Chemistry is a weird concept. Now, I don’t mean the kind of chemistry that I mostly flew over my head in high school, but rather, interpersonal relationships that just tend to click into place. I guess it’s hard to define what makes social chemistry, but it’s one of those phenomena that when you see it, you know it. From my recent visit to Compassionate Pain Management in Louisville, I believe that I better understand what can make a small business work: a staff that enjoys one another, and their patients and customers, as much as they enjoy their business.
Compassionate Pain Management (or CPM for short) is located in a strip mall just off of Dillon Road in Louisville, and about one minute from Highway 36: that treacherous construction-laden thoroughfare that connects Denver and Boulder. The dispensary shares its parking lot with several other businesses, which made parking a bit difficult, and I can only imagine it’s a nightmare during peak hours. All that aside, I thought I might have walked into the wrong place when I opened the door to the establishment. CPM’s waiting room resembles a waiting room for a doctor’s office, complete with patients quietly filling out their paperwork. Of course, my doctor has never offered me a deluxe massage chair while I waited for him to tell me I need to cut down the carbs, but that’s neither here nor there.
I believe this resemblance to a doctor’s office is intentional. CPM has been providing medicinal alternatives to the people of Louisville for four years, and has only recently started selling recreational marijuana products (although, their Lakewood location is still exclusively a medicinal marijuana dispensary). Don’t get me wrong: this is one of the nicer waiting rooms I’ve been in. The art is abstract, filled with cool and calming colors. The chairs are adorned with comfortable kidney pillows. Very clearly, CPM had their patients in mind when setting up this room. While I waited, I was treated to The Verve’s Bitter Sweet Symphony over the sound system.
After a few minutes, I was brought back to their recreational room, which is roughly the size of my small apartment bedroom. The setup was very clean and professional, and they really do pack a lot of product options into the small space. On the walls were several hats and shirts celebrating the great state of Colorado, which is something that I do not often see in dispensaries. After waiting for another customer (who appeared as though he has already “medicated” profusely before walking in), I was greeted warmly by two of CPM’s bud tenders, Andy and Chris. I must say, after talking to these two gentlemen for a few minutes, and listening to their banter between one another, I knew was way out of my league. These guys were complete experts of their product. Andy kept offering me different jars of flower to look at and smell. With each jar came an excellent description of what kind of high I would expect from that particular strain. They almost did too good a job selling their products. I wanted to try each and every one of them after hearing their magnificent descriptions, but my wallet kept reminding me that was impossible. Not sure what to get? With seventeen different strains to choose from, it was a bit hard to navigate all the choices (most of which were either sativas, or sativa-dominant hybrids). Just ask one of these guys, and they will point you in the right direction.
CPM also had a decent selection of edibles in their recreational room. With the different choices were pictures of the different bud tender’s faces with “Staff Pick” written under them. And after my lengthy discussion with the bud tenders, if they recommended it, I felt confident whatever products they recommended with cutouts of their faces would be excellent choices. I managed to be in the store on “Hash Wednesday.” All of their concentrates were on sale, and were flying off the shelf. Despite this, CPM still had a decent selection of different types of bubble hash, and shatter (unfortunately, their wax was sold out on my visit). Aside from vaporizing pens, CPM really did not have any smoking devices for sale, but they did have a healthy selection of one gram pre-rolled joints.
I then sat down with Liz, the head administrator, who also checks people into the dispensary. It was inspiring to hear her philosophies on marijuana as an alternative medicine. “Every patient, even those on the recreational side, is an individual, and every individual has needs.” She then told me a story of when a seventy-five year old veteran came into their dispensary to help mitigate severe pain issues. The dispensary spent forty-five minutes with the man, making sure that his experience was pleasant and not intimidating at all. I suppose that is why the place has “Compassionate” in the name. It’s not only a name; it’s a philosophy. In a market where some dispensaries rely on as many sales as they can possibly get in an hour, CPM’s vision is something different. “We want to be the most well-known and trusted cannabis brand in the entire world,” Liz proudly exclaimed.
Honestly, at the moment, it was worth a chuckle. I mean, I have seen some very large growing and distributing operations in Colorado, and that was a very small recreational room. On the other hand, as I was walking out, I kept thinking to myself, “Why not CPM?” These folks are extremely well educated about their products and the industry as a whole. Not only are they knowledgeable, but they show compassion, and realize that every patient and customer is important. I’m just some guy who writes words down for a website, and yet Liz, Andy, and Chris were all willing to devote a large amount of their time answering my questions about their business. In a time where profit seems to be everything to commercial operations, perhaps a little bit of chemistry will go a long way towards meeting that goal of becoming the most well-known and trusted the world has ever seen. I, for one, am excited to see what happens.