busy Bloor Street and those tend to carry more pre-rolls because people usually tend to just come in and grab a pre-roll on or walk by. So understand who your demographic is with your product. And that should be how you start your pitch, at least with me. The next point I want to bring up is leave samples. If a product is going to be considered from my menu, I want to be able to see it, I want to touch it, I want to smell it, I want to get the entire experience from it. I've had reps swing by here in the past that have sort of asked me, Hey, do you have a bag that you could put this nugget in? I don't I don't want it like that. I don't want it unlabeled. I don't want just mysterious nugs of weed on my desk. I mean, I'll probably smoke them later. But not if I don't know what it is it doesn't help your cause. So, you know, presentation really matters a lot. Show me the package, show me your best nugs you know, because for me, I'm judging your product based on what you're giving me. So make sure, make sure that you do that. And the quality and quantity matter. And presentation is definitely key if you want me to stock your products. At this point in my career, I get boxes of products sent to me every day from all across the country. And it makes a huge difference. Often, if they're included with a little personal note, or you know, some greeting “Oh, hey, Katy, I just got something from a producer out west.” And it came with a handwritten note, which I thought was a nice touch. And lo and behold, those products made it onto my menu. So often it's the ability to go above and beyond when you're presenting these samples to the people who are curating a menu makes a huge difference.

Rob Perry  8:30  

Quick question, Katy just wanted to touch on that too, on the whole presentation aspect. You know, like it's the packaging also. But when we know when someone submits a product to go on your menu and see your website, it's there's also like the digital packaging as well like the the the photography and imagery, like do you do sometimes see like pitfalls there as well, where it's, you know, it clearly needs to be reworked? Or maybe it's not suitable or it might not might not just look well on the site. So I guess how do you handle that? Or how does that kind of come back to the potential REP?

Katy Perry  8:59  

Well, if we find that the digital asset isn't high enough quality, we'll usually create our own digital asset for the company, especially if the product is excellent. At the end of the day, it's the quality of the product, right? And if the quality of the product is great, but the marketing materials sort of fall short, a Toke will sort of bridge the difference. But you know, if you're in a 17-way tie with a bunch of other producers to get a half-quarter on the menu. You bet marketing matters a lot, especially digital assets. So, you know, growing is obviously the bread and butter of what these producers are doing right. They're growing and producing fantastic and high-quality products. But you also have to tell the people, you know what it is and at the end of the day, that's just marketing and that's a marketing budget and that's a good photographer and making sure that you have all of that lined up ready to go

Rob Perry  9:57  

Oh, sorry, Vegar Go ahead.

Vegar Samuelsen  9:58  

Oh, just saying you know There's so many so many aspects sometimes, right? We're good at growing weed. But, you know, that's a whole other side of the whole other kind of knowledge pool. And you know, it's not always easy. So I mean, it's great to hear that Toke is kind of willing to help and kind of leverage some of their, you know, tools and skills to kind of make that transition a little bit easier for those in need, I guess.

Katy Perry  10:20  

Yeah, no, well, it's true. And I mean, like, really, that is what we do, right, like, we are b2c, we're selling to the consumer and the customer. And so our marketing really does have to be on point, whether it's, you know, the email marketing that we're sending out to our customer base, or Instagram posts and stories, we want to make sure that the assets look nice and engaging. And so, you know, we appreciate the effort. And, you know, obviously, it's much easier if a producer has fantastic marketing materials that we can just, you know, literally cut and paste and put on, but we will, we will help, we will help because we want to make that sale as well. So I find like, you know, we really all kind of work together in that particular respect.

Rob Perry  10:57  

Nice. Very, very interesting. And on, on a similar point. Kate, you, you mentioned in the slide before that, you know, you get you get boxes of samples coming to you now, you know, there, there are a lot of lot of micros or smaller producers out there that, you know, might not have the budget to be sending boxes of samples to a lot of different retailers, do you really need the volume and I guess, you know, similar to what we were just talking about, you have a lot of really good growers that, you know, may or may not have the marketing side down, or the budget to put a good marketing campaign down. But you really need a big box of samples or, you know, is, you know, a small sample, okay? Or would you recommend that some of these smaller growers, you know, kind of focus on a number of different retail outlets that they're they're trying to approach and then really give, you know, give the full level of sales support to these different retail outlets, rather than kind of spreading themselves too thin. And, and getting stuff out of there. Absolutely.

Katy Perry  12:10  

And that's one of the things I'm going to, I'm going to chat on a little bit a little bit later in the presentation. But we can skip to it now is you can't be everything to everybody. You know, you there's no in no realistic world is every store in Ontario going to carry your product. And so what I would recommend is do your market research, figure out which stores you really want to be carried in, you know, if it's independence, because they, you know, especially for craft growers, you know, independence, participate less aggressively in sort of data deals, as opposed to some of these big chains. So there's a higher chance of getting onto a menu organically. And so if you pick the chains, the are independent chains that you really want to be in, get to know the people who are behind that get to know who the key players are, personalize it and build a relationship with those people, right, because that's how you're going to get it on the menu board. You know, I don't need a box of like your entire crop. But if you want me to carry a product on my menu, I need to see that product. And so you know, if you're if you have an offering of one or two products, just send me one or two products, like that's fine. If you have seven or eight skews that you want me to take a look at and carry, I have to see the seven or eight skews. I have to try them, I have to smell them. Because you know, I've gotten into positions before where I've purchased based on what I thought a product would be. And it was not what I thought it would be. And I had a heavy order of it across all eight locations, in which case, you know, it makes a problem for me because then I have to really, really work hard to sell those products as opposed to just letting the product speak for itself. So you don't have to always be sending me stuff. You know, especially once we've built a relationship, you know, you don't have to send me things all the time. But if you want to showcase a product it should definitely be coming across my desk.

