Company: Buds & Roses
“There’s about 1,000 dispensaries operating in Los Angeles, and I’d say about 90-95% of them are operating on a different playing field,” he says. “My focus has been more on securing our license and building our reputation as a store so we can expand in the future. I’m not worried about immediate growth because it’s the Wild West in L.A.”
With statewide regulations and licensing on the horizon, Justis plans to keep Buds & Roses at the forefront of the industry.
“I really followed the path from the regulated marketplace,” he says. “I wanted to build a store that matched what I stood for — the dispensary is proof of my mission. There’s no point to me staying for six years in L.A. if it doesn’t end with a legitimate license.”
Justis left his Illinois home at 15 and bought his first house by the time he was 17. Jack Herer’s book, The Emperor Has No Clothes, inspired him to move out to the West Coast and become an activist. After launching a successful hemp clothing company, Justis began looking into cannabis cultivation and retail. He took over Buds & Roses in 2010 and grew the company from $40,000 to $3 million dollars in annual sales without the aid of outside loans.