Colorado chain unifies under one brand, expands into Oregon
By Patrick Wagner
DENVER – What began more than five years ago as several misfit dispensaries operating on the fringes of a legal gray area has developed into one of the nation’s leading marijuana retail chains.
Company: Tru Cannabis
Owners: Bruce Nassau and Larry Nassau
Locations: Three retail outlets in Denver, one in Aurora, Colorado and one in Portland, Oregon
Operations: Five cultivation facilities
“Once you fill those roles you can focus on operations and expansion,” Kaplan said.
Previously, the company’s retail outlets all operated under individual names because of the way they started or were acquired. The owners, brothers Larry and Bruce Nassau, were operating their own independent companies before merging in 2011 to satisfy vertical integration requirements in Colorado. Tru Cannabis was one of the first dozen retail operations in the country to sell recreational marijuana to the general public in 2014.
“We had lines for days,” Kaplan said.
By building new cultivation facilities and renaming the existing stores under the same brand, Tru Cannabis set in motion plans to become one of the first national marijuana companies.
The expansion into Portland, Oregon is the company’s first venture out of Colorado, but according to Kaplan, it is far from the last. Kaplan said Tru Cannabis has been looking at retail opportunities in California, Michigan and the East Coast.
“Honestly, on the horizon we are looking at locations coast-to-coast,” he said. “We are going to try to be at the forefront of states poised to go recreational.”
The flagship store will serve as the template for all existing and future Tru Cannabis retail stores. The new design will feature wide-open spaces and natural aesthetics intending to bring consumers a more personal experience with the staff and the product. Part of that experience includes the removal of all prepackaged flower from store shelves. Kaplan said staff will hand-select and weigh all product at the point of sale in front of the customer.
“It’s the way everybody started doing it,” Kaplan said. “We’ve maintained it because we believe it enhances the customer experience.”