Cannabis outsiders think owning a dispensary is like having a cash register, but cannabis insiders know how it really works. The tight margins and onerous restrictions challenge even the best owner to make decent profits. Brendan Hill, the drummer for the iconic band Blues Traveler, found this out when he opened his dispensary Paper & Leaf on Bainbridge Island in Washington.
“In Washington state, they are pretty specific about what we can sell in the cannabis shop. Several items like T-shirts, anything that’s branded that isn’t for cannabis consumption can’t be sold and being in rock and roll, what’s better than a tour shirt?” he said. In addition, if his customers got thirsty or hungry, he couldn’t sell them anything at Paper and Leaf. So, they opened a sister store next door called Market Elevated with a separate entrance. It’s described as a “Pacific Northwest Lifestyle Shop.”
“We’ve got 200 or 300 people going through Paper and Leaf each day, so it’s a perfect opportunity to have them go next door to Market Elevated,” Hill said. As a bonus, they moved items like glass paraphernalia out of Paper & Leaf and over to Market Elevated where they could add to their business tax deductions.
Tapping into his rock and roll roots, Hill
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