Lisa Gutierrez of Haven Stores spoke to us about the four cannabis and CBD stores they’re opening this fall in the Long Beach area and their unique and specialized approach to customer service. – Radiance
Is Haven Stores catering to a specific kind of cannabis customer? Yes, we focus on the health and wellness side of cannabis, something you don’t generally see with the other stores out there. We’re creating a safe space for people who are new to cannabis. We want mothers, daughters, grandmothers, grandfathers to be able to come to our stores and have a completely open experience where they’re allowed to feel and consume and buy the way they’d like to.
What do you mean by catering to the health and wellness aspects? For us, it’s where cannabis came from. Medical cannabis was legal in California before recreational cannabis ever was. We want the grandmothers who have issues moving around or arthritis to know we can talk to her at that level and talk about the reduction of pain and discomfort so they can be out there with their kids and grandkids.
We also carry a full line of CBD products, and that’s important. You see other stores not carrying CBD, or not carrying hemp-derived CBD, whereas we’re carrying a full line of health and wellness products, including the topicals for people with skin issues of some sort, or for temporary relief of localized pain. We carry tinctures for cancer treatment-related patients. Some people come in daily with the need to slow down cell growth and who genuinely need this product to live.
It’s really changed in the last few years what people think of cannabis, hasn’t it? It has! It’s not just the 20 year-olds who want to just go out and party. It’s really becoming something that people can look at and know that they’re able to function daily with cannabis. It’s not just the party drug anymore, and we’re not just the party people. We’re your daughters, your sons, we’re your mother and your fathers… we’re real people.
There are strains of cannabis where you can be very high-functioning. Are people able to do their jobs while taking cannabis? Absolutely. There are a lot of factors you look at, like potency, strain type… Let’s say you’re a soccer mom and you want to medicate discretely because you have some type of focus disorder, That’s not a problem—we’ll probably advise you to use a cannabis vape product because they are discrete, and we’ll recommend you use a Sativa so you can focus a bit more.
Did you mean a focus disorder like ADHD? Yes, and we’ll also cover depression and anxiety.
So, you must have people working behind the counter that has knowledge of these things? Education is our third pillar, after health and wellness. We host weekly seminars for our employees to learn about the health and wellness aspects of our products. We’ll bring some food and make it a real fun experience. We’re also starting monthly educational seminars for our customers.
I understand you’re opening four locations in the Long Beach area over the next few months? We are! (Go to myhavenstores.com for the locations.)
It sounds like you’re looking to spoil your customers and give them the best cannabis service they’ve ever had. Yes, we want to make sure cannabis is a safe buying experience for everybody, no matter what you’re coming in for.
What would you say to the potential new cannabis customer who’s skeptical this isn’t just a party drug? The first thing I would let them know is they don’t have to jump off the deep end. It’s okay to start slow and experiment in the ways that they’re comfortable. We can start with some low potency flowers, smoking it, micro dosing it, if they’re rather eat an edible than inhale cannabis… It’s little options like that that make them comfortable.
And then the second rule to everything is CBD is your safe space! Let’s say you get a little bit uncomfortable, or maybe you had a strain that didn’t quite work for you, and you got a little paranoid, CBD will always counteract the negative effects of the THC in cannabis, so they can always consider that their safety net.
Like an escape hatch! If you don’t like what you’re experiencing, you can get out of it in 10 or 15 minutes? It depends on how you ingest it. If you smoke it, you have about a 5-7 minute activation time. If you’re going to ingest it, depending on what you’ve eaten and been drinking, it can be 10-40 minutes.
The way I recommend doing CBD, especially if you’re looking for a relief type of effect, you’re either going to put it underneath your tongue, or take it in the form of a drink. The drink will metabolize faster so you can get the effects almost immediately.
That is really good to know! It’s important to educate. Like with the seminars we’ll be doing for the community every month, Haven is a place you can go and learn this sort of thing. Sometimes a 10- or 15-minute conversation with a “bud-tender” just isn’t enough for people who want to educate themselves.
Lisa, is there anything else you want people to know? Just that Haven is here to help. We’re here to give people the right recommendations that they need.
For their health, wellness, wellbeing… and enjoyment! Of course!