California is about to experience Planet 13 up close and personal when the Las Vegas, Nevada-based company officially opens its Orange County superstore on July 1. To commemorate the occasion, Planet 13 threw a media and friends bash on Thursday, giving the invited throng of approximately 1200 people a first look at what will certainly be the largest dispensary in the Golden State, a “55,000 square-foot consumer experience, with 16,500 square-feet devoted to the dispensary retail area,” touts a press release. “The remaining areas in the complex, to be built as phases 2 and 3, are expected to include memorabilia sales, ancillary retail and a cannabis consumption lounge, all enhanced by additional immersive experiences.”
The space is indeed cavernous, with a large room just inside the entrance featuring an 80-foot digital waterfall that cascades “down from the ceiling, splashing onto a portal, creating an incredible visual, as customers walk through the waterfall.” Past a security portal lies the vaunted dispensary, a massive space filled with rows of display cases, 50 sales stations, a ceiling filled with brightly colored umbrellas, and a staff working a variety of jobs that, when all the phases are complete, will number upwards of 250.
There was a genuine air of festivity among the multitude that filled the dispensary to capacity as they enjoyed an open bar and appetizers, but no cannabis, of course. A few of the cases had limited marketing swag on display, and a few brands, like Stiiizy, had their banner up, indicating they will be store-within-store “tenants” of Planet 13 OC, which is importing the successful strategy from Las Vegas. Curious about when all the products would be loaded in, we were told everything was in place, ready to go, and would be loaded into the dispensary immediately after the bash.
CBE spoke briefly by phone Friday with Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (CSE:PLTH) (OTCQB:PLNHF) co-CEO/Chairman Bob Groesbeck, who said the OC superstore will open with a strong lineup of products. “I would guess when we open the doors, we are probably going to have 50 or so vendors, with probably five SKUs or more each. 250 lines, roughly.”
Offerings will at first be a mixture of Planet 13 and partner products, he said, but it won’t stop there. “Ultimately, as we bring production and cultivation assets online here in California, our goal will be to start transitioning our in-house brands here, as well,” said Groesbeck. I asked if they already have their licenses in hand for the additional businesses. “We don’t have them yet,” he said. “We’re actively pursuing several targets now that we think may make sense. We think the state can easily accommodate two, maybe even three, more superstores, and we are also looking to add more what we call our neighborhood branded stores, out in the suburbs.”
Delivery in California also is in the cards for Planet 13. “Our focus will be to get our delivery hubs close to the delivery point that we’ll serve,” said Groesbeck.
Does that make Planet 13 the latest multistate operator (MSO)? “We’re an MSO now by virtue of coming into a second state,” said Groesback. “Our goal is obviously to continue to grow the brand across multiple platforms. California is a big priority for us, given the proximity to Las Vegas. We’re also actively looking in the Arizona market, metro Phoenix, and then we’ll take it as far as it can go. It’s got to be the right fit, the right community, the right mix of rooftops and tourists. So, we’re careful and deliberative, but there’s plenty of upside, let’s put it that way.”
Their experience as a vertical in Nevada will only serve them well as they expand their footprint, said Groesbeck, adding, “I think it’s important for us as a company that in every market where we can be vertical, we need to be vertical.”
Tom Hymes, CBE Senior Editor, is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor with over 20 years’ experience covering highly regulated industries. He was born and raised in New York City. He can be reached at [email protected].
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