My Visit to Jushi's BEYOND / HELLO Dispensary in Santa Barbara
Jushi is a Florida-based multi-state operator (MSO) in the American cannabis industry. Their footprint spans six states, covering cultivation, extraction and processing, plus retail. Jushi has a BEYOND / HELLO dispensary not far from where I live, so I paid a visit to take in the retail experience first hand.
The store is located in an area of Santa Barbara called San Roque on upper State Street. It’s a nice part of town filled with families and lots of retail. My ex-wife lives down the street, so I drive past the store several times a week when I pickup my kids at their mom’s house.
For the first few months, I assumed it was a new cellular phone store. BEYOND / HELLO does not resonate with me as a name for a cannabis store and the outside of the building is nice, but appears like any other retail on the block. I like the low-key look, but the name is a major miss for me.
Jushi did not win the license for this location, they acquired it. Back in 2018 Santa Barbara accepted applications for retail dispensaries and issued three permits for the city. One went to Glass House, one went to Coastal and the third went to Golden State Greens out of San Diego. Rather than open their own store, Golden State Greens sold the license to Jushi for undisclosed million of dollars. Word around the campfire is the total price was around $7mm—$5mm for the license and $2m more for the building.
I approached the store at about 7pm. The parking lot was almost full and the store was buzzing. I checked in quickly, meaning they verified my ID, entered me into their system, and granted me entrance to the beautiful showroom.
Normally when I visit a dispensary, I check out the menu in advance, know what I want, and make the visit as fast as possible. For this review, I took a different approach and instead just described what I was seeking and relied on the bud tenders expertise.
I explained I typically consume after work, prefer to vaporize my flower, and like relaxing, earthier-terpene profiles. I also mentioned that I usually consume sun grown or mixed-light flowers. I enjoy indoor too, but we have an almost perfect local environment for sun grown and find the terpene profile is often richer on these flowers, whereas the indoor often exhibits higher THC—which is of less interest to me.
The bud tender walked me through a number of options. For the sake of the experiment, I largely left the decision in her hands and she was bullish on the indoor smalls from Grizzly Peak. I took her advice and left with an 1/8th of Grizzly Peak Grease Runtz indoor smalls for $30 and a BEYOND / HELLO t-shirt for $20—I collect t-shirts from my favorite cannabis stocks. Out the door, it was $56.33, which was more affordable than I expected.
The overall experience was very good, but there were a couple misses. When you walk in there are two security guards and a front-desk attendant. I was greeted with a fist bump from one of the security guys, which was friendly, but I found it a bit forward considering we have never met and the state of COVID.
Second, I gave several cues that I preferred sun grown flower and earthy terpene profiles, hoping to be pointed toward more of a local OG kush type flavor. It seemed the bud tender took this as meaning I was looking for an affordable indica. I understand why she got that impression—sun grown is more affordable, but some of us prefer it regardless of price. I also don’t care much about sativa, hybrid and indica classifications, and instead let the terpenes drive the experience. This a more advanced conversation and I forgive people for falling back into the conventional classifications.
Overall, I would rate the experience an 8.5 out of 10. Great location, solid parking, easy check in, friendly and competent bud tender, and I left with nice products at an affordable price. There were a couple detractions mentioned above, but those could be fixed by me being more clear with my desires and leaving less of the decision-making to the staff. In closing, I would confidently recommend Santa Barbara’s BEYOND / HELLO to local friends and it made me feel even better about investing in Jushi.