Cannabis lockers are being developed to streamline business in Las Vegas.
Cannabis lockers are the latest business development in the Las Vegas cannabis market. Developed by business partners Lindsay Ballengee and Marta Spegman-Lopez, the pair of friends moved to Vegas from California to try and get their business off the ground.
Their product, under the name SafeArbor, are grab-and-go lockers that will allow customers to pay for and pick up cannabis from a dispensary without having to interact with a person. They are similar to Amazon lockers outside a convenience store, but only for cannabis products.
To make their company a reality, the business partnered with American Locker, a manufacturer based in North Las Vegas.
“Las Vegas has the right economic climate, and it’s a much more cultural city than I think we think we knew before we moved here,” Ballengee said. “We’re really excited to be here. The support system is here for us.”
The business owners feel that the product addresses a market need, one they determined after meeting with many folks in the industry.
“You won’t have to wait in line; you can be on your couch, place your order, then go to the dispensary to pick it up,” Bellengee said. “You’re not waiting in a line with people maybe coughing on you, you go up to the machine, put in some inputs, get a QR code on your phone and the locker pops open.”
Spegman-Lopez seconds this, saying she got a good feeling about her product when she saw a long line of cars waiting for pre-orders at a dispensary.
“It was right after the first stimulus checks came in,” Spegman-Lopez Venture said. “There was a four-hour line of cars at an off-strip dispensary. That was eye-opening for us. That was pent-up market validation. There’s a market for people who don’t have eight hours to wait at home for a delivery and who don’t need the budtender experience.”
The business owners are currently in talks with Southern Nevada dispensaries about partnering. Eventually, they plan to manufacture a type of locker that would be used to transport cannabis products as well, and they’ve also considered branching out into lockers for safe-keeping Las Vegas valuables.
“Our machines protect and transfer product that’s already assigned to somebody, so we can ensure the product’s chain of custody is secure,” Spegman-Lopez Venture said. “Whether it’s a wholesale purchase, or a customer-facing purchase, that customer’s identity will be validated by our software system, which we built and coded for, when they scan their identification.”
The company has already received backing. In May, they won a competition by angelNV, a group of local investors who offered more than $200,000 to put into SafeArbor. This was helpful due the instability of trying to get a startup off the ground during the pandemic.
“That was devastating for us,” said Spegman-Lopez. “It’s crazy to be out there looking for investors, especially in the cannabis space. Some venture capitalists shy away from it.”
“We were given some great insight in how to build our idea out,” Ballengee said regarding the feedback and support they got from entering the contest. “We competed against some amazing companies.”
And despite the setbacks they’ve faced as female business owners, and due to the time they tried to launch their business, they feel that things are steadily on the rise.
“In the last year or two, I think we’ve seen progress there,” Spegman-Lopez Venture said. “The funny thing we’ve noticed is that no matter who we’re talking to—new investors, partners, whoever—they refer to us as ‘the girls.’ We’re not offended by it.”
Jeff Saling of the AngelNV organization said SafeArbor is a “way to get involved early in a new and growing industry.” He feels the lockers are a good solution to a common problem in the cannabis industry around logistics and convenience.
“Marta and Lindsay are creative, driven founders and experts in cannabis regulations, logistics, and safety issues,” Saling said. “We’re super excited to be partnered with them and happy they’ve chosen Las Vegas as their corporate home.”