Reframing the cannabis retail experience
GreenFrame and Show-Me Organics have partnered to elevate the cannabis shopping experience with a new digital tool that features 3-D images of flower, information about genetics, and a personal note from the grower. The tool, GreenFrame, will feature the Vivid and Buoyant Bob’s strains available throughout the state.
One of the most common answers given by first-time dispensary patrons is that the experience often feels overwhelming.
Whether for medical patients or adult use consumers, for anyone who has never purchased cannabis from a dispensary, the experience is often much different than they envision. In some of the largest dispensaries in the country, walls are lined with products, the weed version of an Apple store, with products visible in every direction and displays and cases throughout.
But with so many products and so many options, it can be daunting to be able to find any information about the product outside of what can be squeezed onto the packaging.
In Missouri, that task may soon be even more complicated as state regulators have pushed for packaging changes that would cut down on the amount of information– and limit what types of information– can be displayed on physical packaging.
Legal limitations on packaging and advertising put the onus of customer education on the budtender, especially in a new recreational market where many shoppers have no familiarity with any brands or products.
That’s where Tim Pickett, founder of GreenFrame, believed he could build something better.
“As a cannabis patient, I had an experience in a dispensary a while back where I was more or less left hanging after I asked the budtender about new products he was getting in. He said that there were too many products and too much information to remember– and it was obvious he was overwhelmed. This was right as the market started to get flooded with everyone’s first harvest, so the shelves were getting packed. I left thinking that there has to be an easier way to not only get that information into the budtender’s hands, but make the experience interactive, fun, and memorable for the consumer. Luckily, after almost a decade at Paradowski Creative, I was able to brainstorm ideas with some of the 100+ geniuses that work there. After months of research and development along with feedback from budtenders and patients, the GreenFrame app was born,” he said.
Greenway recently spoke to Pickett and Tony Billmeyer, Chief Marketing Officer at Show-Me Organics – the company behind some of Missouri’s biggest cannabis brands including Vivid, Buoyant Bob, and Missouri’s Own Edibles, about how their partnership is helping GreenFrame elevate cannabis brands in Missouri– and eventually, across the country.
What is GreenFrame?
“GreenFrame is an innovative retail tool designed to enhance product knowledge for both budtenders and customers via an accessible, web-based app. Users simply scan a QR code framed in green to launch interactive 3D technology that showcases the cultivator’s product details,” Pickett explained.
In hand, GreenFrame comes to life. The ability to see and learn about products in real time without exclusively relying on a budtender is a huge boon for the customer. The GreenFrame app allowed us to learn at our own pace as we explored the store and interacted with different cultivars. Beyond learning about the products, GreenFrame allowed us to learn more about the brands as well.
Conversely, GreenFrame has been a great tool for retail professionals, allowing them on-demand information about new products and companies in a market that becomes increasingly competitive seemingly by the day.
“Budtenders are a primary source of knowledge for shoppers, and until now there hasn’t been a great solution for consistent budtender education,” Billmeyer told Greenway. “GreenFrame is more engaging than a presentation deck, and heightens the education above rote memorization. It’s learning by discovering, and the ability for a budtender to refer back to GreenFrame whenever they have a question transforms our brand education from a burden into a helpful tool.”
“Not only does GreenFrame give the budtenders the tools they need to inform the patients and customers, but it also allows the patient to do a little research at their own convenience,” Pickett added, “No need to go searching, it’s literally at your fingertips. You can put the GreenFrame QR codes on your display box, your display case, the TV screens, or however you want to utilize them.”
What made Vivid and Buoyant Bob the perfect partners to launch GreenFrame?
Tony Billmeyer: Innovation is part of Vivid’s DNA, which has manifested in all kinds of great products over the last year.
When Show-Me Organics’ flower hit the market in late October, we wanted to let the bud speak for itself because the quality is there. We really needed shoppers to be able to see the flower, and the 3D images on GreenFrame make it feel like you can hold the nugs.
Tim Pickett: As we were finetuning the application’s development and process, I was also searching for the right partner to launch GreenFrame. I had crossed paths with Tony and Boston Dickerson a few times over the years and always had a great admiration for their products and what they stood for. After walking Tony through the GreenFrame demo, I could immediately tell that we had very similar work ethics and an extreme passion for the industry. We both crave innovation and are constantly finding ways to improve how we work and what we produce. It was great finding people and a company that matched my enthusiasm for this type of technology– in addition to being fans of experiential marketing. We could not be happier with how this collaboration happened. Such a solid company, from top to bottom.
