Burning Questions With The Founders Of LucidaClub’s “Sherpa-Level” Cannabis Guidance Platform

“If we want to welcome the cannacurious into the cannabis market, then we need to meet them where they are on their cannabis journey, and that takes a focussed effort.”

LucidaClub’s founders, Lucinda Cross and Jack Roosevelt, tell us they have been “friends for most of their lives.” They met in school in England, and years later, in 2016 “began working together on some other projects.” Jack’s experience is in finance, renewable energy, and startups; Lucinda comes from an HR, operations, and management background.

Fast-forward to the 2020s, and the longtime friends found themselves on a cannabis journey. Which they say “drove them to build LucidaClub,” a “members-only, seamless eCommerce platform paired with Sherpa-level guidance and access to the best products,” “to solve the problems that they were each personally experiencing.”

“Empathy for the consumer is what makes LucidaClub different,” they told DigBoston. “We see the market through the eyes of the consumer, not from the standpoint of the product being sold, as traditional retailers see it. Our purpose is to help the consumer and guide them on their cannabis journey. To do this, we built a team of experts who can help to educate and steer us, the ‘cannacurious,’ on our journey.”

We asked the sinsemilla sherpas to lead us through their platform. You’ll find Jack’s responses to our bolded questions below.

You’ve said that you found it a bit jarring the first time you looked at a dispensary menu. What were you looking for and how did you eventually get what you needed? 

I am 6’8” and in no way, shape, or form a wallflower. I am not easily intimidated, however, within moments of walking into my first dispensary back in the summer of 2019 I felt completely out of place. I went in there looking for an eighth of flower, something to help me sleep better. I thought I had a simple question, but was surprised to be met with little support, education, or guidance from the budtender at that dispensary. I ended up walking out with a tincture; I had not been upsold on a better product. The aray of strains and product offerings was confusing and overwhelming. I bought the tincture because it was the least worst option that I could see on the menu.

Figuring out what I liked, how I liked to consume, and the dose(s) that worked best for me took a lot of trial and error. All of this took a lot of effort and time. Had I had the right help from the start, it would have been much much easier. Honestly, Bob, LucidaClub’s head curator, was finally the person that helped guide me to find products, strains, and dosing that gave me the experiences I have been looking for.

You say your research shows that there are 1.5 million cannacurious—your branded term—people “sitting on the sidelines in Massachusetts alone.” You add, “This means there are three times as many customers sitting out than there are actually buying and consuming.” Now that we’re a few years into recreational in Mass, what do you see as the information gap that still persists despite some good efforts by dispensaries to educate?

Most recreational retailers, especially those that have opened in the last 12 to 18 months, have done an exceptional job creating a welcome in-store experience, and they have some very knowledgeable budtenders. The problem is that for consumers new to the cannabis market to benefit from all of this work they need to actually walk in the front door of the dispensary.

There is still a lot of stigma attached to the cannabis market and that stigma drives incredible misperceptions. If we want to welcome the cannacurious into the cannabis market, then we need to meet them where they are on their cannabis journey, and that takes a focussed effort.

Adult-use retailers need to communicate with all of their customers, from the connoisseur to the neophyte. That is a very difficult path to walk, especially when most of your cannacurious consumers are already feeling nervous. LucidaClub, on the other hand, is designed to guide [people] on their cannabis journey, to break down the barriers to entry for them. 

What kind of focus groups have you put together to see what people are looking for in this realm? And what have you learned from them? What are people in search of when it comes to cannabis-related questions?

After talking with friends, and friends of friends we conducted more structured market research with two different researchers and on groups of varying demographics. It quickly became clear that there was significant interest in how cannabis can help with well-being, sleep, relaxation, and anxiety. However, the existing education and jargon were overwhelming and not easy to understand. People did not feel comfortable walking into a store because they didn’t know what they needed to buy, how much to take, and when. They found the experience intimidating and shied away from purchasing.

A lot of companies are going for exclusivity these days, but it seems you’re doing it for more than just the posh angle. Also there’s the privacy and attention to detail. Please tell us a bit about how you developed the system, the current “Calm, Sleep, Focus” offerings, and how it will all work.

After determining what was important to us when making purchases, and what was important to our focus groups, we started to research solution based buying experiences that would work, such as stitch fix, the beard club, etc.—a type of shopping where your decisions would already be made. All our customers would need to decide is: to smoke or not to smoke? And, how much to spend.

Despite not being able to consider the shipping element, we looked at how subscription boxes are presented and put together. We wanted to create a simple, convenient, and discrete process so that our members would feel comfortable around friends or family. They wouldn’t be embarrassed to leave their phone on the side, with the LucidaClub website open. … The description “concierge” fits us well, given the few decisions the customer has to make.

The launch offerings were inspired by the solutions we were seeking—calm and sleep. However, focus became a curiosity of our own. How can THC products improve productivity and focus? We’re still learning.

With so many new products being rolled out every week, do you also see this as a potential service for stoners who already know their way around a dispensary? Like us? We love dabs, but since most stores still use stock photos and the employees couldn’t possibly keep up with everything, it can be hard to know what to buy. 

Absolutely, we will be offering experiences specifically for canna-connoisseurs too. Our head curator is working on some curations which we will be launching in early April. The next phase of development for our platform focuses on offering experiences as well as single products from our retail partners’ menus which will cater to the experienced and the newbies alike.

An important criteria we look for when selecting our retail partners is their menus’ versatility as well as the customers’ experience online and instore. Something we found when doing our initial e-commerce research was that product photography and placement was not a focal point for dispensaries, but it’s certainly an area we intend to focus on.

Finally, please tell us about how you are going about securing dispensary partners so we know where we’ll be able to put all this info to use.

We have an experienced cannabis business development consultant working through a target list of retailers, who have been selected based on their customer experiences, locations, and menus which will suit our customers.

We have integrated our platform with Flowhub point of sale system, so that we fit straight into retailers’ existing process and inventory. We have focused on partnering with existing Flowhub users first, hence Cape Cod Cannabis in Wellfleet is our flagship location. We are currently developing a second route to working with non-Flowhub retailers.

We plan to onboard 10 to 12 retailers, strategically placed across the state, ensuring we can service our members.