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Pets, Pot & Promos

Cannabis shoppers love pet promotions. Make sure your store is giving every dog its day and herding all the cats.




HUMANS AND THEIR dogs, cats and other creature companions seem inseparable these days. That’s not anecdotal—research shows that pet ownership has skyrocketed in the past decade and the COVID pandemic only pushed those figures up higher. Smart customer-facing businesses are using this to their advantage.

Some 70 percent of households in the U.S. own some sort of a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association. That’s more than 90 million homes with pets. Multiply that by money and you get $123.6 billion spent on pets in the U.S. in 2021.

Smart businesses realize that if you cater to pets through promotions, people—and profits—will follow. But not everyone gets it. Some 79 percent of consumers surveyed by Mars Petcare said they “value pets being welcome in businesses.” But the same survey found that only 56 percent of business owners
“strongly agreed that pet-friendly businesses are good for the community.”

There is plenty of potential in pets for cannabis store owners looking to generate foot traffic or boost their reputation in the community. As a bonus, in addition to the availability of pet CBD products (see p24), some states like California allow vets to recommend medical cannabis to pet owners.
Here are a few businesses, cannabis-based and others, that have made pet connections work for them.

Dog Days of Summer

Independently owned dispensary Greenhouse in Walled Lake, MI knows that giving back to the community is a no-brainer. But co-owner Jerry Millen and his crew also give back to the dogs. For the past two years, Greenhouse has made its “Blue Cow Dog Adoption” event a key part of its Summer of Cannabis party. The store partners with local animal rescues to match dogs with new families. “We love dogs. Like, a lot. Every dog deserves a good home, and there’s no better time to rescue a new canine friend than during the summer,” Millen says. A charity raffle also gives 100 percent of the proceeds to the participating rescues.


Shave & A Fur-Cut

Boutique salon Duck & Dry in London’s swanky Mayfair district recently teamed up with Wisdom Panel, a pet DNA testing company, to spring a pop-up grooming experience for dogs and their owners. The two-day event offered “wash and bouncy blow-drys for humans and a fur-facial and spritz for dogs” as well as manicures for two-leggers and “paw-dicure” trims and clips for their four-legged pals. Prosecco and “pawesecco” were served as attendees got glow-ups for the holidays and professional photos to remember it all by.

Bark & Brew

Seattle is consistently rated as one of the most dog-friendly cities in the United States—which means it’s tough to stand out from the crowd. But Old Stove Brewery goes the extra mile with its regular Bark and Brew pet adoption events held in conjunction with local rescue, Dog Gone Seattle. Have some great beer, meet some great dogs, and maybe bring one home. It’s as simple as that. And perhaps that’s one of the reasons Old Stove is often ranked as one of the Emerald City’s top tap-rooms.

Doobie Doggies

The folks at Territory Dispensary in Mesa, Arizona (now owned by ZenLeaf) have taken a pet promotion event they did in the past as a medical outlet and re-rolled it for the adult-use crowd. “Pups and Prerolls” is another terrific adopt-a-dog event on our radar. “We’ve seen how much fun our medical patients have had at Pups and Prerolls in the past, so we can’t wait to bring this incredible event to our new recreational customers,” Kelly Fox of Territory told the Phoenix New Times recently. Anyone who adopts a dog goes home with five pre-rolls, sponsored by Phoenix-based cultivator Nectar Farms. The new owners will probably need them.

Dope Bunnies

While pet-based cannabis promotions are largely a dog’s world, at least one multi-state cultivator is hopping in a brand new direction. Detroit, MI-based DogHouse sponsors the adoption of cats and rabbits as well as its namesakes. DogHouse recently took its pet show on the road in Vancouver, WA, teaming up with the Humane Society for Southwest Washington. In honor of Dogust Day last Aug. 1, the partners hosted a free adoption event at the Humane Society’s shelter. “It’s really about getting lots of dogs and cats and rabbits adopted,” DogHouse general manager Chris Bell told The Columbian.

Get Creative

  • Here are more ideas for in-store pet promotions:
  • Pet Parades. Host a pet show night and reward customer’s pets in categories like funniest, laziest, best trick, etc.
  • Pet Fashion Shows. Customers vote for the best fashionistas, winners receive pet and people prizes.
  • Pet-of-the-Month. Customers bring in photos of their pets, you post them on a board and pick a winner each month or even weekly.

Thaddeus Flint is the Managing Editor of Global Cannabis Times. He previously worked as a journalist, investigator, and luxury boutique owner. Having lived in NYC, France and Switzerland, he now resides in an off-grid A-frame on a mountain in upstate New York.



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