Types of Customers and How to Keep Them Coming Back

Dispensary: Types of Customers and How to Keep Them Coming Back

  • First-time customer/patient
  • Recreational customer
  • Medical patient
  • Veterans
  • Senior Citizens (Traditionalists, Baby Boomers)
  • Gen X, Millennials, Centennials
  • Locals

First-Time Customer/Patient: 

First-time customers and patients may or may not be new to cannabis, but it is their first time visiting a legal dispensary or their first time visiting your dispensary. They are usually, very enthusiastic about their first visit and, most likely, want the full dispensary service experience from beginning to end.

How to keep them coming back:

  • Have inviting, first-time customer/patient deals.
  • Pair accessories with first-time deals. 
  • Free delivery with first-time purchase over $50. (Only if dispensary offers delivery service)
  • Pair branded products with first-time deals. (This is a great way to begin building your brand)


  • 10% off first order for new patients and customers. (You can give medical patients a little extra on their first visit, as well. Example: 15% off for a medical patient’s first visit.)
  • $1 House pre-roll with any first-time purchase over $50. $1 House gram with any first-time purchase over $100. 
  • 25% off accessories with any first-time purchase. (Minimum purchase amount of $20-$25 pre-tax)
  • Promote your brand with first-time deals that incorporate your branded products and “swag” items. 
  • Recreational Customer: 
    A recreational customer is generally, described as someone that uses cannabis to have a “good time” or to relax and unwind, like, most casual alcohol consumers. These customers usually, like or want high THC products. Most of their cannabis knowledge is from their experience with the black market, so they are accustomed to seeking high potency items. There are also, recreational customers that are educating themselves to alleviate certain conditions and don’t mind learning a thing or two from an experienced budtender. The recreational customers will make up the largest percentage of your customer base if your dispensary services both medical patients and recreational customers. (Note: Some studies have revealed that recreational customers are using cannabis for similar reasons as medical patients and not to just have a good time).

How to keep them coming back:

  • Stock a variety of high THC flowers and pre-rolls. Usually, 25%-30% is ideal. 
  • Have daily deals in every product category. (Ex: Flower, Vapes, Concentrates, Edibles, etc.)
  • Have BOGO 50 deals. (Ex: Buy one item, get 50% a particular item).)
  • Mix and Match deals. (Ex: Buy a flower item, get 30% percent off a concentrated item)
  • Have vegan, gluten-free, and organic products.


  • Have a good variety of premium, high THC flower items available, always, for this customer group. They will pay premium prices for high THC flowers. 25%-30% THC and above is usually, ideal for these customers.
  • Buy a 1/8, get a $1 or discounted gram.
  • Buy a concentrate, get 25%-50% off vape or edible product.
  • Buy a quarter Oz, get 20-30% off an accessory. Buy a half Oz, get 35-50% off an accessory. (Be sure to only include items in this deal that you can afford to discount in that manner and still make a decent profit. Examples would be hand pipes, papers, trays, hemp wicks, or even bongs, depending on your cost from your wholesalers. This discount program can be implemented to try and increase your items per transaction and your average ticket amount.)
  • Stock a variety of gluten-free and vegan products, such as coconut oil, olive oil, vegan gummies, and gluten-free brownies or cookies.

Medical Patient:

A medical patient is generally described as someone that uses cannabis for its medicinal value. Most medical patients use cannabis products as their daily medicine to alleviate a multitude of ailments. Some may use cannabis, in conjunction, with prescribed medications, or they may rely solely, on cannabis as their preferred medication. Medical patients may have state-issued MMJ (Medical Marijuana) cards or a doctor’s recommendation, depending on their state. There are, usually, different or higher-dose products available for medical patients at most dispensaries. They may also, receive a lower tax rate than a recreational customer. The benefits of being a medical patient vary from state to state. (Note: This customer group will most likely have severely ill and terminally ill patients, along with your average medical patient).

How to keep them coming back:

  • Have higher dose products or specific programs for medical patients. 
  • 10% discount for medical patients can keep them coming back frequently.
  • Have a separate area for medical patients to shop and check out, if possible. (This becomes difficult when your state becomes recreational and you need to expand for increased foot traffic.)
  • Having a cannabis nurse on your staff will also, be very helpful to your medical patients and can also, provide a competitive advantage. 
  • Have educational events once a month or as frequently as necessary. 


