We stop by a classic WeHo shop to see how they stack up
Store Name: Los Angeles Patients & Caregivers Group
Store Location: 7213 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046
Store Website: www.LAMedicalMarijuana.com
Los Angeles Patients & Caregivers Group has been a staple in the West Hollywood medical cannabis scene since early 2004. The building, located on legendary Santa Monica Boulevard, is easily distinguishable from its neighbors by its iconic green paint job. With plenty of street parking on side streets, we had no problem and walked up to the building ready to see what LAPCG had to offer. Upon walking up to the door there were people lined up on both sides haphazardly with no distinguishing signs stating which side was medical and which side was recreational. The security guard, never once instructed anyone coming up which line to get in, and only directed people after they asked. He seemed more concerned with constantly opening the locked door to check to see how many people were in line inside, which didn’t make sense because he was wearing a headset and relaying to the inside who was coming in and opening the door for people coming out which means he wasn’t keeping track and people inside weren’t accurately relaying information if he wasn’t capable of keeping track on his own. After standing there for 5 minutes expecting to be directed, I decided finally to ask which side was recreational and which side was medical. At this point, the security guard finally instructed me that the left was recreational and the right was medical. This splitting of the line made absolutely no sense, however, since everyone was processed the same way and had to state if they were medical when they reached the lobby. It may have been to prevent lines from getting too long outside the building, but to me, that is a failure of utilizing your current lobby space correctly. Rather than have 8 or so people wait in the lobby, they stuffed the lobby full of not one but two businesses marketing to the patients and consumers right before they walk into the bud room (PAX and Flow Kana). These companies, who both had full tables in the rather small lobby already made small by an oversized desk for the receptionist, were also underserved by having a competing message directly across from them and being forced to quick capture consumers right before walking in, rather than talking them up while waiting. I was registered as a medical patient and was given a sticker with an M.
I’m not sure how these were tracked, or why this information wasn’t relayed from the front to the back with their POS system, but this sticker methodology was a bit ridiculous. The budtender who took it simply stuck it on her sweater. This had to have been the loosest tracked system to differentiate between medical and recreational I’ve ever encountered going across the country in recreational states. If the front is tracking medical patients and the system knows who I am because it prints out a receipt with my name, what I purchased, along with the cashier’s name, then why is this sticker even distributed in the first place? At this point, one of the budtenders showed up to the lobby from outside thinking he was on the schedule, to which the receptionist replied he wasn’t. It pretty much encapsulated the experience. Having been a patient who had been here years before, this was a FAR cry from the top ran shop I once knew. I’m not sure if management had changed or if they simply were unprepared for getting a recreational license but it was not on par with years past in terms of operational aptitude. Going into the budroom, I hoped things would get better.
Unfortunately, the budroom was also a bit of a mess. Multiple budtenders from with what I could tell operated from only a singular POS system. Gone were the days of the full chalkboard menu, but what they replaced it with wasn’t any better. Their screen menu system above the counter only displayed Indica dominant hybrids (if it changes, it didn’t for the 6 minutes I was in the budroom) which literally made it worthless unless you were buying that specific species of flower, and the other screen was showing video content with no sound. They had paper menu’s in front of the bud counter which was much better and were well laid out and designed, but that same menu should have been displayed on the menu screen or the menu screen shouldn’t have displayed a menu at all as it was a distraction that made the operation look out of cohesion. I ended up settling on a stain labeled Green Skunk by THC (The House Collection) which appears to be an in-house private label brand for the shop. The cannabis quality was phenomenal with each customer purchase contained inside a glass jar, a far cry from the plastic bottles seen at most dispensaries nationwide. Another positive note was not receiving the full size zipper bags for just a gram. Too many stores give full size bags for grams and its just a waste. Figuring out your single gram to multi gram or 8th+ purchases is simple data diving that can give your customers a better experience so hats off to them for that. I’m not sure if I simply caught them on an off day, or if this was business as usual but none of the budtenders seemed to act like this was out of the norm. All in all LAPCG is still a quality shop that does due diligence with compliance and quality, but with slightly better technology and best practices put into place LAPCG is an operation that could truly shine.
– TOP MARKS –
- Excellent Location
- Excellent Product
- Friendly Staff
- Glass Jars For Purchases
– BOTTOM MARKS –
- Confusing Lobby / Check-In Procedure
- Broken Menu Display
- Too Few POS Systems
- Security / Front Of House Communication Issues
Marijuana Retail Report Rating – 8.0 / 10
Marijuana Retail Report conducts its reviews independent of the shops / accessories / lounges knowledge. Marijuana Retail Report is neither paid or otherwise incentivized by the shop / accessory / lounge to review them. They are not informed of the review either prior to, during, or after and cannot have the review edited for any reason other than provable inaccuracy or update due to time. The reviews are unbiased by design and contain a proprietary 31 point inspection of the store during the review. The cannabis is purchased by the reviewer and is not paid for by the shop nor is the reviewer reimbursed by the shop for the review. The products selected for purchase are purchased at random based on variable criteria and are meant to spot check the dispensary.