Chain Reaction: Five Zero Trees

A handful of Oregon retail chains have quickly become some of the biggest cannabis companies in the highly competitive state

With nearly 600 current stores and another 981 applications in the pipeline, Oregon’s retail cannabis environment is one of the most diverse and competitive in the country, due in part to the lack of a cap on licenses, a longstanding medical program and regulations that allow for out-of-state ownership and investment. Portland alone has a citywide average of more than one store per square mile.

But even in a market as difficult and crowded as Oregon’s, several chains have established themselves as market leaders, cutting through the noise to achieve dominance in the retail category.

While the vast majority of Oregon cannabis companies have only a small handful of stores, there are 11 that have five or more retail licenses. Though they come from vastly different backgrounds and built their businesses through elaborate designs, pervasive marketing, aggressive expansion or smart buying decisions, all are doing something to resonate with consumers in the Beaver State.

Marijuana Venture checked in with some of the largest chains in the state to see how they rose to the top and what they have planned for the future.

Standing out in a Crowd

With six locations open and another three storefronts in the works, Five Zero Trees is well on its way to becoming a major force in Oregon’s cannabis retail industry.

According to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission 11 businesses have more than five retail licenses in the state. Marijuana Venture reached out to all 11 and profiled the businesses available to participate in the feature article.

Nectar

Classy, competitive and the largest vertically integrated retail chain in Oregon.

No. of retail licenses: 14

LaMota

Vertically integrated with large selection and competitive prices.

No. of retail licenses: 10

Hi Cascade

Wide variety of local products in a traditional dispensary setting.

No. of retail licenses: 8

Chalice Farms

Vertically integrated with rustic, traditional retail shopping experience.

No. of retail licenses: 6

Electric Lettuce/Serra

Beautifully designed, offering experiential retro and posh shopping atmospheres.

No. of retail licenses: 4/2

Five Zero Trees

Vertically integrated, Oregon-centric, celebrates local cannabis culture.

No. of retail licenses: 6

Sweet Relief

Northeastern Oregon chain with a small-town and homespun feel.

No. of retail licenses: 5

Attis Trading Co.

Western-themed, apothecary with plans for national expansion.

No. of retail licenses: 5

Cannabliss & Co.

Longstanding medical roots with historic and community-centric locations.

No. of retail licenses: 5

West

Oregon’s newest dispensary chain opened in 2018 with five retail licenses.

No. of retail licenses: 5

Mr. Nice Guy

Colorful atmosphere with a variety of unique, cozy locations.

No. of retail licenses: 5

According to general manager Samantha Davidson, Five Zero Trees has invested heavily in store ambiance and worked with Scott Davidson Design to create retail locations that stand out in the crowd. Davidson, who had previously overseen the Schoolhouse Electric project that turned a rundown industrial building in Portland into a post-modern show space for high-end furniture and design studios, is largely responsible for the Five Zero Trees design concepts.

Utilizing materials like repurposed barn wood and salvaged timber from shuttered lumber mills, the stores have a warm ambiance similar to that found in an upscale apparel retailer or outdoor equipment supplier.

In addition to three locations in Portland and one in Oregon City, Five Zero Trees also has stores near the coast in Astoria and Cannon Beach.

Co-owners Case Van Dorne, Joel Jennings and Jason Cain knew from the beginning that they were going to focus on creating environments that were inviting to everyone. They reasoned that cannabis and CBD, when legal, would rapidly gain mainstream acceptance with an ever-widening cross section of the American public, and their stores reflect that belief.

Equally important to the owners is a commitment to their employees, many of whom have been with the company since its inception more than five years ago. “We are our people” is a favorite saying when it comes to staff.

Five Zero Trees — a reference to Oregon’s 503 area code — is a growing and profitable Oregon retail enterprise that is also committed to being good corporate citizens. The company makes a point of being involved with many different organizations in the business community, including the local Chamber of Commerce.

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