When a lot of people think of pot shops-stores that sell legalized cannabis in states that allow it-a certain image comes to mind, even though it’s not exactly an accurate one. “Stoner culture,” as it’s commonly referred to, has had a role to play in the formation of many misconceptions that still linger around today-and sometimes, it drives people away from dispensaries. Professionals, community leaders and those who want to keep their pot use discrete feel wary about walking into, or being seen coming out of, these stores. Even though attitudes have changed drastically in even just a few years’ time, many still struggle to see pot outside of the illegal, seedy, criminal light that has been cast upon it for decades.
As legalization of the plant becomes the law of the land in an ever-increasing number of states, business owners are striving to change the public’s perception of what a pot shop is. Buds & Roses in Los Angeles is one example of how conducting business has changed, by offering a high-class, luxury shopping experience on their sales floor. This pot shop even has a valet.
Ten years ago, Buds & Roses established itself as a premier high-end medical cannabis establishment on Ventura Boulevard, a street lined with upscale boutiques and trendy shops.
Since its inception, this unique pot shop has operated under regulations before certain regulations existed-such as providing nutrition labels on edibles. “When I first came here, I made a decision to just be proud of what I do, to put myself out there, to do everything transparently,” said Aaron Justis, president of Buds & Roses.
Even though Buds & Roses has been an established medical pot shop for a decade, Justis says that his company has only just gotten started. Last year, Californian voters approved of Proposition 64, which legalized recreational use of cannabis throughout the state.
This measure is expected to bring in a lot of out-of-state business, as well as increase tourism to California once the legal pot market goes live. It is also going to serve as a huge boost to an industry that has mostly operated in the shadows until now. Companies that have been in operation for years finally get to make a name for themselves out in the open.