Rob Perry  14:14  

Now that that makes sense. We've got a got a lot of questions coming through here too. We don't don't want to mess too much with your flow. So we'll we'll try to pipe down a little bit and only ask the questions Vegar. And I only asked questions that we just can't hold back. Yeah, well, thanks very much Caden for everyone asking questions online and sending them through as well through the back channels. You know, we'll we'll get through there shortly. So I'll speed

Katy Perry  14:48  

Through the next few slides. So if there's lots of questions, I'm for it. So this slide is about availability. One of the biggest disconnects that I've noticed is that Users don't actually know what's available on the Ontario cannabis store, at least for me. And so they'll come in and they'll say, buy this product. It's amazing. And I go to purchase it, and there's none available. So know your availability, know what they're carrying, know what I can buy. If you're a small craft grower, tell me say, hey, you know what, we've got this amazing stream coming down the pipeline, blueberry, yum, yum, you're gonna go crazy for your customers are gonna go crazy for it, but just know, like, it's small batch. So you better grab it, when it's on Monday, because you're going to sell out and you're not going to be able to buy more, those are the sorts of heads up, I love to hear, because I like if it's a great product, and I know, you know, I've seen it, I know, it's a great product, I know, my customers are gonna love it, I will buy it in bulk, because I know what's gonna go out of stock in two days. And, you know, it'll be months before the OCS is able to restock it. So be familiar with the availability online. And just like, let me know what it is, you know, there's, of course, products that are fantastic, that have lots and lots of availability. And so that's not even an issue. If that's the case, great. But if it's small craft, let me know and say jump on it, don't sleep on it, get this weed in your store and stock a lot of it. So my next point is marketing agencies. You know, and this is a great point too, because we were just talking about digital assets and the importance of marketing. And so a lot of producers will work with marketing agencies, and they act as a go-between between you guys and myself. And although they are great, and they come with a lot of good assets to them, I personally think they're kind of tough to work with, because they act as a go-between between you and me. And I don't always love that, because I find marketing agencies are often the last to know when things are changing, they might not be as plugged into your products as you do, they don't have the same kind of passion for their products that you do. You know, so they're great at getting in the door, and especially some marketing agencies, because they've already built relationships with people like me, but I would far rather deal with the producers themselves as opposed to a marketing agency. So just be aware of that, you know, they don't always act in your best interests, they act in their own best interests, which is, you know, just something to be aware of, when it comes to marketing.

Vegar Samuelsen  17:24  

I guess I have a question to you just to kind of jump in on that. Because, you know, there's the marketing aspect. And there's the beautiful write-up sometimes like, you know, much when buying a bottle of wine, you know, you read about it, it's, you know, vivid, racy acidity and crisp notes of apple, lemon and pear. And it just kind of like sometimes that description is pretty accurate. But ultimately, that product, it's going to get to a person or maybe a group that then has to maybe decide to carry that product and, you know, knowing, you know, you have multiple locations, you've got a great team, really talented bud tenders. So, you know, that product might look one way, and then you know, when it hits the sample table. Let's talk a little bit more about that. And maybe how you guys kind of might sample a product when it you know, when it comes time? Because it's I mean, it's not always yourself maybe smoking it or, or enjoying it, it could be the budtenders? And how do some of those, you know, how does your team are they aligned on certain kinds of tastes? And or do you find sometimes there's conflicting, you know, thoughts on maybe a product, some people love it, some people are divided. I mean, just a good point there that kind of like, you know, stepped into that marketing juncture, there were? Well,

Katy Perry  18:29  

I mean, I'd love to say that I could try all the products that come across my desk, but I am one person and I do have a real job. So I can't be stoned all day, I have tried, it's not possible, I just can't get it done. So what we do is we sort of have like a checkout list, like I have samples, I mean, you know, everywhere like just I, you guys can't see it, but the boxes right here. And so what we do is we have a checkout list. So the bartenders will come and they'll check out a product, I'll know that they have it, they have to write me a review and they have to give me like certain selling features. What's the palate on it? How does it burn? How does it taste is a burn your throat does it have a nice nose on it, you know, and then they give me that information back and these budtenders, they can be stoned all day. So for them, it's like a little bit easier to give an accurate review. Just because something isn't necessarily my palette or my budtender's palette doesn't mean that it won't be for a different customer or consumer. Right. And so that's the message I always try to relate to these guys is you don't have to love the product, but you do have to give an accurate representation of what that product is. Right? So say for example, like a black cherry strain. It's not for me, I don't like it. I don't like the way black cherry tastes in a wheat form. But I recognize that it's a very, very popular palette for people and so when I'm trying a black cherry strain, I can say Wow, the nose on this is amazing. The aroma is great. The flavor is fantastic. It's not for me, I wouldn't buy it off the shelf, but I can describe it. I know what it is. And I know who my customer base is looking for this product. So I think as you get a little bit deeper into the rabbit hole of purchasing, I think it's very important to note that I don't, I don't buy for myself, my menu would look a lot different if I was purchasing just my favorite things I buy for my consumer base. And I think it's important to make that distinction when you're trying to products.

