Twenty years ago, anyone selling both weed and watches in the same transaction probably wore a trenchcoat and had three different IDs. Now they wear an employee badge and have three different Instagram accounts.
Instead of the usual hoodies and lighters, new Aspen dispensary Dalwhinnie Farms sells such merchandise as leather belts and jewelry; this is the first store in Colorado (and likely the country) to have Rolex products and pre-rolled joints in the same inventory. Catering to a town filled with affluent residents and equally affluent visitors, Dalwhinnie chief revenue officer Ashley Grace, a founding marketing executive with Colorado CBD company Charlotte's Web, likes to use words like "bazaar" and "boutique" when talking about the store, and not necessarily "dispensary."
"We're really trying to connect it in a way that makes it feel more approachable. We have some polo items for sale in the window, and people are walking in to ask us what's going on in here," he says.
While the theme is all horses and Western frontier, there's a link to cannabis: Dalwhinnie was the name of a dressage horse-training ranch in Ridgway that now houses the cultivation facility supplying the dispensary. Dalwhinnie's owner decided to name the dispensary after the dressage operation, decorating the store with a Western flair and even sponsoring polo events in the area.
Not surprisingly, Dalwhinnie's apparel and other luxury goods can have high price tags, albeit with a lower sales tax rate than the marijuana. The dispensary's strain lineup, currently starting at $20 an eighth, is easier on the wallet. Considering that Zillow's latest median home value in Aspen was $1.9 million, price may be irrelevant here, anyway.
The Green Solution, a more traditional retail dispensary with over twenty locations in the state, neighbors Dalwhinnie, which opened September 7 at 108 South Mill Street. But marijuana shoppers coming from more traditional pot shops won't miss the usual options at Dalwhinnie, which stocks edibles, concentrates and all the other marijuana products that dispensary shoppers expect — just with Italian umbrellas and a quartz saddle, too.
"We're trying to focus on building an environment that doesn't really feel like a dispensary," Grace says. "It feels more like an art studio or boutique. But we really have to walk the walk when it comes to our budtending staff being able to serve a purpose, with high-end retail questions and cannabis knowledge."
Find out more about the store at Dalwhinnie.com.