Pagosa Therapeutics offers a window into the cannabis world

by Angelica Leicht

Step into Pagosa Therapeutics in Pagosa Springs, and you’ll likely notice that this dispensary differs a bit from the status quo. There are windows where the walls should be – windows that lead to another world: the cannagrow, where the shop’s cannabis plants are grown and nurtured. A bit further down the hallway, right past the exit door, you’ll find more windows, and behind them, more plants. It’s an unusual scene to come upon in a Four Corners dispensary, but that’s just how they do things at this pot shop, where everything about their grow process is transparent. Literally.

The shop, started by owners Jeremy Bonin and Jason Werby about a year ago, was built to showcase the cannabis grow. The windows were added so curious onlookers could get a clear peek at the marijuana plants, and watch the process of growing bud. Visitors to the shop can stare through the glass as the growers trim, harvest, and tend to their plants, all of which are at different stages of growth. The grow employees purposely stagger their planting so that they can harvest one room, and one strain, at a time.

Doing so keeps the bud on the floor fresh, and ensures that the strains are on an ever-rotating schedule.

“We don’t keep the same strains all the time,” Dwayne Baird, marketing director at Pagosa Therapeutics, said. “Our menu of flower is always changing. We keep it as diverse as possible, with about 10 to 12 strains on the floor.”

Showcasing the inner workings of a cannagrow is an interesting tactic, and it’s one that hasn’t been employed before in the Four Corners. This glassed-in grow is the first of its kind, and it helps satisfy curiosities while educating customers on the process of growing cannabis. Plus, it looks cool.

The short chain of command is also good for accountability, too. With the plants grown in house, it eliminates any concern about the bud’s origins or the conditions in which it was grown. The cannabis that’s grown at the shop will simply move to the dispensary floor after being harvested about 10 feet away, likely as curious onlookers’ noses are pressed against the glass. The simple process gives budtenders and their customers peace of mind, knowing that the weed they’re selling – and buying – was grown in conditions that are top-notch.

“We use a hydroponic system, and our plants are pesticide and bug-free,” said Baird.

In Archuleta County, dispensaries are required to produce 70 percent of the bud sold in their shops. At Pagosa Therapeutics, they often produce 100 percent of the flower on the floor, though they do occasionally carry strains from other growers. That’s a lot of fresh flower and a lot of work, and it gives customers plenty of cannabis plants to gawk at.

“We might be up to 1,000 pounds this year,” Baird said.

Aside from the grow transparency, one of the dispensary’s main focuses is on offering strains that can’t be found at nearby shops. The cannagrow currently houses strains like Poison Punch and S-99, but give it a couple of months, and these guys will be on to something totally new.

“We want to have unique strains and a rotating menu,” Baird said. “We’ve had about 50 different strains (on the menu).”

But while the focus may be on variety at Pagosa Therapeutics, they do try and keep some of the tried and true choices on the menu whenever possible.

“We try to bring the favorites back,” said Baird.

With the abundance of strain choices come customer questions, though – and often times, a lot of them. The budtenders are encouraged to take their time and help their customers understand the nuances of the strains, which can range from Honolulu Choo Choo to Iron Triangle.

“We try to focus on taking time to educate the customer,” said Baird.

It’s a fitting tactic for tackling customer service at this Pagosa Springs dispensary. Education is, after all, what this Pagosa Therapeutics, and its windows into the cannabis world, are all about.

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