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We asked 69 people about their favorite cannabis dispensary in Salem
Plus: What motivates consumers to choose a dispensary; what do they buy; and what would they change about the cannabis industry.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. I didn’t intentionally set out to interview 69 people because it would be funny. It just happened that way. And, yes, it is a little funny. In a very immature, can’t-help-but-giggle way. OK, elephant addressed.
Holy shit did we learn some cool stuff about cannabis consumers in the Salem area.
First, a caveat - our sample size is quite small. Sixty-nine (not as funny when you spell it out, btw) people is not an amount of collected information that we can make any super-strong conclusions from. For a statistically significant sample, we’d want closer to 400 respondents. So we’re going to treat these results as interesting, for now - and potentially significant if we can 6x the results the next time we run this survey.
Top Dispensary in Salem area
Ted Lasso would absolutely hate this, but it’s a tie.
Preserve Oregon & Green Cross Cannabis both earned 14% support from respondents as their top dispensary in the Salem area.
Folks who chose Preserve ranked “Quality of Product” as their most important factor in choosing a dispensary. “Quality of Service” & “Affordability” each ranked second with Preserve fans.
Green Cross Cannabis fans were singularly focused on “Quality of Product” as their top factor in picking a dispensary, with “Affordability” a distant second place factor.
Second place went to THC Recreation Station, with 12% of respondents selecting this single-location dispensary in Salem. Similar to fans of Preserve, THC Recreation Station fans seem focused on “Quality of Product” and “Affordability” as top criteria when selecting a dispensary.
Sneaking up right behind in 3rd place was OG Collective, with 11% of respondents selecting among the 5 Salem-area locations of this regional dispensary chain. “Affordability” was the singular most important factor for OG Collective customers.
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Salem cannabis consumers really, really like edibles (flower is dope, too)
When asked about purchasing behavior, respondents are walking out of dispensaries with two main product types:
Nearly two-thirds of respondents (62%) purchase edibles on any given dispensary trip. The selection of edibles will vary from dispensary to dispensary, but most places will have gummies, fruit chews, chocolate, beverages, baked goods other food items infused with cannabis.
The 2 combinations most often purchased with edibles was flower (32%), and edibles purchased with oil cartridges (26%).
Flower, or dried/cured cannabis buds, was right behind edibles in terms of popularity - with just shy of 60% of respondents reporting they usually bought flower on their dispensary trip. Dispensaries typically have dozens of strains (cultivars if you’re nerdy about weed) available of varying potency and quality. According to state data, flower is the most commonly purchased type of cannabis - usually outpacing edibles considerably.
Attention Salem dispensaries…you better have good shit, and good prices
When we asked Salem cannabis consumers what they considered the most important factor in choosing a dispensary - there was no mistake what the people want…good quality product that’s easy on the budget.
Around 40% of respondents chose “Quality of Product” as the top reason they choose a dispensary. Around 30% ranked affordability as the top factor they weigh in their dispensary choices. Nearly 13% said the location of the dispensary was their top factor. Almost 9% of respondents selected “Quality of Service” as important in choosing the cannabis dispensary.
Other factors included (but not selected by more than one or two people) included delivery options; consistent stock; and how safe the dispensary felt.
“You can change one thing about legal, recreational weed in Oregon...what is it?”
This is the final question we asked our survey respondents. And, in some ways, this was the most interesting set of responses. Answers to this question were free form, so I categorized them into topics to make it easier to quantify the range of responses.
Here’s what that looks like:
1. Looser Regulation - 21%
Nearly a quarter of respondents that answered this question indicated changes that would require looser regulations across a number of aspects of the cannabis industry. Some wanted to end employment-based drug testing for cannabis. Others wanted more sensible rules around the amount of cannabis you can grow and keep at home.
2. Better Product & Cash Only (TIE) - 13%
“Better Product” folks would improve the types, strength, and dosage of edibles. A couple respondents wanted better quality flower options.
The “Cash Only” group had a fairly uniform complaint based on recent financial developments around buying cannabis in Oregon. They want to be able to use cards, rather than bring cash or get hit with several dollars of ATM fees.
3. Good As Is & Limits on Purchase & Social Scene (TIE) - 10%
Some respondents felt the cannabis industry in Oregon was pretty much good already. No complaints.
Others would change a specific rule around purchasing cannabis in Oregon - the limits on amounts a person can purchase in one day. Some mentioned specific products like pre-rolls. One respondent actually felt there should be more restrictive limits on concentrates.
“Social Scene” respondents were interested in creating more options for cannabis users to consume in social settings - similar to bars serving alcohol.