The cannabis industry is evolving in Massachusetts, with competition eating away profits and prices plummeting per ounce as more dispensaries enter the market.
"Everybody's looking at that newest technology to maximize yield," said Marc Shepard, founder of the New England Cannabis Convention. "Maximize profitability, better marketing, better product."
Shepard says with hundreds of dispensaries operating in the state, and many more on the way, it's not necessarily a financial bonanza for dispensary owners.
"It's just not the cash cow, automatic, get a license, open the doors and you're a millionaire," he said. "It's a real business, just like every other business, with great opportunities for people that put out a good product."
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This weekend, the New England Cannabis Convention sets up shop at the Hynes Convention Center with hundreds of vendors, like Massachusetts-based Fernway, which manufactures cannabis vape cartridges, eager to spread their message and win over consumers.
"The industry has grown up a lot," said Kit Gallant, Fernway's CEO.
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He says the convention will be an opportunity to introduce the company's newest products: pre-rolled joints and packaged flower. He adds that the marijuana businesses must adapt and pioneer to stay relevant.
"The cannabis customer, they seek innovation all the time, they seek novelty, they want to try the new thing, have the new experience that they haven't had before," said Gallant.
AYR, a dispensary in the Back Bay near the Hynes, will also use this weekend's convention to attract new customers and stay one step ahead of the competition.
"Our flower connoisseurs are going to be really excited for this weekend when we drop a few exclusive strands," said Julia Crawford, the dispensary's general manager.