How one store operator thinks about and manages his edibles inventory.
Founded as Cahuenga Caregivers and incorporated with the California Secretary of State in 2006, Sherman Oaks Health Center originally was located in North Hollywood. A few years ago, zoning issues required a move to its present location at the intersection of Kester and Oxnard in a building that used to house a motorcycle parts and repair shop. Now the space holds choice flower, concentrates, and a mind-boggling selection of edibles. Operator Gregory Meguerian revealed market trends in edibles, how he makes inventory decisions, and what’s in store.
Do you really carry more edibles than anyone else in Los Angeles? How many SKUs do you have?
Well, we may not actually carry more edibles than anyone else in Los Angeles, but 192 edible SKUs likely puts us in the top percentile of dispensaries.
What are your most popular edibles?
Kiva products (chocolate), Venice Cookie Company (chocolate, drinks, baked goods), Kushy Punch (gummies), and Sensi Chew edibles do the best in our shop. I like to smoke my cannabis personally, but my employees enjoy these edible companies, as well.
How do you decide what to carry? If something isn’t selling, how long before it’s pulled?
There was a time in our existence when we didn’t have formal procedures in place to determine what to carry or for how long to keep it on our shelves, but we’ve grown a lot over the past ten years. Today, we run on [point-of-sale] and make data-driven decisions thanks to providers like BDS Analytics. POS, of course, enables me to get insight on my own dispensary sales and patient demographics while BDS Analytics allows us to take it to the next level by, for example, comparing our store data to industry data to see if we’re excelling and where we can focus our efforts.
We have some products that require a bit of education, like topical or bath salts, so we’ll allow a product like this to sit on our shelf for up to three months before pulling it due to poor performance. If it’s a vaporizer, for instance, a product with a smaller learning curve due to familiarity, we’ll allow up to a month before pulling this type of product for the same reason.
How are edibles doing compared with flower and concentrates?
As we become more data-informed, we’re seeing flower lose market share to concentrates and edibles, for sure. Vapes and concentrates have eaten up a lot of the flower market. Total donations by category for our shop are approximately 40-percent flower, 30-percent concentrates, 25-percent edibles, and 5-percent between topicals, tinctures, and other miscellaneous products.
Are you up to anything new and exciting?
We always have something new and exciting to talk about, brother. Most recently, we’ve decided to rebrand the dispensary as The Reefinery. As state regulations materialize, we’re looking to elevate the experience and presence of our existence by showcasing our beliefs through a refined retail experience. We’ve always made small improvements over time, but we’re looking to do a major rebranding over the next twelve months that will focus on a curated menu aligned with brands that have similar values as we do, and [we’ll be] carrying only brands that responsibly supply full-panel lab results of their products.
Moving forward, quality assurance is an area we’ll be paying a lot of attention to, especially with the new regulations coming into play. We’re also expected to launch a few brands over the next six months, which we’re all really excited about.