Can Cannabis Infuse Passion Into Retail? An Exclusive Look at Colorado’s Newest Premium Dispensary
1 Mar 2017
By: Kate Senzamici
Medical and adult-use marijuana retail franchise Diego Pellicer is commonly referred to as “the Starbucks of weed” – a far cry from the image of shady, underground pot operations that has traditionally dominated public conception of the industry. In trend with the U.S. recreational cannabis retail landscape (which exists now in some form in eight U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia), Diego Pellicer (DP) stores provide a differentiated, formal, and decidedly premium retail experience. The second U.S. location opened February 14 in Denver following a $1 million renovation (the first opened in Seattle in October 2016) as an independent brand licensee focused on owning and operating legally compliant dispensary and grow operations. I spoke with Diego Pellicer Colorado CEO Neil Demers about what goes into introducing a new retail format and CPG product to the mainstream retail landscape—and what traditional retailers can learn from cannabis.
Green-Light District Scores Spanish Gold
By: P. Gotti Photos: provided by Diego Pellicer
February 27, 2017
In the early 20th century, the grandson of Diego Pellicer, legendary hemp magnate and envoy of the Spanish Empire, formed the modern real estate investment company, Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc. — an organization intent on nothing less than becoming the number one retailer of premium marijuana. His grandfather was a man of luxury and society and his legacy lives on in the company’s exquisite store front in Seattle, Diego Pellicer. Here marks the entrance of a high roller to the table.
GUIDE TO CANNABIS
A Taxonomy of Pot Shops, From Quiet Neighborhood Corners to Major Opulence
The grab ‘n’ go. The tech temple. The local shop. Buying weed has come a long way.
The Lap of Luxury
There’s a living room joint, then there’s a cigar filled with $3,500 of premium green. You can find the latter at Diego Pellicer, the Versailles of Seattle pot shops. In a city full of both stoner candy stores and ultramodern retailers, the SoDo location boasts some real ostentatiousness—from the gilded interior to the top-shelf offerings.
Diego Pellicer Opens Million-Dollar Dispensary in Denver
Kate McKee Simmons
February 15, 2017
In some families, raising the cannabis plant is a time-honored tradition. Back at the end of the 1800s, farmer Diego Pellicer, who owned one of the largest hemp farms in the Philippines, made products for the Spanish navy. Over a century later, his great-grandson, Jamen Shively, founded a dispensary with his partner, Doug Anderson, and named it in honor his great-grandfather.
The first dispensary in the Diego Pellicer chain opened on October 15, 2016, in Seattle. The second opened in Denver on February 14. According to Ron Throgmartin, CEO of Diego Pellicer Worldwide, six more locations are in the works.
High-end dispensary makes a play in Denver
February 14, 2017
The first dispensary Neil Demers owned, Mr. Stinky’s, had a skunk for a mascot.
The second, which the 31-year-old opened Tuesday at Federal Boulevard and Alameda Avenue, has oak cabinets and Doric columns meant to give off a different aroma – luxury.
“We built a really high-end store, which this market hasn’t had before,” said Demers, CEO of dispensary Diego Pellicer Colorado. “But we have competitive prices.”
The contrast between his first and second store is by design, Demers said: Diego Pellicer aims to make customers, especially women, feel at ease by outfitting its shops with sleek fixtures from the likes of Restoration Hardware.
Jon Olsen-Koziol, Evergreen Scene Reporter • January 20, 2017
In a study published in the Journal of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, researchers found many employees are recommending strains or products that exacerbate symptoms. There were 55 employees surveyed, only 30 received proper training.
Employees were surveyed at dispensaries in Colorado, California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington D.C., Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine, according to Live Science. Some findings include employees recommending weed with high levels of THC for people with anxiety issues, when high levels of THC can make anxiety worse.
Dispensary employees received customer service training 35 percent of the time, business training 26 percent of the time, medical training 20 percent and scientific training 13 percent of the time, according to the study.
The marijuana industry is still new, there is no standard for employee training. This leaves the dispensary owners responsible for educating new employees.
“Core brand values [are] going to determine whether bud tenders are educated or not,” said Joey Brabo, a Cannabis Liaison at Diego Pellicer in Seattle.
Brabo is a Cannabis Liaison at Diego Pellicer in Seattle, a well-reviewed cannabis retailer and said he received thorough training for his position.
Diego’s own Alex Canto spoke with Forbes on the influence of celebrity culture in the cannabis industry for the article “Amid Plans For Hunter S. Thompson-Branded Marijuana, Has Celebrity Weed Gonzoed Too Far?” The piece highlights products like Snoop Dogg’s G-pens and DPG Budz named after Tha Dog Pound, grown by our featured vendor, Seattle’s Private Reserve, both of which are available at Diego Pellicer.
The response to celebrity-endorsed marijuana is mixed both among consumers and in the industry. Alex Canto, owner and operator of the high-end dispensary Diego Pellicer, said that some of his younger clientele are turned off by the branding. However, his older customers are drawn to it. “They feel it’s a product they can trust and they believe that the brand will have the desired effect they are looking for,” he said.
The great team at Seattle’s NBC Affiliate KING 5 stopped by Diego Pellicer’s flagship location in South Downtown Seattle, Washington to document the newly launched store.