New York MMJ dispensary offers repeat-customer discount

Hoping to increase its medical marijuana patient numbers, MMJ business operator Etain Health in New York will introduce a repeat customer discount plan for purchases of its medicine.

It’s the latest incentive offered by one of the state’s five licensed MMJ operators, which have struggled with low patient counts and high prices for their medication.

Starting Tuesday, patients at Etain’s four dispensaries will receive a $5 discount for every $100 spent on medication, the Albany Times-Union reported. The discount increases in $5 increments until patients reach $400, when discounts increase to $10 for $100 spent until the purchase amount reaches $1,000. After that, the discount amount rises to $15 per $100 spent.

New York’s medical market is among the toughest in the nation, partly because the cost of medical marijuana in the state is too expensive for many potential patients.

In a state with a population of almost 19.8 million, only 12,764 patients had been certified to purchase medical marijuana as of Jan. 24, according to state statistics. And 833 doctors and nurse practitioners were certified to recommend medical marijuana in New York.

Etain COO Hillary Peckham acknowledged to Marijuana Business Magazine last year that high costs are the “biggest barrier” for medical cannabis patients.

When Etain opened just over a year ago, about 50% of all customers didn’t return because the cost of MMJ was too expensive. Now, about 20% of Etain customers don’t return because of cost, the Times-Union reported.

Peckham credited the improved numbers to other discounts the company has offered – such as a 5% discount for new customers – as well as other cost-cutting measures.