Katy Perry  20:32  

Next, emails, okay. This is like a serious, serious thing. For me personally, I receive a lot of emails every day, just running the business. I hate spam. If I get spammed by producers, I just put them on the block list because I just can't possibly go through it anymore. So what I would say is, once you've found who the key player is in the organization, and who's the one who's in charge of inventory control, or curating a menu, send them a personalized email, say, Hey, Katy, what's up? I hope you had a great weekend. You know, have you enjoyed the summer, whatever, make it to me, don't make it a mass email to 500 people. And this sort of circles back to that point of, you know, picking the people that you want to work with, right? You can't work with everybody. So if you pick the people that you want to work with, personalize your communication with that person. It makes people feel good. Everybody likes it, when you know their name. Everybody likes it when you know something about them. You know, it makes you feel valued, which at the end of the day is what's going to get you on the menu. I mean, assuming your product is also good, right? The other point is obviously no spam. So I get you know, you guys are very proud of your products, and you want me to know about them every day. I already know about your product, you sent me a sample, you know, we've got a conversation going back and forth on an email chain. You don't need to send me your buy sheet every week. That's fine. Just send me a heads up say oh, hey, you know that blueberry, yum, yum, that great Kraft strain, guess what it's dropping again on the OCS next week, it should be on it should be available to purchase. That's all I need to know. I don't need to know anything else. Have a call to action or an offer on the email, if you must, you know, if you've got to say, you know, the Blueberry Yum Yum is on the menu, don't sleep on it. Get as many cases as you think you can for all of your stores. I'll do it. I like the product, I've already bought it. I'm glad it's back on the OCS if you know me and you've built a relationship with me, you probably know when my order days are, you know, not every dispensary orders every week, I do two orders a month for each of my locations instead of the four. But the producers that I work with very closely, they know when those orders are they want to be on the front of my mind the day before and putting in the order. So that's when they're sending me my email. If you've missed it, and you send me an email two days after my order day, and I have to wait two weeks, I'm probably going to forget whatever you've told me, which unfortunately is just a byproduct of working in the cannabis industry, you know, in one year out the other but no one might know when my order day is and target the day before to send those emails. And again, like that's getting to know your clientele. Right? Like, who are you trying to sell to? If you're just sending out mass emails to you know, 1000 retailers in Ontario, they're not gonna get opened, because people are gonna get irritated. But yeah, so that's my spiel on email. Sorry, I get a lot of emails. So this one I like had to include in this presentation.

Rob Perry  23:42  

No, all good.

Katy Perry 23:46  

Okay, and then my last point is to know your sales pitch. Make it seem impossible for you to replicate your sales pitch on everybody. No, my team. Remember personal things about me. You know, send those handwritten notes. Show me anything that shows me that you care. I care about me more than just putting your product on the menu. Because in this industry, there are so many products in certain categories. If you're going to stand out, you need to create a personal relationship with me. And that's just the reality of the situation. So you know, I have I have reps that come in here and they bring coffee, they bring coffee for the team. That's one way to get in. If you haven't booked a meeting also, FYI, is bring a coffee. I can usually get you in the back room in that case.

Rob Perry  24:40  

How do you take it Kate, one milk, two sugars?

Katy Perry  24:42  

Two milks. I'm sweet enough. I don't need any sugar so perfect. But, you know, those are the little things that go a long way. Or like even if you know you come in unannounced, and one day, you know it's fine. We can sit down and have a chat. We sort of had a light day and then The other day you come in and you see, it's a crazy day in the store, there's like a million things happening, you've brought doughnuts, just leave the donuts and leave, like we know you left them, trust me, you're building a relationship with us. When we're eating the donuts, we're thinking about you. I'm scrolling through the OCS, I see your product, I think of you, you know, I think like, oh, you know, they know how I take my coffee, they know my work schedule, like, let's help them out, that's put the products on the menu. So I can't stress that enough is, is no, the people you're trying to sell to, I'm pitched all day every day to carry products. If the product is exceptional, it maybe doesn't matter, you maybe don't have to know who I am, you maybe don't have to know how I take my coffee, you really just have to get that product on my desk, and it's going to make it on the menu. But if your product is sort of in that mid-range of what most of the products are, build a relationship with the people who are doing the purchasing, because that's the only way you're gonna get that product on the menu. And that's the end of my distribution hacks for producers to get their products on menus. I can see there's some questions. So

Rob Perry  26:09  

Yeah, there are a bunch of questions that if and we will get to them. Before we do I know Vegar was hoping to spend about five minutes just showing what it would be like using the GrowerIQ system to send some product to to a dispensary. So all I'll leave it to him. We'll run through that. And then we'll take all those questions right at the end. So please keep banging those questions into the Q&A. And, and yeah, we'll we'll pick those up shortly. And any new questions about GrowerIQ, feel free to get it in there. Thanks, Gregor.

