Targeting the newly forming branded pre-roll market, Jay’s is making waves in San Diego dispensaries—and is poised to roll out nationally.
Jay’s Pre-Rolls’ business plan was hatched in April 2013 after Scott Bryant—a Washington State University graduate with a BA in Business Marketing and ten years’ experience with top companies in the alcoholic beverage industry—watched people at a party attempting to roll a joint. “Most were garbage and not burning properly,” the founder and CEO recalls. It was time to follow through with his dream of creating a premium and cool pre-roll product.
At the time, there were zero competitors in the market, leaving tons of space and opportunity to scoop up market share. Jay’s Pre-Roll joints launched at the end of 2014. After a long career in the hops and craft brews industry, Bryant had accumulated a wealth of understanding in the branding, retail, and marketing arenas, and he saw a ripe opportunity.
“We want to bring a more professional approach to the cannabis space, where branding and premium quality products are helping to drive the industry forward,” he notes. “We also took the generalized branding approach (like Kleenex, Band-Aid, Aspirin, etc.), creating a brand name that is also the widely used name of the product.”
As a start-up watching its funds closely, Jay’s has partnered with Green Tech Industries, which has given the company a solid infrastructure and marketing strategy, including professional guidance in the industry. Jay’s also has given out hundreds of complete product packs and sample packs to kick off word-of-mouth marketing. “We’ve noticed that our packaging really speaks to a lot of consumers. The package design is unique and attractive enough to get them to try our product, while the quality creates many return customers,” Bryant says.
Although shelf space at dispensaries is limited—and coveted—Jay’s sales have been brisk in San Diego. Recently, the company added accounts in Los Angeles, Palo Alto, and San Francisco. “Actually, clothing has been a huge hit for us, too,” Bryant reveals. “We have all sorts of Jay’s apparel.” He pauses for a moment to collect his thoughts: “We strive to one day be a household cannabis name.”
BATTLE FOR THE SHELVES
Could carrying Jay’s Pre-Roll joints create more sales for your shop and cultivate returning customers?
Bryant thinks so.
“Initially, getting into dispensaries was sometimes a bit of an obstacle. We were bringing in a product that, if they were to sell it, may potentially cannibalize from their own pre-rolled joint business. Most dispensaries utilize selling their own pre-rolls as an outlet to sell off all of their bottom-of-the-bag popcorn nugs, shake, and old product that no one is interested in. When it is all ground up, who would know what it once was?
“When we brought in our product and showed how our products are 100-percent top-shelf flower, made from completely hand-de-stemmed full nugs, many felt that our product might take away from their own business or diminish the value of their own pre-rolls. We were looking to bring a premium-quality product into a niche that was solely an outlet for higher profits and turnover of lower-quality inventory. It was very apparent that a lot of shops were looking more for a quick buck than to offer their patients higher-quality alternatives.
“We also noticed that nearly all pre-rolled joints sold in dispensaries were large—at least 1 gram in size—and meant for the ‘party toker’ or for larger groups. We had developed a product that was more quality over quantity and meant for the professional market. All batches are lab-tested and labeled, too. Overall, however, we have found ourselves being widely accepted in the more established and professional collectives that care about their patients/consumers. Our target customers are shop owners who are looking for high-quality, branded products that will bring additional value to their shelves.”