Dispensary Profile: Buds & Roses Collective
“We are a destination dispensary,” says Buds & Roses President Aaron Justis. “We do offer a product that is superior to a lot of products out here. It is, unfortunately, hard to find in this marketplace in LA.”
Justis joined Buds & Roses in 2010. At the time, the new dispensary was a struggling business. Today, it carries the most well known strains in Southern California: Kyle Kushman’s Veganics.
Buds & Roses Collective is located in the heart of the Los Angeles entertainment industry on the iconic Ventura Boulevard in Studio City where it has been operating as a not-for-profit collective since 2007. Unlike many other dispensaries operating illegally in the city, the atmosphere is comfortable for a broader variety of clientele and its staff is friendly and well versed in cannabis medicines and their applications.
Don’t let the iconic location confuse you, this collective, one of the first fully-licensed dispensaries operating in the City of Angels, is anything but flashy and exclusive — they have such a stellar reputation among patients and activists alike that a diverse clientele is willing to travel from as far away as the Mojave Desert or the Central Coast just to secure safe access to the strains they carry. Additionally, the leaders at Buds & Roses still fight in the trenches to ensure that safe access to quality medicine is a priority of the Los Angeles City Council.
Kyle Kushman is a well-known cannabis breeder, cultivator and five-time winner of the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. He now cultivates ten strains of Veganics exclusively for Buds & Roses, including his signature Strawberry Cough and Tangie. Veganics are organically grown cannabis strains fed vegan compost.
The Veganic strains are not just a hit with vegans, but have become wildly popular throughout the region with omnivorous patients too. Longtime Buds & Roses budtender, Sam, says a lot of the demand for Veganic strains is directly tied to the quality. Patients unanimously report superior efficacy, taste, smell and overall vitality in B&R’s Veganic strain line.
Justis said that a cornerstone of Buds & Roses success is that it fits in with its community and they are good neighbors. The dispensary is surrounded by an organic juicery, a boutique fashion store, a high-end nail salon and a popular café.
“People come in with bags from the surrounding stores all the time,” Justis says.
Buds & Roses sleek aesthetic has also attracted more female patients.
“Women generally want to know more about what they are buying,” says longtime employee Angela.
Female customers have remarked to staff that they feel more comfortable buying their medicine from Buds & Roses because they employ more women, women who are proficient patient consultants, making it a great place to bring first-time patients otherwise uncomfortable with visiting a dispensary.
Justis’ wife, Erica Justis, designed the interior layout of the dispensary, which Justis attributes to the comfortable and professional atmosphere. The design is not modeled on what exists already in other dispensaries, but instead on what they feel one should look like, the type of place you could take an elderly relative but also any cannabis aficionado.
Buds & Roses donates regularly to organizations such as Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and the Greater Los Angeles Collective Alliance (GLACA). GLACA is a voluntary association of collectives working together to create responsible industry standards, an organization vital to preserving safe access while being good neighbors to other Los Angeles businesses. Justis serves on the steering committee of GLACA and travels to Sacramento twice a year to lobby for the responsible cannabis sales industry.
While the rents surge on Ventura Boulevard, Buds & Roses works to keep the cost to the patient low, making the top-shelf strains accessible to just about anyone who needs them. Buds & Roses keeps those patients coming back because it has preserved the dignity of the experience for the end user, the patient, by employing staff that is both friendly and knowledgeable about the impressive inventory of high quality medicines extracts, edibles, lozenges, high-CBD tinctures, beverages and topical ointments.
13047 Ventura Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 91604
First appeared in issue 10 of Cannabis Now Magazine.