By Marisa DeZara
DENVER — This past weekend, for tourists and locals alike, many negated the celebration of one famous resurrection and opted to celebrate the resurrection of marijuana into the mainstream. The official implementation of legal marijuana during 2014 commenced one of the largest celebrations of pot culture that Denver has ever seen. The city was stacked with different events to choose from, some of the most popular being The Cannabis Cup, Dabroots and the 420 Rally at Civic Center Park.
At Dabroots on Friday, April 18, I spoke with Jason Amos, Vice President of Strainwise (Dabroot’s main sponsor), a dispensary chain located in Colorado. Strainwise currently operates under eight separate locations, six of which are open to dual sales. The dual sale technique encompasses both medical and retail marijuana, which allows for a more lucrative business operation. After asking Amos a series of questions, I learned that his enterprise has altered a lot since marijuana became legal.
For one, he told me that legal weed isn’t all the hype. It has undoubtedly drawn a lot of tourists to his dispensary, especially for 4/20 weekend, but the primary difference between retail and medical is all in the price. He indicated that the retail price for pot is significantly higher, too high, to be exact. A rise in tourism and a heightened desire for legal weed, Amos believes, has jeopardized Strainwise’s novelty. However, regardless of price, and in conjunction with a rise in attraction and tourism, legal weed has certainly helped with Strainwise’s publicity, yielding the company more sales than ever imagined.
Amos also made sure to point out that the cultivation and distribution of their product is highly regulated. I asked if this was a burden to his company and he responded by assuring me that, if anything, it is merely a way to weed out the good companies from the bad. Already regarded as a corporation, Strainwise hopes to open up even more locations in the future. Amos mentioned that he would like to expand into states other than Colorado, such as Nevada, Washington and Hawaii.
So, what has made Strainwise such a successful chain? Amos believes it has a lot to do with his marketing tactics. He asked me: Do you see any pot leafs anywhere in our symbol? How about a green cross? After having a nice look at the logo, I said no. And that’s where they differentiate themselves from competitors — the ambiguity of the name “Strainwise,” the black and white coloring in the logo and the lack of pot-related symbolism have branded the business by adding intrigue.
No brand could live without a great product and Amos firmly stands behind that belief. Additionally, Jason is not indifferent to the “unknown quality of the industry,” as he understands that the future of marijuana is still uncertain. He told me that when it comes to Strainwise, and the marijuana business in general, there is a lot of trial and error, especially since it is run differently than a “normal” business.
It is quite apparent that, at this juncture, for those involved in the marijuana industry, 4/20 weekend has only confirmed a collective approval for legal weed. The celebration that took place in Denver this past weekend managed to grab tourists from all over the world. This following, its mass advocacy for cannabis, nudges at the growth of the movement and provides hope for significant market capitalization.