Earlier this month Long-time “legacy” retail cannabis chain Weeds announced its plans to open a Weeds store in southern California.
The store will be located in Palm Desert just outside Coachella and a few hours east of Los Angeles. They expect to be open this summer.
Led by owner and founder Don Briere, the Weeds brand (formerly Weeds Glass and Gifts) has operated in the Canadian cannabis space for nearly two decades in one form or another, operating a chain of several dozen stores in several provinces at its peak in the years leading up to legalization.
At the onset of legalization, Briere and Gwilt began the work of operating within British Columbia’s newly regulated market, getting their first licence in early 2021. They received a second licence in Vancouver last November.
Brier says moving into a market like California is a good way to expand the Weed brand and operate in a more active market than Canada.
“There’s a lot of opportunity to get somewhere where there are less restrictions and competition,” explains Briere. “We’ve always wanted to expand into other locations. BC is tough because we have to compete with the government-run stores. Toronto is difficult because there are so many stores out there. And then California has more people than the entire population of Canada.”
Briere’s son Devon, who is helping lead the project along with southern California partner Cali Care Group, says their plan is to also develop an in-house Weeds product brand for dried flower and pre-rolls that could potentially be sold in other stores across the state.
“We’re looking to expand (beyond the first location), hopefully, we can get our footprint into the other stores as well through our branded products.”
For Don Briere, it’s not just about keeping the legacy of the Weeds brand alive but continuing to provide opportunities for family and friends.
“We’re a family-run business with 4 generations of Cannabis farmers. We had the strength to open the stores, the courage to keep them open and the backbone to tell the truth about Cannabis. Sharing the same values as Joe (Cali Care Group CEO, Joe Reed) and the rest of the rockstars at CCG made this an easy decision”.
A press release from Weeds says they expect the California location to be open by June 1.