We recently visited to see if Native Roots makes the grade on Denver retail
Store Name: Native Roots
Type: Medical 18+ Recreational 21+
Store Location: 1555 Champa Street Denver, CO 80202
Hours: Monday through Friday | 9am – 10pm
Store Website: www.NativeRootsDispensary.com
A quick stroll through downtown and it’s easy to see why Denver is quickly becoming the mecca for cannabis consumerism. The high and lazy dispensaries of the early days of marijuana retail are giving way to high-end, laser sharp modern aesthetics of today’s top shops. Native Roots, one of the bigger retail chains in the Colorado market, is absolutely no exception. MRR recently strolled through to their Champa street location in Downtown Denver to see if Native Roots really has dug their roots into recreational marijuana. From the moment of arrival, I could tell this store would be different. A giant mural of hundreds of different strain names lines the wall using some of the most creative design choices i’ve ever seen in a dispensary. The boldness of the design was vibrantly visible through the clear glass storefront window with the stairs marching downwards towards their lobby area. As you go inside and walk down the stairs, the fun art-pop design gives way to chic modernism that you would be more likely to see at a high-end jewelry store than a cannabis retail chain.
The lobby was clean and clear and brightly lit with gallery style track lighting. The stone walls/floor with light tempered glass for the receptionist area was also a nice touch and gave the whole check-in process the feeling that you were really getting the VIP treatment. The lobby was also kept incredibly clean for a dispensary. There wasn’t a single piece of trash to be seen anywhere and despite rain earlier in the day not a single smudge of water or dirt could be found. Everything about the check-in process was just absolutely impeccable. For 21+ recreational use, it was as simple as handing the receptionist my ID and being buzzed through the door on the right into the budroom. The wait-time in the lobby area was less than 15 seconds during the busiest time of the day and the patient flow wrapping around to the other side of the lobby ensured that there wouldn’t be bottlenecking at the door to enter the budroom that would have occurred from a singular entry/exit point.
Unfortunately, the line was a bit longer inside the budroom. With about 6 people ahead of me, the wait time was easily 10 minutes if not more. This was partially due to the budtenders all being on shift change just as I entered the budroom (I actually had 2 budtenders for my transaction, one that started to talk to me and then one that actually grabbed the product and went through the checkout process), but the delay was also partially due to what seemed to be a missed opportunity for line education. Patients seemed generally confused about what was available to buy, and saved all of their browsing and questions for once they got to the counter, creating a bottleneck at the point of sale. What they did have next to the consumers in line, were clothes on a discount rack for sale. None of the clothes on the rack were particularly appealing, and it felt like a cheesy money grab for their lesser selling products when there was a real opportunity for consumer enlightenment and upselling of their main business. Out of the 6 people in front of me, not one looked at the clothing, but several encroached on other patient/consumers at the point of sale to look at the products on the shelves behind the counter. With such a sleek setup, I feel like this being overlooked is a missed opportunity and one that is easily rectifiable.
Once I finally got up to the point of sale and after the first budtender informed me he had to close out of his drawer, the second budtender stepped in and I was ready to see what they had to offer. This budtender was knowledgeable about the product and strain lineage but unfortunately seemed spacey overall. He brought me the wrong item after going to look for something I inquired about, and in general seemed as though he wasn’t as engaged as a budtender should be for this level of retail. As much as I was let down by the budtenders initial enthusiasm, the overall quality and variety of products was very positive. Earlier, while still in line, I also watched an exchange with an elderly gentleman who was curious about cannabis and a different budtender so I won’t knock down the tree for a single root so to speak, but overall customer engagement is important from the entire team and being attentive and sharp to know where your products are as well as what was asked is paramount to a positive customer experience. In the end, I settled on Mandarin OG and Glass Apple on the budtenders recommendation and was not let down. The flower quality was good and the buds were fresh and properly maintained. The little carrying bag similar to what you would get from a high-end clothing store was what really sealed the experience deal for me. Just a fantastic touch on such a small normally overlooked thing that really put the emphasis that this is a retail operation meant to be taken seriously and not just a ‘weed shop’. I commend Native Roots on a fantastic operation, and as a shining example of Denver’s thriving cannabusiness community.
– TOP MARKS –
- Perfect Aesthetic & Layout
- Open And Inviting Budroom
- Quality Products
- Knowledgeable Budtender
– BOTTOM MARKS –
- Unenthusiastic Budtender
- Missed Opportunity In-Line
Marijuana Retail Report Rating – 9.5 / 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.