Despite what you may have heard, people who live in Boulder, like myself, do sometimes like to venture out of our self-constructed “Boulder Bubble,” to see what the rest of Colorado is doing, and even though some of us would be happy just staying home and looking for something like http://old27lansing.com/ online (and, admittedly, to see how hard they are laughing at us on any given day). To me, Lafayette has always been that town that I confuse with its neighbors Superior and Louisville, but finally, I have found a very decent reason to venture out to that mysterious township just east of my home city: Herbal Wellness.
Herbal Wellness has been serving the Lafayette community with high quality medicinal marijuana products since 2011. For my Fort Collins friends, you might recognize the name from when they were serving our “almost Wyoming” Coloradans until the city voted them and all other medicinal marijuana stores out. The store now is a prime location, located thirty seconds east of Highway 287, and right off of South Boulder road. The store itself, from the outside is rather unassuming, located in a drab brick strip mall, right next to a brew supply store, a restaurant, and a café.
I will admit, I was thrown a bit off by the store walking in. It’s one of the few stores that you have to legitimately be buzzed in by the employees at the front desk. Staring back at me as I opened the door to the establishment was an older patient sitting in a massage chair, with a facial expression that is can only be described as borderline-orgasmic bliss. On the large flat-screen television was a soccer game, while dramatic classic rock tunes played over the sound system. I’d say the most interesting part of Herbal Wellness’ décor is the autographed headshots of celebrities that adorn the brightly-painted walls (and I mean, every wall). Admittedly, these portraits would feel more at home in an old-school deli in New York City, but I found them charming, and something to look at as I secretly envied the man in the massage chair.
I caught the attention of one of the men at the front desk, a bearded fellow named Andy, who I later discovered is one of Herbal Wellness’ in-store managers. He smiled, asked me if I was there for recreational marijuana, to which I nodded, and he invited me over to the product room. As we got to talking, it became extremely clear that Andy absolutely loves his job. Now, you might be wondering: How could you possibly know that? For one, when asked why his dispensary was a place worth shopping at, he confidently responded, “It’s all about customer service. Customers always come first at Herbal Wellness, and we want every person, no matter how they come in, to leave happy.” It was at this point in our conversation that Andy gave me a very unique way to look at customer service: “Sprinkle diamonds on shit.” As in, even if someone comes in to the store feeling sick, angry, depressed, or for any reason not well, Herbal Wellness is willing to go out of its way to make that patient or customer feel 100% satisfied. No matter how poorly your day is going, Herbal Wellness strives to be at least one positive experience for you. To illustrate this point, Andy told me all about a man who came in, with steam billowing out of his ears, upset that another dispensary would not give him any sort of military discount. Immediately, Andy waived 15% off of that man’s total. He then told me about a woman who waited patiently for twenty minutes, and as a reward for her patience, was given a discount. Anyone who has been in enough dispensaries might file these acts under “unnecessary,” but to me, it screams a refreshing dose of customer service, which can be lacking in the marijuana industry these days.
Herbal Wellness is unique in a few ways. For one, they are one of the few dispensaries that I have visited that grows 100% of their flower, as opposed to getting any of it wholesale. The store had eleven strains of flower to choose from in the recreational section, including flower infusions. This is the simple process of taking a fresh bud, and rolling it around in the kief of a complimentary strain, which is product that is difficult to find in general. The store also has a modest selection of edibles, and concentrates (although, at the time that I was visiting, their shatter supply was long gone). Everything was very well organized, color coded, and clearly labeled. Several menus covered the glass display cases, which made navigating the variety of choices at Herbal Wellness simple. Surprisingly absent was any glassware for sale, although they had a few types of vaporizing pens available. It was refreshing to see a wide selection of CBD tinctures, and cannabis salves and lotions: products that are often left off of the selection at many other dispensaries.
In most cases, it alarms me to visit a dispensary when it is the sole choice in a town. This can often translate to a mentality of cutting corners, and ignoring the needs of the patients, recreational customers, and the community, because, why not? We are the only option in town, so people will deal. It was a HUGE sigh of relief to me that Herbal Wellness does not subscribe to this mode of thinking. In fact, they are a store that strives for maintaining positive relationships with everyone who walks through their doors, no matter who they are. It is no surprise, then, to see that Herbal Wellness is filled with regulars; not because they are the only dispensary in town, but because they work hard to earn business, and work even harder to maintain it.