  • If your state allows the production of items above 100mg THC, have those products available for your medical patients. High milligram RSO (Rick Simpson Oil), High THC products, CBD tinctures, and capsules will also,  keep this customer group coming back.
  • Frequent promos on RSO, CBD, capsules, tinctures, and high THC products. 
  • Can designate Monday’s (“Medical Monday’s) or Wednesday’s (Wellness Wednesday’s) for medical promos. (Ex:  BOGO deals, Discounts on RSO, CBD products, tinctures, capsules, and provide special discounts for medical patients on these days.)
  • Have special discount programs for terminally-ill patients/customers. (Create a 30-day supply of RSO and CBD capsules in different ratios, and give 35-40% off of those items to terminally-ill patients/customers.)
  • Curate relevant, educational events and have a cannabis nurse or doctor assist with delivering accurate information and answer questions. You may also, have your vendors and top budtenders participate in these events, which can help raise your brand awareness while providing a service to the community. 


Veterans are one of the most consistent cannabis customers/patients. Veterans can have more than one ailment that they are trying to alleviate, so they usually, like a variety of products to try. They can make up a good portion of medical patients in legal cannabis states, as well. They are loyal to dispensaries or cannabis companies and brands that keep veteran needs in mind. This group of customers, generally, like CBD products like tinctures, capsules, gummies, etc. There could be a mix of flower smokers and non-smokers in this group. 

How to keep them coming back:

  • 10% Veteran discount that can be stacked on top of a local or industry discount (Verify with DD214 form). 
  • Disabled veterans discount program based on the level of disability (Need to verify level disability).


  • All veterans verified with DD214 get a 10% discount. (Stackable on top of a local or industry discount up to 30% max discounts)
  • Disabled Veterans discount program: 10-20 percent disabled=15%, 30-60 percent disabled=20%, 70-100 percent disabled=30% (Not stackable with any other discount programs)

Senior Citizens:

Senior citizens are customers that are 65 years or older. This customer group usually, does not like to smoke, so try to keep a good variety of topical creams and rubs, tinctures, capsules, gummies, and CBD products available. This customer group is usually open to being educated by budtenders and will, most likely, attend education events if given the opportunity. 

How to keep them coming back:

  • Give a 10% Senior discount. (Stackable with local or industry discount. Up to 30% max discounts)
  • Have deals on topical creams and rubs, tinctures, capsules, gummies, and CBD products. (Ex: Extra 10% off of creams and rubs on Sundays for senior citizens. Buy capsules and get 50% off tinctures.)
  • Have an on-staff cannabis nurse available to answer questions. 
  • Create monthly, educational events to help this customer group see the benefits of cannabis. 


  • Have BOGO sale on Sundays for Seniors. (Buy a tincture get half off capsules, edibles, or CBD products. (Can mix up the items for BOGO’s to move out overstocked inventory)
  • Have an on-site cannabis nurse, if you can, to assist with pairing cannabis products with their prescription medications and addressing any other concerns.
  • Hold educational events to keep this group interested in your brand and products. Subjects addressing their ailments will keep them intrigued. 

Gen X, Millennials, Centennials:

This category of customers covers several generations but, generally, have similar product needs and are, usually, trying to alleviate similar issues and conditions. This customer group may seek healthier products, as well as higher potency products like concentrates, vapes, and edibles. They are also, more likely to try newer, tech-savvy products and accessories. Consider having products and services like THC and CBD coconut oils and kinds of butter, gluten-free and vegan products, and bag and jar recycling programs. This group of customers also don’t mind donating to local charities through dispensaries, so connect with local charities and see how your dispensary can assist. Social influencers and celebrities will also attract this customer group.

How to keep them coming back:

  • Have promos and discounts on vapes, concentrates, edibles, flowers, and pre-rolls. 
  • Have newer, modern accessories available for this group. (Flower vaporizers, dab rigs, etc.)
  • Have a variety of anxiety relief products available.


  • Bogo’s or discounts on vapes, concentrates, and edibles. Bogo’s or discounts on flower and pre-rolls
  • Carry gluten-free and vegan items such as gummies and brownies.
  • Carry a variety of Tinctures, Vapes, and Capsules that have good CBD to THC ratios.


*For States that accept out-of-state medical patients and or non-resident customers.

These are customers that are, usually, residents of the state in which the dispensary operates or whichever geographic area the dispensary chooses. This group of customers is best catered to in states that accept non-resident medical patient cards and non-resident customers. The locals will appreciate that there are deals and discounts that are only for them.

How to keep them coming back:

  • Discounts for residents of your state possessing proper identification.
  • Offer a rewards program for locals.
  • Pick a day or set of days to offer other discounts and promos to locals on certain products or categories. 


  • 10% discount for locals. (Stackable with medical and industry discounts 20-30% max discount)
  • Rewards program for locals. For example, for every $33 dollar spent, the customer/patient will earn $1 in rewards. (To be a part of the rewards program, customers must provide e-mail or phone numbers so that you can collect marketing info.)
  • Monday’s: Extra 10% off selected/house concentrates for locals. Wednesday’s: Buy 1 Edible, get 50% off selected/house edibles, for locals.

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