Sin City’s Thrive Cannabis Marketplace is a technologically advanced dispensary that makes shopping for weed cool – and Covid-secure. Rose Dykins reports

Thrive Cannabis Marketplace has opened a new cutting-edge store in Las Vegas that’s set up for socially distanced shopping for marijuana.

This is the brand’s fifth outpost to open in Nevada (and its fourth in Las Vegas), where cannabis has been legal for those aged 21 and over to purchase and consume recreationally since 2017.

Thrive is the state’s largest independently owned cannabis retailer, with a focus on “well-grown, high-quality cannabis”.Thrive Cannabis marketplace new store in Las VegasIn-store staff help customers learn about marijuana’s beneficial properties so they can choose which products will best serve their needs.

The brand aims to: “Set a positive example in the cannabis industry by eliminating negative stigmas [and] supporting charities, culture and the local economy.”

Thrive Cannabis marketplace new store in Las VegasThe new Thrive store opened last month in the Las Vegas Southern Highlands neighbourhood, complete with an eye-catching exterior and edgy art installation created by experiential design company Creative Creatures and Artisans on Fire.

This comprised display cases with neon signage, jungle foliage, mannequins with plastic animal heads, and a statue of Julius Caesar.

Thrive Cannabis marketplace new store in Las VegasThe new outlet from Thrive is the first cannabis store to have an automated conveyor belt. This carries products from the inventory and packaging department at the back of the shop, across the ceiling, and delivers them to the front desk cashier for the customer to buy.

This technology is not only a security measure – it also speeds up the sales process and reduces the number of people handling products, which is ideal for shopping during a pandemic.

Thrive Cannabis marketplace new store in Las VegasThe Southern Highlands store also has self-service CocoonPod kiosks. These are designed to reduce wait times, eliminate queues and help customers maintain social distancing, while enhancing information security.

The new Thrive store also offers a delivery service and curbside pick-up, whereby customers choose from its online menu.

The new store is open daily from 8am-midnight, and its delivery service is available 24/7.Thrive Cannabis marketplace new store in Las Vegas

The (legal) cannabis economy

According the research company Euromonitor International, the global legal cannabis market is projected to grow by a staggering 376 per cent over the next five years.

Euromonitor says recreational cannabis will account for 67 per cent of legal sales internationally in 2025, while medical cannabis will capture only 9 per cent – a 23 per cent decline from 2020.

Meanwhile, topicals, tinctures and edibles will become the three fastest-growing categories, respectively, over the next five years (flower currently remains the dominant legal cannabis format, but this is forecast to decline from 35 per cent in 2020 to 27 per cent in 2025.)

“Cannabis is already a nearly US$170 billion global industry, but the legal market today is only approximately US$30 billion,” says Shane MacGuill, senior head of nicotine and cannabis at Euromonitor International. 

“As regulation progresses, the legal market is expected to capture 40 per cent of global cannabis sales in 2025, and companies will be able to tap into a large existing user base, as well as nurture the curiosity of new adult consumers.”

What’s coming next? Trend reports available to download HERE

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