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Will US stores see a cross-border shopping boost?

Now that the borders are open to international travelers, some adult-use cannabis store operators say they’re seeing a boost in the numbers of shoppers coming from abroad, reports MJBizDaily.

Visitors are back in Vegas

In Las Vegas, Planet 13’s director of retail Lowell Brown said plenty of international customers are back in the store, including a German TV crew who came to interview a cannabis shopper. “And the gentleman that they spoke with, he said, ‘Well, hey, I’m not from here, I’m actually from Argentina,’ and he was visiting Vegas as well.”

That said, the mega-sized store’s clientele was approximately 80 per cent from out-of town pre-pandemic, but only 10 per cent of them were international, not domestic travelers.

Air traveller highs

Stores near airports were also affected by the pandemic, like Colorado’s Native Roots, which estimated its international customers making up about 10 per cent of sales pre-pandemic. District manager Chad Ricketts said he has seen a slight uptick since borders re-opened.

“But I wouldn’t put it anywhere near the numbers that we saw pre-pandemic,” he said.

Goes both ways

Nantucket’s Green Lady Dispensary saw an influx of domestic travellers through the pandemic, retailer Nicole Campbell said she’s starting to see more international travellers return to the area and her store. 

“It’s really new to them, it’s exciting. They love to be able to purchase cannabis legally.” That said — open borders mean Americans will also take advantage and leave the US. “It’s like a give and a take – yes, you might get more international travelers, but then, also, more U.S. travelers can go overseas, too.”

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