Leafly named the Grove the #1 Dispensary in 2016, and you made the Top 10
again in 2017. What aspects of your company culture and mission do you
believe make The Grove special?
DK: The Grove stands out for a variety of reasons. Since The Grove’s inception, our mission
has been to provide high quality products produced in an environmentally sensitive
manner and with an all-natural approach. The investment we made in our state-of- the-art,
eco-friendly indoor grow and production facility allows us to do so. It was designed to
reduce our environmental footprint, by incorporating technology like automated watering
systems and our LED lighting system, which is the largest scale implementation of this
technology in the United States.
The facility also allows us to grow our own products and curate selections of strains that
are most in demand by our customers.
When it comes to our company culture, we pride ourselves in providing thorough
training and education for our employees. Not only do we want our budtenders to be
knowledgeable about our products, but we want them to pass that on to our customers.
Your company seems to undertake a lot of extracurricular activities,
venturing outside the grows and the dispensaries and into the community.
We know it’s good for the community. How important and how valuable do
you think community interaction is to your brand identity and even bottom
DK: Community interactions have been, and continue to be, important. Education has
become a significant part of The Grove. We have held numerous events to educate
consumers on cannabis and the rules and regulations, as well as events to discuss a
variety of marijuana topics affecting people in the community.
A couple of the most memorable events include ‘Breaking Down Barriers’ where the
public was invited to listen to panelists such as Dr. Sue Sisley and former NFL player
from the Baltimore Ravens, Eugene Monroe, discuss the regulatory challenges,
necessary reforms and the possibilities these changes can create for medical marijuana
patients. Our ‘Standing For Vets’ event brought up the discussion of veterans and their
right to choose medical marijuana as an alternative to the use of opiates for ailments and
Your staff has a reputation for being “nice” and very knowledgeable and
helpful. How much of that is due to recruiting and how much to training? Do
you spend time with budtenders training them to be nice and helpful? Or are
you just great at hiring nice and helpful budtenders?
DK: Having a great team is a mixture of hiring the right people and providing the proper
training. When hiring new team members, we look for people who have positive attitudes,
great communication skills and are eager to be a part of the industry. We also want to
give staff the tools necessary to offer great customer service. Education is vital, and we
provide regular training consisting of product education, rules and regulations, safety
procedures and more.
How much does customer feedback play into product development? Has The
Grove ever made any big changes to it’s process or product lines based solely
on customer feedback about a product?
DK: It’s important to understand what customers are looking for. We’re able to provide a
curated selection of strains based on what is in demand though KANNABIS, our
proprietary flower grown exclusively for The Grove. Strains for each harvest are selected
based on our customers’ feedback and preferences.
What’s going on at the counter now that recreational cannabis is legal in
Nevada? How much of the talk is about medicine and how much is about recreational user
experience? Are all budtenders knowledgeable about both medical and recreational bud? Or do
DK: Since recreational sales started it has definitely taken the lead, but medical marijuana
patients will always be a valued part of our customer base. We also want to provide a
great experience for recreational users, tourists and locals alike. Our goal is to serve
both medical and recreational users with the best service and we encourage our
budtenders to be knowledgeable about both aspects of marijuana.
How important do you feel experimentation and innovation are to the future
of your brand?
DK: The Grove was built on innovation, from our cultivation, production and new product
lines to our one-on- one budtender interaction with our customers.
You have a very high efficiency grow facility. Automatic watering is one of the
aspects of your automation. Which other systems in your grow operation are
automated and how?
DK: Our LED light system simulates the spectrum of natural sunlight, including day and night
cycles, which helps the plants thrive and grow as they would in nature. The system
allows us to cut power usage and lower our A/C consumption.
Our automated watering system allows the plant to drink as it needs insuring no water is
Your flower is cut down and buds dried on baker’s trays rather than hung up
to dry. Is there a clear difference in the end product between the two
DK: These methods don’t make much of a difference in the end product. We prefer to use
baker trays in order to maximize space in the dry room.
What are the future plans for The Grove? You’ve got a grow facility with 3
rooms, each with 1400 plants, and you’ve got 2 stores, one in Vegas and one
in Pahrump. Are there plans for expanding?
DK: Right now we are expanding our cultivation facility by adding three more grow rooms to
meet current and future demand. The industry continuous to evolve and expand
throughout the state, and we plan to continue to be a part of the growth.
Is there a limit to your vision? Is there a size where you think you’ll feel
comfortable? Or is the sky the limit for expansion?
DK: We’ve learned a lot since the start of the marijuana industry in Nevada. We will consider
the opportunities that come our way that will allow us to best service our customers.
Aside from grows and dispensaries, does The Grove have plans for any other
kinds of vertical integration? Any plans to get into developing brands for
smoking and vaping gear or any of the other products you sell now or might
sell in the future?
DK: Since The Grove’s start, we wanted to play a part in all the aspects of the industry. Not
only do we grow our own flower, but we also have the ability to extract high quality oils
and create other products. The Grove’s parent company, TGIG, LLC, created VERT
Edibles early on to offer edibles that bring together unique combinations of flavors made
with natural ingredients with helpful benefits, paired with pure cannabis oil to create an
unrivaled experience. TGIG, LLC is also the southern Nevada distributor for O.penVAPE,
one of the most well-known line of vape pens in the country and internationally.
How involved are you in influencing local and state regulatory policy?
DK: We’re very involved in shaping the marijuana industry in the state of Nevada. One of our
board members was selected to be the only marijuana representative on the Governor’s
Task Force as regulations were being developed. Las Vegas has become the mecca for
the gaming industry and we want to make sure the marijuana industry follows suit.
13. Even though pot is now legal in Nevada, I’m sure there are still a lot of
challenges for the cannabis industry here. What would you say are the top
challenges your company is facing today that are specific to the industry?
Tourists will play a significant role in market growth as more and more visitors learn that
marijuana is now recreational in our city. The challenge for the industry is not only
educating tourists on the fact that recreational sales are legal, but also on what is and
isn’t allowed on the Las Vegas Strip.