Vegar Samuelsen  26:55  

Thank you so much, Rob. Thank you, Katy. That's great. Yeah, so you know, I've been speaking to Katy, just over email a couple times I went ended up meeting her down at the Hamilton location, which was great. And, you know, I've got a small batch of product. It's perfectly timed for the holiday season. It's Jack Frost pre rolls of Jack for us is a nice cross between White Widow and Northern Lights, pretty relaxing, and it's got some nice, sweet woodsy notes with some pine and citrus. So maybe perfect for that winter hike. That's imminent. So yeah, she loves the product. It's not trying to kind of be like all the other products out there right now. I know. There's one of the famous ones on the market, maybe like, can you speak to that a little bit later. But I think there was a lot of too much too much of a similar thing coming her way. So this kind of is a unique product. And it seems to kind of fit the bill. Well, and yeah, I've got, I've got these three packs of half grand pre-rolls, I've got about 120. So it's a small run. But you know, it's just perfectly time for that opportunity to fall into the stocking.

Rob Perry  27:57  

Rate. Good, good stocking stuffer, material right there. Yeah,

Vegar Samuelsen  28:00  

Exactly. That's the one. So I'm gonna go in and launch GrowerIQ. And we'll look a little bit at our CRM today. So, you know, our customer relations management, you know, in order to to bring cannabis into the facility or to send cannabis out, we need to have a CRM account that these inventory movements are linked to. So I can head over to my customer relations management, I can check out my accounts here, I've got all kinds the list is getting pretty long. But I've also got some great filters at the top where I could see you know, what type of accounts are there here, you know, like, who are my labs that I work with. So I might just put my lab filter on and I can see I've got a few here. Maybe I want to see who some of my suppliers are. So just different ways to kind of drill in. I know some accounts are expired. So I've got to review those and kind of maybe see if they're still active. I like to put my expiration dates a year to two years out just to kind of review on that biannual basis to make sure that it's still a good a good accounts. But um, yeah, I've never sent me any talk before, but super excited. So I think what we got to do is, you know, set up a retailer account for Toke Cannabis. We've got a few retailers here, but let's go ahead and get Katy's Hamilton location set up and GeowerIQ so we can send a shipment out. So I'll click Add New Account. Of course, I've got a handy reference here, but I don't remember what the account types do or are, but in our case, you know, took cannabis as a retailer. So we'll put that in here. And we'll put toe cannabis and I've got a phone number here. Let's just see here, the actual phone number so we can give, give the shop a call when it comes time. Maybe start building that relationship. But yeah, I know it's busy during the holiday season and with the whole Cyber Monday thing, probably not the best day to do an in-store visit. Just read the room, right? So it's one of those days where the box of doughnuts will probably fall to the wayside but Hamilton's got a lot of good doughnuts, check out donut monster if you're a fan. Good stuff. All right, so we'll just say, you know, it's Katy@gmail.com. And I'll put the expiration date out for, let's say, next November, on November 1. All right, and then address, of course, we'll put the address of the location. I believe it's 247 centennial. That's right. Yeah. Okay. There it is. And that looks right, perfect. So that just enter interfaces with Google Maps, and it will just pull that address saves me a few clicks. And I can say that shipping address is, of course, the same as the address I just put in. So when that looks good, I'll go ahead and hit submit. And so I see we've got to cannabis setup here, it's an awaiting approval, we have an expiration dates, it's an active accounts, we also have a couple of extra fields here, upload document and add notes. So you know, if it was a license holder that I was adding, maybe I could add their license information here in PDF, I could add some notes, maybe I want to add, like some contacts that Katy told me to, you know, make sure that I interface with like, I think Darren was saying, you know, call us once you ship that order out, we'll make sure to keep an eye out. And, you know, so we can add some details if we want to reference on this account, of course, we'll see an activity log, which you know, who has any orders, we'll, we'll

Rob Perry  31:21  

Vegar, if I can interrupt, you could even get her coffee type in there as well, too.

Vegar Samuelsen  31:27  

You know what, that's a, that's a good one here. So let's just put that note in here. And we'll say, He loves coffee. And just to milk. Perfect.

Vegar Samuelsen  31:43  

It's a good spot to put our feedback in there, too. So as you develop the relationship with the retailers, and you ask them for their feedback, they'll give it to you, and you can throw it in the notes. Yeah, it doesn't

