While buying cannabis is a common occurrence in Nevada these days, the retail experience might not always feel normal. From passing security guards at front doors to standing in lines to sitting in waiting rooms, the experience of buying weed might make some consumers feel more like they’re visiting the DMV. That is not the case for shoppers at Deep Roots Harvest, a new cannabis dispensary at 12240 Old Virginia Road in South Reno. Customers slip into the dispensary through automatic sliding glass doors, akin to a supermarket entrance. They show their ID to an employee at the front desk, and then enter a high-ceilinged, 2,500-square-foot retail space, where sleek product displays are spread throughout. Hosts, with a clipboard in hand, stand by to help guide and educate customers through their selections.
Deep Roots Harvest recently opened a cannabis dispensary at 12240 Old Virginia Road in South Reno. The cannabis company held a grand opening ceremony on July 30, 2021. Photo: Kaleb M. Roedel / NNBW
All told, one might say Deep Root’s modernized dispensary has the look and feel of an Apple store. “I think we have quite a few things going for us that are different from other (dispensaries) around here,” Jon Marshall, COO of Deep Roots Harvest, told the NNBW. “There’s not a waiting room — you pretty much come right into the sales floor. We try to really create an experience similar to a liquor store or any other retail store. It’s that normalization experience where you can come in and walk around and not have to be in a waiting room or get in a line to get on the floor.” Deep Roots Harvest, which officially opened the Damonte Ranch branch in July, held a grand opening and ribbon cutting with members of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce on July 30. Even during the ceremony, multiple customers breezed in and out of the spacious store, taking no more than five minutes between selecting, buying and exiting with their cannabis purchases.
The new Deep Roots Harvest dispensary in Reno features 2,500 square feet of retail space. Photo: Kaleb M. Roedel / NNBW
“A lot of stores, once you do make a transaction, they have to go into the back and build your order,” Marshall said. “And we’ve really tried to create almost like a convenience store experience, where (our employees) just reach back, grab the product they want, and scan it in. “We want to make it approachable,” he continued. “For the soccer moms or the older crowd that might have been intimidated by cannabis, previously, because of the war on drugs for so many years. Now, they can come in and just say, ‘wow, this is really approachable and easy and comfortable.’” Marshall said that’s one of the reasons Deep Roots planted its dispensary in the Damonte Ranch area, which the company felt was an “underserved” section of Reno. Deep Roots broke ground on its new 6,500-square-foot facility in the fall of 2020, with Truckee Meadows Construction serving as the general contractor.
Jon Marshall, COO of Deep Roots Harvest, says the goal of the new South Reno business is to create something of a “convenience store experience.” Photo: Kaleb M. Roedel
Launched in 2015, Deep Roots started out as a cannabis cultivation business in Mesquite, a small city in Southern Nevada tucked near the Arizona state line. Eventually, the company opened its first dispensary in Mesquite before expanding its retail footprint 360 miles straight north to the small Nevada town of West Wendover, located just minutes from the Utah border, in Elko County. The firm opened its third dispensary this past spring in North Las Vegas, and has three more under construction in Clark County, Marshall said. “We didn’t want to do the (Las Vegas) Strip or, in Reno, get into the downtown area where there’s already a bunch of stores,” Marshall said. “We’ve always kind of chased those underserved areas, where maybe we’d have an opportunity to pull people in that otherwise would have had to drive quite a way.” In Reno, the new Deep Roots dispensary will create about 40 jobs, said Marshall, noting that most of the positions have already been filled. In all, the company has about 250 employees.