Want to know why some pharmacies seem to be thriving in the CBD space and others aren’t?

The answer seems simple on the surface but is actually more complex as you peel back the layers.  Let’s start with the simple answer to that question… Effective merchandising & multi-faceted marketing campaigns. But this isn’t just a new brand of soap being marketed, CBD is not your usual product. You have to think about it differently and that means marketing it differently.  It is a challenge but the rewards make it a worthwhile venture.

A multi-faceted and well-executed marketing approach to CBD will require you to follow some basic steps to set yourself apart from the crowd, remember this is not just about putting a sign up or a flag outside exclaiming “WE HAVE CBD”!  Your approach needs to start with education…otherwise how will you differentiate yourself from the vape shop or gas station with the same sign or flag?  The gas station attendant doesn’t know about dosing, drug interactions or the endocannabinoid system and frankly they don’t care either because that’s not their job to care about those things…it’s your job.

You need to be prepared to discuss why and how CBD works, what drugs it interacts with and how much to take.  The importance of becoming the CBD expert can’t be overstated…your customers expect it, and as the most accessible healthcare professional, you’re the one who should be recommending and selling CBD, you need to take the steps to actually become the CBD expert your customers deserve.

Once you feel confident in your CBD knowledge you should begin by educating your local doctors.  Share what you have learned about CBD with them, brand yourself as the CBD expert, and suggest that they recommend their patients come to you for all things CBD.  Pass out CBD flyers to their offices, hold CBD education events at your store, become a CBD rep for a day and spend a few minutes with them discussing the benefits of recommending CBD to their patients. Form a partnership with your community doctors, an alliance that helps their patients, your customers.  After all, who doesn’t want to continue seeing a doctor that gives them great advice and recommendations?

Now that you have educated yourself and your local doctors, it’s time to educate your customers.  They don’t know there are drug interactions with CBD. They have no idea there are side effects.  They see the “WE HAVE CBD” signs everywhere, they believe the false claims and misinformation online so they think it’s safe. They think that if everyone is taking it and selling it, it must be 100% safe.  It is incumbent upon you to tell them why they should ONLY be buying CBD in a pharmacy and discussing CBD with their doctor and pharmacist.  Inform them that there are drug interactions that ONLY their pharmacist will know about. This needs to be an ongoing campaign using all the usual channels of marketing such as social media, radio, television, billboards, digital, and the most important channel to get the message out there about CBD…you!  Talk to your patients about CBD…if you don’t someone else will!