Ask a Stoner: Why Are Fewer Dispensaries Growing Weed?

Ask a Stoner: Why Are Fewer Dispensaries Growing Weed?
Jacqueline Collins
Dear Stoner: Why are fewer dispensaries growing their own weed? Most of what I see now is pre-bagged and from someone else.

Dear Kial: What we’re seeing is a natural step forward enabled by rule changes and market evolution. When retail marijuana sales started in Colorado, growers and dispensaries were tied at the hip by a process called vertical integration. This largely eliminated the thought of wholesale growing, but those rules loosened and then were eventually eliminated as time went on. Now we’re seeing wholesale cultivations dominate dispensary shelves. They’re branded, they’re exotic, and they’re not cheap, either. Attaining a level of trust and consistency is difficult for retail cannabis smokers, though, and many regular users are happy to pay a few extra bucks for quality and new genetics.

A lot of dispensaries have turned into outlets for popular growers in an effort to attract this new wave of retail shoppers. When you consider the liquor-store model, this move was probably inevitable — but plenty of stores make their own flower the star of the show, and dispensaries that go full retail without at least one internal cultivation are still in the minority. The internal stash is cheaper without a middleman, which is beneficial for them and us. I’m not sure that will last forever, either, so support the in-house product while you can.

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