Vegar Samuelsen  31:56  

Hurt, right? Because sometimes you're talking to a lot of different people and adding notes, it's just helpful like to say, you know, who did I speak with? And what was like, kind of a recap of that call. And that's, you know, like, any good business is kind of building those relationships. And Katy, like, you know, at your shop your budtenders, right? Like, that's the thing, right? You got a person in there, you're getting to know your customers, what their preferences are, and then you're gonna sell to them the next time when they come back and say, You know what, I love that product you recommended. What else do you got? Or what do you recommend? Now, like, it's, that's, you know, if you've got bodies in your store, like, make sure you're utilizing them as a resource, I think, you know, there's, I noticed this post-pandemic, where, you know, I feel like a lot of customer service has really taken a hit, and just not really back to the level that it used to be pre pandemic. And I think that you know, what, like, Yeah, our business is so focused on people and relationships. So make sure that you know, okay, if people aren't that comfortable with approaching people and striking up a conversation, maybe there's some, some training that needs to happen there. You know, whatever it takes, but that's ultimately going to make the difference and drive the product, right. So bit of a detour there, but just business business basics, right, and good points. Alright, guys, so the account info looks good, I do have the option to edit this, if, you know, maybe I put the phone number in incorrectly, not a big deal. But once everything looks good as a validation checkpoint, I can change the account status to approve. So this is kind of a vendor qualification, per se. So I'll approve the account. And I'll say, let's just say I'm the maintenance guy today. That's why I'm signing it as, and now we have an approved account. So that's awesome. And then what we'll do, we can say we jump to our little home screen here, I can go down to my inventory data grid. Today, I've got it sorted by SKU name. So you know, there's my Jack Frost pre rolls there three times point five grams, I've got 120 of them. Obviously, it can see that it's you know, dried cannabis, it's packaged, it's going into a wholesale, but yeah, just wanted to have a quick glance, and you know, Katy’s willing to take it all. So we will send it her way. So what I'll do, I'll jump into my accounts here. And I'll go to the orders module. And I'll set up that new order. So here I can select tau cannabis. And a shipping address will populate based on what we set up in our CRM account. And we'll just say, you know, can you put it in and select the due date purchase order number, we'll just say it's this. I'll go ahead and hit create. So I've got a blank order here awaiting approval, it's going to be a wholesale order type. And we now have the ability to add product to that order. So I'll go ahead and search for my item here. And it's near the bottom of the list. There's the Jack Frost pre rolls, we got 120 and we'll just put those in. Oh, it's a good thing that messed up. I just scrolled the wrong value there. My apologies. Sorry.

Rob Perry  34:55  

Mistakes do happen for users in real life, right So it's skittering through it here.

Vegar Samuelsen  35:02  

Yeah, that's it. And that's, that's the thing too, right? When we're working with compliance software, I always want to like go methodically, like, yes, you can be the Pinball Wizard. But sometimes, you know, you just want to make sure that we're, we're in the mindset where we're working at a pace that's comfortable, and we're like, not prone to make mistakes, right. And that, that goes with so many industries, right? Measure twice, cut once, I guess, is the the old adage, but I'll select those 123 packs. And then of course, you know, we have the price here, I believe they were 1850 for per package. And then of course, we can add a shipping, shipping price here, we'll just say it's, you know, 50 bucks, or, and I'll go ahead and hit Save. And then, you know, once this order looks good, we could add some other items. But you know, once we feel confident here that we've got everything on the list, let's go ahead and approve the order. So I'll approve that. Of course, we could download an invoice, which will have our logo and all the shipping information. But right now our next step is to pick the order basically to fill the order. So you see I've got a quantity of 107, I've messed this up. And 107 needs to be filled. So let me just put that in here. Click this. And I'll submit the 107 order items. I should have probably just added the extra 13. But all good. All right. So once that's been set up, we can now mark the order as packaged. I'll go ahead and click packaged, we'll sign it to our let's see here, I have a shipping domestic room, I confirm which is nice. And then now we have like a shipment ID that's basically been created. So once we get the tracking number, we can kind of go into our shipment here we can mark the order is shipped, maybe it'll jump in from the shipment ID we'll put that tracking number in. So we can say, you know, we'll put a dummy tracking number in and this is a test environment. So you know, it's not going to link to an actual tracking number. But I'll go ahead and hit Confirm. And then of course, we can link to after ship track, which is a really nice. I don't know if it's showing on my screen right now. But it's a it's a shipping carrier tracker that interfaces with all the global carriers and it's based on the last courier standard will tell you what the shipment status is right? If it's delivered or in progress, you can kind of track that there will mark it as shipped. And yeah, we'll you know, we got confirmation from our after-ship track. And I think we're gonna call Darren just to kind of say, hey, you know, like, it should be delivered, did you get the package, it's all good. And we'll go ahead and hit mark as delivered. So I'll just hit that right there. And we're good, our responsibility for shipping, that order is pretty much complete. But as you know, you know, we really want to be able to report and track on these inventory movements, right? So, you know, we have this beautiful Analytics tab in here and say we're looking at shipments by month. Well, hey, look, it's November, we have one shipment here. It was in Ontario with the province, it went to tote cannabis, we know the SKU name, we know that we have the price, we have the received dates, the type of packaged materials with package your unpackage. We all know what that means over here, whether it's you know, excise stamp ready to go or if it's a b2b transfer, of course, our tracking number, the address that went to CBD ratio, and THC as well. And it was delivered to our retailer accounts, and 107 units. So I was really trying to get the 120 out but I think my mouse is being really fussy with the scroll. I think it would it change the values. But anyways, yeah, just wanted to show you guys acts and open the floor to any questions as well. Yeah, it's kind of a simple way to kind of look at your products and stock make sure that you have the right CRM account set up, and then move some inventory to that account. And then you know, trace it afterwards and look at it and report on it. So thanks, guys.

