One of the top-performing stores in the Pacific Northwest is duplicating its business model in New Mexico
The old adage in real estate is location, location, location, and nowhere is that more important than it is for retail businesses. In the cannabis space, the idea that “weed sells itself” is quickly being replaced by an ultra-competitive business in which every advantage matters, and those companies set up with a location to drive traffic — and handle that flow of customers — are the ones set up for success.
By Brian Beckley, Garrett Rudolph and Patrick Wagner
At first glance, Ontario, Oregon, wouldn’t seem like one of the best locations in the country for a cannabis retail store. After all, the small town in Eastern Oregon only has about 11,000 residents and not much in the way of a tourism industry.
But Ontario serves as a gateway to legal cannabis for people living in Idaho, where marijuana is still illegal, and that is exactly why Top Crop chose the city for its flagship retail store.
In February, Top Crop sold more than 461 pounds of flower at its Ontario store, making it one of the highest grossing cannabis retail stores in the Pacific Northwest. And according to co-founder Matt Chadwick, February is now one of the store’s lowest performing months so far this year.
“It only got better after that,” he says. “The numbers just kept going north.”
The store’s location has a lot to do with its success. It’s right in plain sight of Interstate 84, minutes away from the Idaho border and about an hour west of Boise, Idaho’s largest city, with nearly a quarter-million residents.
Although Chadwick “prefers to keep number close to the chest,” he says the Ontario store is expected to be outdone by the company’s operations in the Sunland Park, New Mexico, and for similar reasons.
Top Crop’s soon-to-open store in Sunland Park is less than 10 miles away from El Paso, Texas, which sits in the middle of a metropolitan population of about 1 million people in a state where cannabis is still illegal.
“When you look at the sheer volume and size of El Paso itself, it’s roughly three to four times the size of the Boise market with about the same amount of competition,” Chadwick says.
Chadwick says the company’s Sunland Park store will be approximately three times the size of the company’s 3,400-square-foot location in Ontario, and it will be open by the end of the year.
“Even though Ontario’s become one of the best markets in the country and our shop is one of the top producers in the country, we expect this store to actually go through more volume than Ontario does,” he says.