The Flower Shop Isn’t Your Typical Hidden Away Pot Shop

The Flower Shop

The first thing a visitor notices about cannabis-centric The Flower Shop in Ahwatukee is that it is not your typical pot shop.

And that is exactly what Arizona native Greta Brandt has in mind.

Brandt is president of Phoenix-based The Flower Shop AZ and True North of Utah LLC, which collectively operate five marijuana dispensaries under The Flower Shop banner along with three cultivation sites and processing facilities.

The company is intent on elevating the stereotypically bland and masculine retail “headshop” into a high-end wellness destination for fine cannabis products. That rebranding effort includes an emphasis on destigmatizing the use of cannabis by women, Brandt told Arizona Daily Independent.

But running a multi-state cannabis operation in a male-dominated industry is not what Brandt, a mother of three, had in mind in 2017 when she accepted a fulltime job as corporate counsel of Phoenix-based Sky Dispensaries after a client of her law firm got into the industry.

She went on to add a management role to her duties with Sky Dispensaries before becoming President in January 2019 when the company transformed into The Flower Shop with locations in Ahwatukee, Mesa, and Phoenix.

Under Brandt’s leadership, the company’s stores, which include two locations in Utah, now showcase a variety of wholesale products under The Flower Shop brand.

“I have always been fascinated with business,” Brandt said, adding that her legal experience provided a framework for her about the company as it allowed her to sit in on most corporate meetings. “I had on-site training for about two years as general counsel. I then self-taught on cannabis.”

Which for Brandt truly meant getting hands on, from the cultivation and trimming processes to working the retail counter. Now, she makes a point to visit each of the Phoenix area locations once a week and makes frequent trips to Utah, where she will be later this week.

Brandt quickly realized the traditional smoke shop vibe – with its male-oriented products, gimmicky jargon and marketing, and often poorly lit locations – was a turn-off for female customers. It has become part of her strategic plan for the company to make The Flower Shop products and stores attractive to everyone.

Making the retail experience more comfortable for women has included making the sales floor “bright and light” says Brandt, as well as the option of a security escort to the parking lot and better lighting in parking lots.

The Flower Shop is also making sure women have access to information about cannabis, including the health benefits unique to women. One way this is done is through the company’s website blog for prospective and regular cannabis users.

It is a strategy driven in part on the fact that medical decisions in many families are influenced by women. And the strategy is paying off, says Brandt, as The Flower Shop now boasts a 55 percent female clientele.

“Nobody wants to feel stupid when you go into a store,” Brandt said, adding she is proud to be a leader in changing the industry from within.