You might not recognize the name Yuma Way
, but the Denver-based business is becoming one of the largest locally owned marijuana operations in Colorado.
Although only one dispensary currently bears the brand name — 1136 Yuma, the company's original store, which is located at 1136 Yuma Court — Yuma Way owns eight dispensaries across Colorado, including east Denver's newest dispensary, Park Hill Gardens.
The recreational pot shop, located at 6901 East Colfax Avenue, opened in mid-January, according to co-owner Rita Tsalyuk. A grand opening is currently in the works, but the store will operate at limited hours while the staff irons out operational mistakes.
"At a certain point, we'll have everything figured out and will set up the grand opening. I'm going to get a mural on there soon, too, so the building will be much better to look at," Tsalyuk says.
Yuma Way tends to name stores after the areas in which they operate, with 1136 Yuma named after its address in central Denver, and Berkeley Dispensary, Cherry Peak, Lowell Gardens and Park Hill Gardens named after their neighborhoods. Stadium Gardens and Canna City, two stores located in Commerce City, also give nods to local landmarks. However, the company's upcoming store, which will be at 4440 Morrison Road in southwest Denver, will be the first dispensary under the umbrella that's simply named "Yuma Way," according to the company.
Denver's only operating licensed marijuana consumption lounge, the Coffee Joint
, is also owned by Yuma Way, as are two Denver marijuana cultivations. Yuma Way has also expanded into California, Michigan and New Jersey, with a dispensary license for a future location in Virginia, as well.
As Yuma Way enters its seventh year, Tsalyuk is particularly excited about an upcoming 1,700-square-foot facility.
According to Tsalyuk, Yuma Way purchased a building in south Denver for edibles production, which will be done via licensing partnerships with outside brands. Yuma Way has already agreed to a deal with Chew & Chill
, a line of live resin gummies from California, with Yuma Way producing the edibles based on Chew & Chill formulas and recipes.
The space will also work with smaller marijuana businesses that haven't yet broken into the industry, according to Tsalyuk.
Like a commissary kitchen, edibles makers would rent the space from Yuma Way through a state accelerator program
for new marijuana business owners. Under the program, established businesses like Yuma Way would essentially allow smaller, specially licensed marijuana businesses to use the space for an agreed amount of time.
"Right now it has equipment to produce gummies. If they have the proper licenses, they can come and rent the space by the hour," Tsalyuk explains. "Sometimes you'll invest thousand of dollars and find out that people don't like how the edibles taste. This could take the cost from thousands of dollars to hundreds of dollars for research and development."
Tsalyuk says that Yuma Way is still fielding inquiries for accelerator business partnerships