Blüm+ Reno brings a jewelry store aesthetic—and excellent flower—to “The Biggest Little City in the World.”
Blüm+ Reno, which opened January 2, was the joint dream of Heidi Hegerich and Terra Tech (OTCQX: TRTC), a vertically integrated cannabis-focused agriculture company. Hegerich, a local business owner, wanted to get into the cannabis market after her husband passed away from peripheral neuropathy. Terra Tech, which has locations in Oakland and Las Vegas, was looking at Reno as an upcoming market.
“Heidi and Terra Tech partnered, and Blüm+ Reno was born,” said Mikel J. Alvarez, director of retail operations for Blüm+ Reno.
Alvarez has worked for Hegerich for the past fourteen years, but Blüm+ Reno’s opening changed his life, he said.
“Nothing has given me more joy than to provide high-quality medicine to patients at an affordable rate,” he said. “My mother is a breast cancer survivor, and watching her use cannabis to make her feel better and eat because of the negative effects of the chemo has opened my eyes even more to the cannabis world.”
Locals have embraced Blüm+ Reno with open arms.
“The city has been amazing,” Alvarez noted. “To have your own mayor call you out for being the first dispensary to come into the community and do what you say you are going to do was very moving.
“We want to be involved within the community,” he continued. “Blüm+ Reno would love to sponsor a youth baseball team or a youth soccer team, etc.”
Looks like a high-class jewelry store. Nine budtender stations are stocked with high-quality medicine.
The interior design was done by Terra Tech Chief Executive Officer Derek Peterson’s wife, Amy Peterson, who also developed their Las Vegas dispensaries’ look. “Heidi and Amy worked together to give Blüm+ Reno the same look as the Vegas stores,” noted Alvarez. “Heidi, being an interior designer as well, added some elements of her own to give it the local ‘Reno look.’”
First and foremost, Blüm+ Reno’s budtenders must love what they do. But that’s not the only criterion. “They need to know and understand cannabis, and we put them through an extensive, four-week training program that will test their knowledge even more,” Alvarez said. “What we cannot teach is passion and love for the industry.”
Number of Employees: 22
Average Patients Per Day: 100
Did You Know?
The average price for top-shelf flower in Reno medical dispensaries is $12.50 a gram, when in recreational shops, it is $15 a gram.
“For flower, Cannabiotix,” Alvarez said. “Edibles: Cannabella. They are a new, up-and-coming company from Carson City that makes dried fruit and suckers. Concentrates: Moxie. Everybody loves Moxie.”
Blüm+ has five dispensaries: three in Las Vegas and one in Oakland, California.
The 4 Biggest Challenges Blüm+ Reno Faced
Finding the right staff.
“I started the search in October 2016 to ensure that our team was the best out there,” Alvarez said. “I had over 400 applications come in, and I personally responded to every one of them. Today, Blüm+ Reno has the best team ever.”
Finding the best products.
“Nevada has a lot of flower to choose from, but we are very selective on what we choose to carry and it must go through a lot before it’s given the thumbs up,” Alvarez noted.
Making everybody happy.
“I, personally, strive to make every patient or potential patient happy while they are there,” Alvarez said. “We just keep our heads up and work even harder. We cannot make everybody happy, but we try our hardest to” ensure satisfaction.
Surviving a demanding launch.
“On the first day we opened, we had to overcome the flood of the century, power outages, ice storms, and our [point-of-sale] software system going down; we had to implement manual procedures for a week,” Alvarez said. “Reno, thank you for being so understanding and working with us. We could not have done this alone.”