By Vanessa Orr
Customers visiting One Plant Florida cannabis dispensaries will soon notice a change in those locations as part of Cresco Labs’ strategic plan to improve operations and the customer experience since acquiring Bluma Wellness Inc., the parent company of One Plant Florida.
In addition to rebranding the stores with Cresco Labs’ Sunnyside brand, changes will include an expanded product portfolio, a more streamlined and user-friendly website, and the opportunity for those who are already familiar with products to have a faster shopping experience. What customers will not see is a change in the personalized, caring service they’ve come to expect.
“I like to say that it will stay the same, but be different in all the right ways,” said Cris Rivera, Florida region president. “We want to keep the customer service component the same because it is already really strong. What we want to improve is the operational customer experience from beginning to end.”
As one of the largest vertically integrated, multistate cannabis operators in the U.S., Chicago-based Cresco Labs has the tools to streamline One Plant’s operations, similar to what they’ve already accomplished in more than 25 different operations in 10 states.
“Part of our strategic push is to make the e-commerce system one of the best in the industry,” said Rivera. “We’ll also be working through the operational flow; right now, it takes about 20 to 30 minutes on average for shoppers to complete purchases. For those with a habitual purchasing cycle, we’d like to get that down to five or 10 minutes.
“Of course, those who are new to the experience and who want to spend more time getting counseled about the products will continue to receive the same level of commitment as before,” he added.
This is Cresco Labs’ first foray into the Florida market, making it the 10th state where it does business. They chose to acquire Bluma Wellness in an all-stock $213 million transaction because of its high quality product and its commitment to its customers.
“Acquiring Bluma Wellness made perfect sense because of the quality of its One Plant product,” said Rivera. “As many growers know, it’s difficult to grow quality product in Florida; conditions are tough with the heat, storms and humidity. But the team at One Plant has developed a fantastic way to grow quality medical cannabis, and that was very intriguing.
“When we’re able to recognize an emerging brand in the marketplace where shoppers go to find quality product, it’s a big win for us,” Rivera added, noting that the company also had impressive infrastructure at its farm in Indiantown and its eight dispensaries. “This enables us to come into the market and help scale the business in order to offer a great product to more people in the state.”
Rivera adds that just as important as the product are the people who run and staff the company.
“We always evaluate the people who lead these operations and the staff who work there to ensure that we can have a successful partnership,” he said. “Ultimately, local operators know how to run their businesses, how state compliance components work, and what shoppers need. We provide resources to scale the business and the know-how to do so, but they provide the ‘secret sauce’ with their people on the ground that ensures quality and the ability to succeed on both a local and scaled level.”
Over the next seven to nine months, Cresco Labs plans to finish rebranding all of the One Plant dispensaries to the Sunnyside name, and to roll out Cresco Labs’ brands into the stores.
“It will be a hybrid model; we will continue to sell the One Plant product, which is a fantastic, high-quality smokable flower, but we also plan to introduce new innovations like edibles, disposable pens and medicinal products through 2021-22,” said Rivera. “This will give us an opportunity to deliver a fuller portfolio at different price points.”
Cresco Labs’ brands include Cresco, FloraCal Farms and Mindy’s Chef Led Artisanal Edibles.
The company also plans to increase from eight to 16 dispensaries across the state, hire staffing to serve these additional customers, and upgrade and build out Indiantown facilities.
“We will be upgrading Indiantown to become a world-renowned cannabis facility, just like we’ve done for our partners in Illinois and Pennsylvania,” said Rivera.
“The hard work has just begun and it’s going to be an exciting time over the next five or so months,” he added. “We’re super pumped to be here.”
To learn more, visit Cresco Labs at www.crescolabs.com.