The Summit Daily News out of Colorado, is reporting today on a new trend in MMJ retail: online coupons for everything from edibles to equipment to pot itself. This new trend comes even as mainstream sites like Groupon are turning away business from medical marijuana dispensaries, and other industry-related businesses.

Enter Colorado-based a site calling itself the first successful online coupon service for pot. Owned by John Molinare, the company is doing better than even he thought it would, with 10,000 subscribers spread across three cities in the Rocky Mountain state.

Molinare, who has never before been involved with MMJ, has a background in marketing. Last year, he said, he looked at the ever-growing MMJ industry in his state, and decided to take a leaf (no pun intended) from Groupon’s notebook.

While in the process of setting up for last weekend’s Mile High Kush Expo, Molinare spoke to representatives of the press, telling them, “It’s a pretty brilliant idea. Groupon’s out there doing amazing things, and we just wanted to apply it to the medical marijuana industry.”

Molinare has plans to expand his business into California and Arizona, but he’s not the only MMJ advocate trying out coupons. He’s got a rival “ganjapreneur” in a Denver-based website known as The 420 deal, which is currently accepting subscribers in Colorado and Arizona, though it doesn’t have any actual deals on offer yet.

And how do dispensary operators feel about the new coupon craze? Austin Martinson, who owns Denver, Colorado’s Karmaceuticals, said that, “I’m hearing these guys out because I like the idea.” Earlier this year, he sold 85 coupons for the company’s signature “Karma Karamel Chews,” a cannabis-infused candy that normally sells for $11, but was available at a deep discount of $9 for two of them, from MMJDailyDeals.

Martinson admits that he lost money on the candy sale – half the proceeds went to the coupon site – but he still considers the campaign successful since it brought him twenty new MMJ patients.

Martinson, who said his small operation can’t afford pricey display ads in prominent marijuana magazines like High Times and Kush, adds that the coupon program has been, “…one of the more effective ways to get people in.”

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