Once upon a time I used to live in a little town called Danbury Connecticut; which borders New York state and the town of Brewster (appropriately named). There was a time when Connecticut only sold beer and liquor until 8:00 PM and never on Sundays.
During these off hours, where would everyone buy booze if it was after 8 PM or on a Sunday? A bootlegger? Mobsters? Hell no. Of course not, everyone just went to Brewster New York, the nearest option. Brewster served as the go-to place for people of Danbury as well as those of Danbury’s suburbs to buy their alcohol off-hours.
So… What do you think happened next? As close as possible to those borders, anyone who had the ability to create a business put in package stores. There was a beer boom of sorts. The closer to the border the better. There was enough business to go around for those closest to any of the bordering towns. And for a while, it was good.
However, as time marches by the landscape changes. Connecticut eventually extended its purchasing hours and allowed sales on Sundays. Danbury didn’t need Brewster anymore and many businesses suffered as the result. What was once many turned into a handful or two. Now I’m witnessing it happen in the cannabis industry.
Every legalized state except Alaska borders a state that is not. So dispensaries have been and/or are being set up closer to these borders in order to bring in business from areas that do not have the same laws, yet have like-minded individuals.
What’s the result?
Profitable from many sales and reporting of much higher earnings than those who make their money by doing business inside of their state.
More and more states are bringing their own versions of legalization to the table, changing the landscape. It won’t take long for people to stop commuting from Kansas to Colorado, or from New York to Massachusetts. Those days are over. Many of these dispensaries will suffer the same fate as Brewster’s package store businesses. In the absence of a change in mindset, they will dry up. If not, maybe a larger company would be interested in buying it. Or not… Most are MSOs at this point anyway.
The dispensary will soon become no different from a liquor store or smoke shop. Shopping happens at the one that is closest to home, or on the way. That is all.
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