From a brand perspective, what does GreenFrame allow you to do?
Tony Billmeyer: Public education and understanding are central to Vivid’s mission because the more you understand cannabis, the more you can live a vivid life.
Our goal to educate shoppers requires us to make the content engaging and fun. GreenFrame is an important step to help transform our education into a process of discovery that appeals to amateurs and connoisseurs alike. While Vivid’s Instagram (@vivid.cannabis) offers a behind-the-scenes look into the grow process and dispensaries, GreenFrame is an opportunity to take another step to learn more.
Tim Pickett: QR codes for COAs are everywhere inside a dispensary, so I had to find a way for ours to be different. I added a green “frame” around our QR code so it would stand out and customers would know the experience they would be getting when they scanned it. Now, brands can have their products displayed in 3D and have customized information like terpenes, cannabinoids, flavor/aromas, fun facts, and even messages from the growers. There’s also a section that highlights the brand and lets them talk about any initiatives that they’re involved in, like social justice, eco-friendly packaging, videos, or just about any type of info they want to display.
From a user standpoint, what are consumers and patients getting from GreenFrame?
Tony Billmeyer: If you consider the need states of cannabis shoppers, you see overlapping traits with shoppers of produce and wine.
Like produce, cannabis is a crop that everyday users budget and shop for on a regular basis, and with an agricultural product it’s best to let your senses be your guide. Cannabis is similar to wine in that both offer complex flavor profiles and effects, so there are popular apps, like Vivino, that aid the discovery process.
GreenFrame fills this gap for cannabis shoppers and simplifies complex information to aid the discovery process for budtenders and shoppers, no matter where they are in their cannabis journey.
Tim Pickett: Whether you are a patient or a new consumer of the recreational market, education is an essential part of learning about what this plant can do for you. The goal is to get as much information to the consumers and patients without being intimidating or overwhelming.
What has the partnership between GreenFrame and Vivid been like so far?
Tony Billmeyer: The missions of GreenFrame and Show-Me Organics are perfectly complementary, and our outlooks on innovation are completely intertwined. We both began with a goal of bringing world-class cannabis products and experiences to Missouri, with a deep desire to drive cannabis innovation on a global scale.
In order to live up to that vision, each project must start from a blank slate with the goal of delivering the ultimate experience for a specific person or use case. We believe GreenFrame offers the ideal way to shop for cannabis in Missouri, given the limitations set by packaging and retail compliance. We are mindful not to take too much guidance from existing markets because inventing the future of cannabis requires creativity and visionary thinking.
Tim Pickett: It’s been an incredibly collaborative and fun partnership, to be honest. I am all ears when Tony calls because it usually involves a “Hey man, what if we try…” or “Do you think we could…?” I love talking through new ideas. Plus, it definitely legitimizes your product when you are associated with a brand like Vivid. So that aspect has been great as well.
Let’s talk about the technology and interface behind GreenFrame.
Tim Pickett: Over the past couple of years, what made a bigger comeback than the QR code? I mean, it used to be a joke. Now, it’s become very familiar to people and is now a natural part of the customer experience– almost a necessity.
As far as the experience after you scan the QR code, we leveraged the power of photogrammetry to create 3D models of the product and then optimize them to run on the web. It is an interactive experience that I just haven’t seen much of in the industry. The great part about it is that this is web-based. So no need to download an app or create an account. Scan the code and immediately get the information right there on the spot.
How do you continue to grow?
Tim Pickett: One of my main drivers for this project was to put Missouri on the map as a leader in cannabis innovation. I would love for someone from Silicon Valley to walk into Blue Sage in Carthage or Swade in Ellisville and go, “Whoa… This is an awesome shopping experience. I wish we thought of this.” That’s how it plays out in my dreams, at least.
As for GreenFrame, I see this as Version 1. There are so many avenues to pursue from this point. A huge benefit is that it’s extremely customizable, so if the client has an idea of something they want to display or promote, we can find a way to add it in and make it look great. Down the road, it would be pretty cool to visit a virtual Missouri dispensary and place an order from your couch, via the metaverse… Who knows, right??