Following a two-year hiatus and a lengthy litigation to secure its retail license, Planet 13’s Medizin dispensary is back in business in Las Vegas. Although the road to reopening took much longer than originally planned, the store is poised for even more growth this time around.
“We’re really excited to be open again,” says David Farris, VP of sales and marketing for Medizin’s vertically integrated parent company, Planet 13 Holdings. “This store is where we started, and it means a lot to us, as a company, to have Medizin back.”
On Oct. 30, 2018, the company made the difficult decision to close its original Medizin Dispensary on Sunset Road to transfer its retail license to the new Planet 13 SuperStore located next to the Las Vegas Strip. The company hoped to win another license in the next round of permitting, with plans to reopen Medizin as quickly as possible.
Instead, the company ended up in a lengthy lawsuit against the Nevada Department of Taxation over the state’s distribution of limited dispensary permits. As part of the litigation settlement, Planet 13 received a provisional license last August—allowing the company to finally reopen Medizin, with a soft launch Nov. 20.
The early reception to Medizin’s reopening has been overwhelmingly positive already, Farris says. “We’ve received a countless amount of people saying, ‘We’re so excited to have you back,’” hesays. “We’re announcing it slowly at first, but as we go … into December, we’re going to start getting more aggressive letting customers know we’re back.”
Building on a Legacy
Before the original Medizin Dispensary closed in 2018, it generated $4.9 million in revenue during its last full quarter of operation. Since then, according to a company press release, Nevada’s cannabis market has grown 54%—creating an even larger growth opportunity that the store is well-positioned to capture.
“We cherish this location because it’s where the local consumers fell in love with our in-house products,” Farris says, citing the store’s convenient location and friendly neighborhood feel. “We built a huge following with that dispensary, and I firmly believe that’s why Planet 13 started of with such success, was because we were able to bring over a lot of those loyal customers.”
Since Medizin’s closing, the Planet 13 SuperStore has made a name for itself as “the largest dispensary on planet earth,” part of a highly experiential 112,000-square foot Cannabis Entertainment Complex that draws thousands of visitors a day off the Las Vegas Strip. Now, Medizin can leverage some of the SuperStore’s success to support its reopening.
“Back in the day when we were just Medizin, our buying power was much smaller,” Farris says. “Now, through the buying power of Planet 13, we’re able to bring in a lot of really cool, high-quality products because of the relationships we have with our vendors at the SuperStore.”
Although Medizin features a much smaller menu of products than Planet 13, Farris says the selection is carefully refined based on the company’s large database about local buying habits.
“It’s challenging to offer everything that a customer would want in a smaller location, so we have to be very data-driven in what we’re putting in that store,” he says. “By having Planet 13, we understand what local consumers are looking for so we can offer exactly what they want [at Medizin]. We like to call it a ‘lean and mean menu’ because we’ve been able to really dial it in.”
The new dispensary also has access to a larger supply of the company’s popular Medizin flower. To supply demand at the new dispensary, Planet 13 recently acquired a 45,000-square foot cultivation facility in Las Vegas to keep the new dispensary well-stocked with in-house product.
Pivoting Toward Growth
On top of the licensing litigation related to Medizin’s reopening, Planet 13 also faced the additional obstacles of opening amidst a global pandemic. Forced to quickly pivot its operations by introducing delivery services during the COVID shutdown, Planet 13 had time to refine the online ordering systems and delivery models that were critical to Medizin’s launch in November.
“Originally when we transitioned to delivery-only, it was a significant change for us,” Farris says. “But since then, we’ve been able to (create) a very strong program. Now, we can show you real-time inventory,” giving shoppers updated product availability when ordering online.
While Medizin offers in-store shopping with strict guidelines for sanitation and social distancing, the company encourages customers to order online, with delivery services provided through Planet 13. Eventually, after securing the necessary state approvals, Medizin will also offer curbside pickup options, as well, to make the shopping experience even more convenient.
“This store is going to come back as a rockstar location,” Farris says. “As an industry and as a company, we’ve come a long way in these past two years, and we’ve positioned ourselves to offer much better services. The lesson is to remain nimble and always be prepared to pivot.”