Chain Reaction: Nectar

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.

No list of Oregon’s top cannabis chains would be complete without mentioning Nectar. With 14 retail locations, including seven in Portland, Nectar is the largest chain in the state and continues to grow as it is looking to buy additional dispensaries, according to the company’s website.

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

Nectar budtender Devin Meyers rings up customer Gideon Francisco.

Nectar was founded in 2013 by two men from Nebraska — Jeremy Pratt and Jeff Johnson — who moved to Oregon specifically to get into the cannabis business.

Originally part of Oregon’s medical marijuana market, Nectar received five of the first 26 retail licenses issued by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

The company opened its first shop in Portland’s upscale Pearl District. The shop featured a clean, open feel and showcased well-lit product displays that would become a staple of future locations.

Jesse Lee, a budtender at Nectar’s Gresham location.

Since then, Nectar has never looked back, transitioning all of its stores to the recreational market and continuing to seek out new locations and licenses.

The company also owns multiple cultivation facilities through its Applegate Valley Organics, LLC subsidiary.

According to the company’s website, Nectar prides itself on providing a phenomenal customer experience, professional staff, great selection of quality products and on being a great corporate citizen and neighbor in the community.

Nectar officials did not respond to multiple requests to be interviewed for this feature.

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