Rob Perry 38:56  

That's fantastic. No, thank you very much Vegar. My pleasure. Yeah, really, really great way to keep track of your counts. Your shipments, you know, we did one shipment, right. But typically, there are a lot of shipments going out, right? And you can you can track all that there. Whether it's you know, this is retail, but you know, with medical, it can be tracked, and some of those are our smaller sales items, you know, so a lot of that CRM data can add up quickly, which is why it's great to have that analytics page there and you can export graphs so you can do your D 300. Reports. You can do all your commercial and financial reporting out of it from right within GrowerIQ. So that's a really cool new feature we have in there that's been saving a lot of time.

Vegar Samuelsen 39:45  

Absolutely. There's so much stuff on the back end to rob like you know, we'd looked at all the front end stuff but when it comes time to generate the Health Canada report right there, it is tracking you know where that inventory has moved to hasn't moved to licensed producer hasn't moved to research researcher lab for testing has it moved to you know, so that CRM data has played a very key role to linking where these inventory movements go. So yeah, more to it than meets the eye sometimes at first glance,

Rob Perry  40:13  

Exactly. Now I know there are probably people watching this saying, oh, gosh, I wish I could play with GrowerIQ all day long. And I know it's true. But, you know, in reality, you know, when you're at a facility, you're doing this, really, it just seems saves all that time, right? There's inventory in and inventory out. Really, you know, the job of GrowerIQ is to help you get out and get home early, and not yet not get bogged down in that tracking and paperwork and everything there. Yeah,

Vegar Samuelsen  40:46  

It's quick to learn, it's a pretty easy, friendly interface. And honestly, like most movements, and GrowerIQ don't take a lot of time. So it's exactly that right. Like, people look at Oh, my gosh, I have entries to do, but it's like, you know, you stay on top of it, and a few minutes here and there. And you're pretty much good to go. And you can get on with the more important things or the other things, I guess, not more important, per se, but

Rob Perry  41:08  

We're busy. Right? So, exactly. But we have, you know, we have a lot of questions here. And, you know, we can we can start start banging through them. We'll go through and in order. I know there are a couple of funding questions in here to get to. First one is I don't even think our license allows us to send samples to retailers as a micro and a full standard producer, as chains of custody, etc, requiring how're producers getting around this. So good question, Kate. I don't know if if you'd have the answer to it, because you're more on the receiving side of it. But I don't want to swim outside my lane here either. But I do think there is a way now to get samples to retailers that may have been updated. But Kate, what? What's been your experience? Has it changed? Over the years? Or? Yeah, definitely.

Katy Perry  42:09  

Sampling has definitely changed over the years. And I mean, as it should have, right. So I mean, if you look at say Kind Winter Fast store, Hall of flowers, I mean, those are conferences where tons of samples are given to retailers. And from my understanding, there's two ways to do it. I mean, there might be more, but I know two. One is I do believe educational samples are allowed actually, as long as people have their can sell and they work in the cannabis industry. And this is to stop you from just giving them away. Whatever, whenever you felt like it right. And so as long as there's an educational reason to do it, I think that's that's okay. And then the other way that I know lots of producers do it is once they've built a relationship with a retailer, they'll ask the retailer to purchase the product for them through the OCS wholesale website. So, you know, say you came up to me and you said, Hey, KP you know, I need some samples for kind or I need some samples for educational purposes for other retailers, but I'm having a hard time grabbing them from my facility for whatever reason, we've already sold them all to the OCS could you purchase them from the OCS and I'll buy them from you. You say Sure, no problem. So I'll buy them from the OCS and a producer will come and purchase the samples from me directly and then they'll go out and they'll distribute them to their to the other retailers. So there's two ways that I know of at least that people are getting samples and I seem to recall a friend of mine who works for an LP mentioned that there is a site, there is a company that does do sampling in that they'll they have figured out all the legalities of it and they will purchase the samples and have them delivered to you as long as the chain of custody goes through license holders. It's okay is my understanding.

Rob Perry  44:03  

That makes sense. Yeah, I do recall especially in the early days it was very challenging getting samples where they needed to be but as you said the industry needs that right I mean it's impossible to move product without them so there are some hoops yeah you know I don't have the exact ins and outs of it here but yeah, if you reach out to one of us we can we can dig deep for a little more detail or someone else in the industry may know exactly how that works. Next question we have Yeah, so someone's thinking of doing some Christmas shopping coming up. He says wondering what the top-selling product types are these days? Is dried still leading the way have you seen any changes in terms of sales with other product types? I eat beverages.

