Top Shelf: Colorado’s Award-Winning Chain, The Clinic

The Clinic Day lobby1 cc web
The Clinic Day lobby1 cc web

The Clinic Colorado is the most award-winning dispensary chain in the Rocky Mountain state. Here’s why.

The Clinic, founded by Max Cohen in 2009, has become perhaps the most important part of Director of National Operations Ryan Cook’s life: He’s met lots of new best friends, including his girlfriend of four years, and has helped build the business into one of the most successful in the industry. The first The Clinic opened with thirty or so of  “our closest friends, and for the last seven years we’ve continued to operate the company while remaining a tight group of friends.”

Cook is, at heart, an architect. He took his first drafting class at the age of 14. After graduating from the University of Colorado with a degree in architecture, he founded a building and design company in Michigan. He sold the business in 2006 and returned to Colorado to work as general manager of C&D Builders Inc. But now he’s all about cannabis. “ Although architecture is a passion of mine, the cannabis industry will keep anyone’s thirst for construction quenched,” he noted. “With eight dispensaries, seven cultivations and four concentrate production labs in Illinois, Nevada, and Colorado, I stay extremely active in the construction world.”


The idea: “Our goal was to provide high-quality medicine for people in need and to help make the state of Colorado the forefront of marijuana regulation and researching new medical products,”  Cook noted. “ We are always excited about the new business opportunities in other states, and we are going to continue to ensure that we have high-quality products throughout the nation.”

Design: “The space is accommodating, yet sophisticated, with large windows and skylights that let in plenty of natural light that is complemented by our cool color palette and geometric displays, custom graphics, and fixtures,”  Cook said. “ The dispensary mirrors other high-end wellness or lifestyle businesses such as spas, premium organic food places, and recreation concepts.”

Architect: “JGA was the architecture firm we selected,”  he said. “They are out of Detroit, and we really like them due to their impressive portfolio of projects they have done nationally. We found them to be incredibly talented and experienced. They did a terrific job.”

Budtender requirements: “We seek out educated and experienced individuals with a passion for learning more about the cannabis industry,”  Cook said. “ The customer service aspect is extremely important to us. Our goal is to create a personalized one-on-one customer experience for everyone who walks through our doors.”

Best sellers: “Concentrates from The Lab, specifically live rosin, are extremely popular,”  said Cook. “Our top edible brands are Incredibles and Wana gummies. Our top vape brand is O.pen, and the top vape product is EvoLab’s iHit disposable 250mg vaporizer.”

Sales growth: “We immediately saw a 50-percent increase in traffic from our previous store, which we have relocated from. In each of our first two months, we’ve seen a 20-percent month-over-month increase in traffic.” State launches“ Both Illinois and Nevada are doing incredible but are operating in entirely different markets,” noted Cook. “These are emerging markets with a need to allow improved access for these patients. Illinois’ medical program has about 8,000 patients with a state population of 12.88 million, significantly different than the program we have here in Colorado. Both shops have operated for only a short time.”

Future: “We continue to look at out-of-state opportunities,”  said Cook. “ However, a main focus of ours is and will always be Colorado. We are looking at not only local and national expansion, but also new product opportunities. Our new live rosin pods, made exclusively for the PAX Era in Colorado, are a great example of this.”



Colorado Caregivers’ Cup l Best aroma: Grape God Bud
Most photogenic: Grape God Bud Patients choice: Grape God Bud


Aspen Cannabis Crown 2nd place: Grape God Bud
High Times Medical Cannabis Cup l 1st place, best sativa: Stardawg Guava l
1st place, people’s choice: Kosher Kush
National Multiple Sclerosis Society Walk MS Awards 1st place, division two corporate fundraising team


THC Championship l 1st place, concentrate: Earth OG Nectar
High Times Medical Cannabis Cup l 1st place, best sativa: Stardawg l
1st place, people’s choice: Kosher Kush


THC Championship l 2nd place, shatter: Tangie Shatter l
Patients’ choice, shatter: Tangie Shatter l 1st place, indica: Kosher Kush


Cannabis Business Awards l Best medical marijuana center l
Manager of the Year: Ryan Cook l Grower of the Year: Jay P.


Denver Business Journal Top 10 places to work


Rooster THC Classic 1st place, hybrid flower: Strawberry Banana
Top 10 indica flower: Jim OG l Top 10 concentrate: Strawberry Banana Live Resin Batter