My first trip to one of marijuana’s top dispensaries didn’t disappoint. Native Roots is considered one of the best dispensaries in America and hasn’t slowed down since they first started their business with two medical dispensaries in Colorado in 2009. There are now 20 medical and recreational Native Roots locations, becoming one of Colorado’s most popular dispensaries among cannabis consumers throughout the Centennial State.

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Because I live just outside Colorado Springs where cannabis is still prohibited for retail sales, as a Colorado medical patient, I visited one of their four medical dispensary locations in Colorado Springs. I’ll be honest…I can’t wait to return. 

Native Roots logo

Behind the Success of Native Roots

Native Roots isn’t just another cannabis business. Founders Josh Ginsberg and Rhett Jordan have built an empire. Think the Starbucks of legal weed and you’ve got an idea of just how big Native Roots really is.

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“We’ve been in the game for a while. We know how to operate within the industry,” says Grant Troeger, Native Roots’ director of retail. “We’ve learned from the changes that have come and gone on both sides of med and rec. We’re very heavily focused first and foremost on compliance and training of our employees.”

According to Ginsberg, the keys to Native Roots success comes down to “an amazing team”, as well as strict adherence to industry regulations.

In a 2016 interview, Ginsberg said,” In the beginning, I was doing everything on the business side. From there, we now have the ability to hire great people. We have 625 people now. With that and the size of our organization, we can hire the best of the best. Be it compliance, you know, taking, hiring people from the Med, which is the enforcement division from the Department of Revenue that oversees the entire industry, to the best revenue officer and the best controller. I mean really, really do everything we can to get them to the top of their game, because we really need to be at the top of our game. Everything we do is so regulated that we need to make sure that we're doing everything to a 'T.'"

Native Roots Dispensary store front

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Native Roots has three commercial grows in the Denver area and their dispensaries throughout Colorado place weekly orders depending on what they need. This system, referred to as “post-harvest”, allows for dispensaries to place an order based on specific strains and quantity requirements.

“Every day of the week,” says Troeger, “we have different stores set up on who gets delivered what, so they know when deliveries are coming in. It gets transported by our courier team, within our vans, [and] it’s registered in the state tracking system, so beforehand, our team can see what is coming to the store.”

Aside from tracking their sales and inventory so they know exactly what’s coming and going, Native Roots uses two separate testing facilities to provide 3rd-party test results for all their labels. Using two laboratories allows Native Roots to compare results for accuracy to ensure they’re offering the safest possible products to their customers.

Then there’s the training involved for each member of their ever-expanding team of employees. Native Roots has one of the longest and most intense training programs in the entire industry.

According to Kim Casey, Native Roots’ communications manager, “We ensure that our staff is knowledgeable not only about our products, but about compliance requirements and are able to answer consumer cannabis questions as well.”

I can assure you that the training of Native Roots’ team members shows. The budtender that helped me explained each strain I inquired about with confident ability. She let me know the Glass Apple pack of Shorty’s I purchased was a strain crossed with Glass Slipper and Pineapple Express. I was informed that the Shire (Super Silver Haze/Sour Diesel) was a rather racy sativa that had the tendency to invoke a bit of anxiety in some users. And as much as I typically love a strong sativa, she was right.

Native Root’s Stash

Native Roots has got the legal weed game down. As could be expected with as much experience they have in the industry, their cannabis stock is straight fire. Everything Native Roots offers is grown at one of their three Denver warehouses. According to Troeger, “[We make sure] that the actual flower product itself is grown with love and care so it’s the best quality product that people want to smoke, vape, or ingest.”

Native roots assortment

It shows. While strain availability varies depending on location, some of the strains cultivated by Native Roots growers include:

My new favorite find at Native Roots is the box of mini preroll joints called Shorty’s that come in a package of 4. Each is a ¼ gram, perfect for the head. I purchased a pack of Glass Apple (a strain I hadn’t yet tried) and was pleasantly surprised by the lifted effects that entailed. This sativa-dominant hybrid not only offered a welcomed onset of increased energy, but a heightened sense of creativity that could easily unleash your inner artist. I wasn’t as focused as I typically am with some sativas but did enjoy the euphoria and energy Glass Apple elicited.

Native Roots storefront

Not only was the Glass Apple high one I will return to again and again, but the pack of Shorty’s seriously can’t be beaten. As all stoners should, I shared a few with a couple of friends and the reaction was something along the lines of “the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.” Much like other successful retail enterprises, Native Roots has nailed their packaging appeal. If you have a chance to make it into Native Roots and you enjoy smoking flower, picking up a pack of Shorty’s is a no-brainer.

Aside from some of the highest quality flower you can find, you’ll also find a sweet selection of several different kinds of edibles. From Wana gummies and Cheeba Chews to CBD capsules made by Mary’s Medicinals, Keef Colas, cannabis-infused cookies, Incredible’s bars, and more, if you’re someone who enjoys edibles you’ll be pleased with the selection Native Roots carries.

Taking a Trip to Native Roots

If you live in Colorado or plan on visiting, you’ll easily find a Native Roots location no matter where you happen to be. Hitting up the X-Games? Stop by their Aspen location. Doing things around Denver? You’ll find several Native Roots locations scattered throughout the Mile-High City.

No matter how you feel about it, cannabis has gone corporate, and Native Roots is a prime example of how a successful corporation makes it to the top. They’ve truly succeeded in what Ginsberg once referred to as striving to be “the Starbuck’s of the marijuana industry.” They just happen to be serving cannabis instead of cappuccinos.

Native Roots pointed out to us that we quoted founder Josh Ginsberg in this article. It should be noted that Josh is not involved with running Native Roots at this time, and the current CEO is Ryan Brown.