Katy Perry  45:01  

Big time. I mean beverages are very seasonal. To be honest. In the summertime we sell a lot of drinks. We have Thirsty Thursdays here at Toke. So Thursdays, we do a ton of beverages. I also find during the holiday season, like as we're sort of gearing up for holiday parties, we're going to be selling a lot of beverages. A lot of people use them as an alternate to alcohol. I don't get it. But you know, some people, it's their preference. And so, you know, when you're having those holiday parties, people will come by and grab, you know, a whole case of beverages, especially now that the laws have been changed around the weights with beverages and how many we can sell at a time. Now we can sell cases at a time, I'm pretty sure I'd have to double check the legalities. But it's a lot as opposed to before it was based on weight. So we could only sell four to six drinks at a time, which you know, didn't really promote the beverages how they should have been. So now people are coming in buying bulk beverages, we have customers coming in ordering beverages from us. And we'll order cases for them especially so they can pick them up. So beverages are certainly turned around. The highest selling category that we have in our store is indica flour, for sure. Head and shoulders above the rest. Hybrid flour follows that. And then interestingly enough, the new category that's really emerged over the last 12 months is infused pre-rolls, infused pre-rolls make up just over 12% of our total gross sales month over month. And actually the section is growing. The section that it's taking from interestingly enough, I was just reviewing my data the other day in indica flower. So our indica flower section is diminishing and our infused pre-rolls are going up. It's not all of the indica flower and my hypotheses and I could be wrong. It doesn't happen often. But I would believe that it's the very low to mid-range, indica flower consumers that are switching to infused pre-rolls. The infused pre-rolls are just much stronger, they carry a much bigger kick, and the price is very, very comparable to about a $22 half quarter. So infused pre-rolls have certainly taken the market by storm. Specifically general admission pre-rolls have taken the biggest bite out of that, that section of any brand for sure. There are a couple of brands that are sort of biting on the heels of general admissions. But I would say general admissions at least in the Canadian marketplace have certainly cornered the market.

Vegar Samuelsen  47:40  

Quickly on that to you now that someone knows that or people might be aware of that, you know, that market being cornered that way? Do you see a shift in kind of marketing product to kind of, you know, go up against that product per se, like, Oh, it's just like this, or it's almost the same thing, but it's cheaper or whatever. Like, let's I'm curious to know what you experience on that side? For

Katy Perry  48:01  

Sure. I think people I mean, infused pre-rolls honestly don't make any sense from just like a science and consumption level. Because you're not smoking the concentrate at a high enough temperature to absorb all the THC and to get high enough. But it's kitschy consumers love the fact that it's covered in kif. I mean it is very strong. Some of them are sitting at 40% for sure already anyways. So it is very popular in the market. And so what we have noticed is there are a lot of brands, who are saying to me, this is the next gen admission pre-roll, it's comparable to GA, it's the same price point as GA, but this is why samples are so important. Sometimes they're not like GA, they're still in infused pre-roll. They're still fantastic, but they are not like the incumbent, right? Like there is not like general admission. And so you know, when you're pitching your product, make sure you really understand the nuances of it. Like even though you want it to be exactly like general admissions, maybe it's not. So figure out what the difference is. And use that as a leverage point. It doesn't have to be like general admissions, you know, it doesn't have to look exactly like that joint. But if you tell me it's exactly like it, and I buy it based on the description that you gave me, and it arrives and it's nothing like it. I'm not going to believe you next time you tell me it's exactly like a product. So know the difference and tell me say hey, you know what? General Admission is a great pre-roll. It's fantastic. It's covered and keif consumers love it. I also have an infused pre-roll. Mine is a little bit different. It's not covered in Keif and it's made with a full melt water hash, which you're going to love, you know gives you a different body buzz, I'm going to say wow, that sounds different. That sounds like something I could use. I don't have an infused water hash pre-roll on my menu. Let's try it out. So know the differences in your product and leverage those when you're talking to the person making the menu because that's what's gonna get you on the menu. I already have general commissions, I don't need 100 More exactly like that I want products that are a little bit different a little bit nuanced. So that would be my advice.

Rob Perry  50:10  

Oh, very, very interesting. No. And I think that's, that's helpful for everyone to know, you know, what's trending and how it changes? Because it does change fairly quickly, does it not? Yeah. Yeah,

Katy Perry  50:22  

I'd say like, you know, it's tough for the producers, it's obviously very tough for the producers. And it's tough for retailers to because, you know, the SKU life in cannabis is so short and short, so quick. It's not like any other industry, you know, you're going to have a brand new product. And it's going to have a run-through rate of maybe two months, if you're lucky. Before the new products drop, and consumers always want the newest thing, the newest trend, you know, that seems to be the constant common denominator is what's new. You know, I have customers come in and say, I love that product. I just tried to say, Oh, great. Do you want another one? They go? No, no, what's new? Okay. So, I mean, I recognize that it's difficult for producers. Trust me, it's difficult for retailers, because we are constantly testing, trying new products, trying to keep that menu fresh. So it's something that affects both of us. But there's ways I guess, that you know, you can take a product and, you know, if you've throw in something like if you've grown a whole room of a certain strain, and you know, it had a great two-month run, and you're looking for something else, you know, you can always convert it into a concentrate or another product pre-rolls, you know, in, in which case, you have sort of changed the skew and made it more exciting again, so

Rob Perry  51:35  

Very cool. Very cool. Well, we met her, we have a few more, a few more questions here, we probably need to get into I know there was one comment that we spent longer than the promised five minutes on the GrowerIQ review. So apparently, someone who's more interested in cannabis retail then than data storage and analysis which is hard to understand, but we'll roll with it.

Vegar Samuelsen  52:02  

Sorry about that.

