The city’s second cannabis dispensary, The Higher Conscious, opened on Friday, June 7. Members of the community came in quiet, casual flocks.
The Higher Conscious, and 23-year-old owner, Sadie Schut, are looking to break free from the social marijuana taboo by offering customers a more retail-like shopping experience.
“So, basically, what we have going on here is a full-service cannabis dispensary that I have been working on for about two and a half years,” said Schut. “My goal with this dispensary is to provide my community with something completely different than what they’re used to. In order to do that, I’ve created a retail center that allows for the stigma of cannabis to be broken, to be shown you can shop around with cannabis products on the floor, nothing behind counter tops, and to reinstate and re-instill into my consumers’ minds that cannabis is not a taboo, and that it’s medicine, and that the people need it.”
The layout of the dispensary is very open. Tables of products are laid out in a way that the customer can shop around with ease.
A grand variety of products are on display, and while it may seem intimidating to have so many options to choose from, the staff is prepared to help. Equipped with iPads, The Higher Conscious staff is a well-oiled machine, ready to answer any questions and help build each order based on every individual’s personal needs and preferences.
Samples are laid out on tables so that the customer can pick up, touch, read the print, and compare to other products. The best way to describe this shopping experience is that of an online/brick and mortar hybrid with instant pickup. The customer is able to see and touch the products, and if they would like to purchase a product, it gets added to a digital shopping cart by staff and sent to the checkout, where the order is filled in a matter of seconds.
“I think that by providing the retail experience that I have we are breaking free from the stigma. I am here to be different. My biggest goal is regardless of your walk of life, as soon as you walk through our doors, you are going to feel like family. Whether you have ten dollars to spend or three hundred to spend, you’ll have the same access to products. We have everything from very affordable to very expensive,” said Sadie.
Along the way of opening The Higher Conscious, Sadie and her family were hit with all the regular tedious technicalities that come with starting such a business, but an unexpected tragedy made things extremely difficult. Three years ago, Sadie and her family suffered the tragic loss of her younger brother. Focusing on business operations has helped Sadie and her family get through this painful time.
“My biggest struggle is having to do this at my age,” Schut said. “I’m 23. I started when I was about 20, so growing up at the same time of opening a business that requires a great amount of patience, dedication, and perseverance, and it’s really taught me to trust in the outcome of situations regardless of what the hurdles have been,” she said. “I also lost my younger brother to suicide about three years ago, so grieving his loss while opening this business has been incredibly difficult, but it’s also allowed me to heal, so I’m very grateful for this opportunity.”
Having lived in San Francisco for some time before returning to Patterson, Schut has brought what she calls, “an industrial chic” vibe to the dispensary, lightly decorating her warehouse retail space with just enough coziness to make the customer feel comfortable.
Alongside the modern San Francisco shopping aesthetic, she has also stocked her store with products that are usually only seen in the Bay Area and larger cities, while maintaining a selection of products that have become a staple in other dispensaries here in the Central Valley.
The Higher Conscious offers military, student, and senior discounts. They are open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Watch for daily specials on Instagram @thcdispensary