Boutiques Cash in on THC Buzz

As we head into the gifting season, you may spot something new on the shelves, nestled amid the usual apparel, home décor, and apothecary goods—THC products. With the recent legalization of edible and drinkable THC products, hemp has now (apparently) gone mainstream. Northeast women’s boutique Arlo, OG Surdyk’s, and North Loop department store MartinPatrick3 all now stock Delta 9 gummies via buzzy local brands Kursiv Organics and BLNCD—and reportedly, they’re already top sellers. According to BLNCD’s publicist, Natalie Auger, they’ve “been selling like hotcakes.”

For Jessie Witte, owner of AudreyRose, a vintage store in the Powderhorn neighborhood, it was a no-brainer to bring in the newly legal goods. “Reactions have been great,” she says. “People are really excited to have a local spot they can come to without having to go to a smoke shop. It’s in high demand, and it has been a successful dip into this new product.” Witte currently sells three different local brands—BLNCD, Element, and Foundry gummies—that are all under the same distribution parent company. Each offers 5 mg gummies in packs of 10 (since legally a single serving cannot contain more than 5 mg, and a package cannot contain more than 50 mg).

Current chatter is that other local retailers are apprehensive about adding THC products to their shelves due to uncertainty about rules and laws. But according to Witte, adding THC gummies to her assortment was rather seamless. “There really weren’t many hoops to jump through,” she says. She just had to get a special business license through the state, agree to follow the dosing maximum, and ensure her purchasers are 21-plus.

But marketing these products is in its infancy. Retailers report relying on word of mouth, as advertising via normal avenues—Facebook, Instagram, and other social channels—has been difficult with the content flagged as illegal and going against community guidelines.

“I always knew that I wanted to get in on this market when things became legalized. I am a small local shop, so I want to be serving my community as best as possible,” Witte says.

Another player seeing major success with the new category is Scott Johnson, owner of Nolo massage therapy wellness center and home store Jeromeo and its new Lowry Hill sister store, PureomEO. Currently, both the downtown and Uptown shops stock a selection from Minnesota company You Betcha Cannabis. For Johnson, it was a natural next step given his customers’ strong interest in CBD and hemp products, vegan essential oils, topicals, and eaux de parfum. (Within months of legalization, he had sold out multiple times.) “I only see it gaining popularity and growing this side of the business,” he adds.

Safe to say it’s just the start. Judging by  conversations with other local retailers, including Linden Hills boutique Serge and Jane and Uptown’s Les Sól, THC treats are next in the queue. “It’s definitely on the list of things we want to get in—I just have to figure out the logistics,” says Les Sól co-owner Megan Harrod. 

November 29, 2022

6:21 AM

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