Rob Perry  52:06  

Don't worry Vegar, I could watch that girl right here review all day long. So well, one of the next questions here is what does shelf space cost from a merchandising aspect? Do you have a vendor program agreement in place? Or I mean, I guess no other retailers have something in place. When you onboard, more skews.

Katy Perry  52:29  

So I would hypothesize that the bigger retailer chains, like Canna Cabana or Value Buds, they probably do have those data deals in place. And I understand that they range anywhere between five to 15%, depending on the product, how old it is, you know, you don't want to get that return-to-sender letter from the OCS right. So if it's been sitting on the shelf of the OCS for a long time, you know, often the data deal or the shelf space is 15%. If it's a brand new product, and you're just trying to create some hype for it, it can go anywhere between three and 5%. Or at least socially the offers that I've seen come across my desk. If you don't have the budget for a data deal, I would recommend hitting up the independent shops over the bigger chains. Because I know that their menus are more organically growing than the bigger chains.

Rob Perry  53:31  

Okay. That's so good. Good info there. And as you said earlier, you know, for a lot of groups, I mean, they don't necessarily have to do those deals, especially with the independent groups to compete. They you know, they can focus on product marketing, that sort of stuff, right? Yeah. All right. Cool. Cool. Oh, here's a here's a fun one. Katy, we'd like to fly you out to Manitoba to come see our amazing facility and check out our insane products. Vegar has been here already. So

Vegar Samuelsen  54:07  

Amazing. Yeah. Shout out to Jason, thanks for joining. Well, Jason runs Manitoba and just a massive state-of-the-art facility that's just about ready to rock and literally ready to rock because these guys just love like this psychedelia. Kind of like, yeah, that's kind of part of their like brand and stuff, floor craft. But yeah, definitely some incredible stuff. And if you get the opportunity to go, I would 100% take it so if we can both go, that would be great.

Katy Perry  54:38  

I would love to go to Manitoba. Maybe not in like December, but like I would definitely love to go to Manitoba.

Vegar Samuelsen  54:45  

Awesome. Awesome. Well, we'll get you guys connected afterwards. I hear. Here's some great products coming great things coming down the line from Canada Toba. So it'll be it'll be an interesting group to watch. Moving Forward. It's absolutely

Vegar Samuelsen  55:00  

And check out the, we did an article with these guys hashing out a plan for growth for Canada Toba. You could probably just Google GrowerIQ in Canada and there's some some photographs of the exterior of the facility and some cool like, interview kind of pull quotes and yeah, definitely informative so check it out if you have the time.

Rob Perry  55:19  

Okay, that's that's awesome. And I, I know you're you're on a plane shortly. Vegar is calling you and many others within the cannabis industry. Some of the some of the GrowerIQ team will be will be down there this week as well. So for anyone watching is going to be out there. Please, please keep an eye out for our team. On the ground, though. I think there's so many people going it's probably shouldn't be hard to meet just about anyone while you're down there. Well, we're, we're closing in, we have a few minutes left. And we've gotten some good questions. There's some more but maybe the best thing we could do to capitalize on the last few minutes is Kate if you have any words of wisdom for people trying to develop profitable sales channels to to retailers. Any key point takeaways I know you've given good stuff throughout today. Like if you had to boil it down to two or three key points for people to remember. What do you think you want? Do you think it's yes.

Katy Perry  56:36  

So I would say no your products, no one really understands your products, and what you're selling and where you're going to fill the gaps on my menu, because that's huge. If you can convince me that I've got a gap, I've got a complex and I'm going to fill it right away. So know your products, know your audience and personalize your sales pitch. That being said, I mean, I can leave my contact information with you guys. I can leave an email address. If you have any questions or you're looking to get in touch or, you know, you want to ask my advice I'd be happy to. To give you that. So I don't know if I just like give everybody my email address. Yeah,

Rob Perry  57:22  

Or they could, you know, they, okay,

Katy Perry  57:25  

It's katy@totecannabis.com Perfect. K A T Y at tote cannabis.com. And if you have any questions or concerns or like I said, you just want to get a retailer's opinion, feel free to reach out. Like Rob mentioned, I'm going to be in Vegas for the next week. So I may be a little slow in my responses, but I will eventually get to you. But ya know, just, you know, for me more than anything else, it's the passion of your product that speaks. So you know, when you so many people are in this industry for the right reasons, you know, because you're passionate about the plant because you love what you're doing because you want to share your knowledge with the world and you can't wait to do that. And you know what, that's why I'm in the industry today. So you know, let your passion shine through personalized what you're doing, and I'm sure you're gonna get on all the on all the menus.

Rob Perry  58:21  

Okay, that's fantastic, Katy, thanks. Thanks so much for your time today and thank you too for everyone who's just jumped on the call. I learned a number of things I'm sure everybody everybody who attended it today. Vegar as always thanks for your your Droid handling of the GrowerIQ system. And, yeah, is Kenny was saying, you know, keep an eye for in Vegar when you down there and feel free to reach out to her any time. And we'll hope to see all of you in the next edition of HighIQ. Thanks very much. Bye, Katy.

Vegar Samuelsen  59:03  

Thank you, Rob.

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