As social distancing becomes a more entrenched part of our everyday lives, you may be thinking, “How many people do I want touching my stash?”
The team behind THRIVE Cannabis Marketplace took that very question into consideration when opening their fifth dispensary in Nevada. The new Southern Highlands location has an automated conveyor belt to deliver cannabis to paying customers.
Founder and CEO Mitch Britten wanted a system that was not only efficient, but enhanced safety and security, drawing a strong line of separation between the employees who handle the product and the ones who handle the money. He initially considered a pneumatic tube system similar to what banks use, but when testing it out, he found that it was difficult to fit some of the packaging within the containers. So the company turned to the conveyor belt system, which isn’t much different in design from what you’d find at a dry cleaners. The main difference is the conveyor belt doesn’t start and stop. It’s always running.
Once an order is placed, the back-room fulfillment team packs it up and places it in a bag that’s attached to the conveyor belt, which twists and turns on a 210-foot track above the store before arriving at the front counter. From beginning to end, the journey takes 70 seconds. Every order — in-house, delivery, curbside pickup — is carried out with the conveyor belt system.
“There are a lot of advantages,” said Director of Compliance Ashley Blackwood. “In our previous dispensaries, you had to have a ton of cabinet space in our front-of-house, which caused a lot of issues … It was a little more cramped, a little less safe. Having [the product] back-of-the-house has really alleviated all