New Phoenix dispensary opening in Sunnyslope from Story Cannabis | Phoenix New Times

Story Cannabis to open Sunnyslope dispensary near Little Miss BBQ

The new dispensary, located right next door to Little Miss BBQ, will be the company's 11th in the Valley.
Fade Co., a cannabis concentrate brand, will be available at Story Cannabis' new Sunnyslope location in July.
Fade Co., a cannabis concentrate brand, will be available at Story Cannabis' new Sunnyslope location in July. Courtesy of Story Cannabis
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Story Cannabis is expanding its Phoenix footprint.

The multistate cannabis company, which has locations in Arizona, Maryland, and Ohio, will open its 11th Valley location on July 3. Located at 701 E. Dunlap Ave., the dispensary is adjacent to Little Miss BBQ in Sunnyslope.

According to a press release, the new store will serve adult-use consumers and medical patients and carry a wide selection of flower, edibles, tinctures and more.

In August 2023, Story Cannabis acquired the licenses to four Nature’s Medicine locations in the Valley. At the time, Nature’s Medicine had approval to build a new dispensary in the Sunnyslope neighborhood.

After the acquisition, Story Cannabis proceeded with construction, working for 10 months to ready the new store. Although CEO Jason Vedadi personally did not choose this location, he said he's excited about the area’s potential.

“It’s underserviced, and more people are moving there,” Vedadi said “Plus, there’s Little Miss next door, and that place is awesome.”

click to enlarge A man in a suit and tie
Story Cannabis CEO Jason Vedadi said the Sunnyslope neighborhood is underserved by dispensaries.
Courtesy of Story Cannabis

What’s available?

Vedadi said the approximately 3,000-square-foot dispensary will offer a mix of local and national brands, such as Stiiizy and Timeless Vapes, alongside three in-house brands, including Fade Co., a concentrate brand, and Just Flower, which is exactly as the name suggests.

The name "Just Flower" was recommended by an employee who was not on Story's marketing team, Vedadi explained. Story Cannabis had already conducted a full market analysis of the product, complete with flashier naming suggestions, when the employee said, “Why don’t we just call it ‘Just Flower?’” Vedadi instantly gravitated toward the straightforward label.

“I always thought Payless Shoes was actually a very good brand name,” Vedadi said. “It wasn’t very sexy, but it told you what you were getting.”

Just Flower remains Story Cannabis’ top seller, even against some of the national brands with more widespread reach.

“It’s simple, and people gravitate toward it,” Vedadi said.

click to enlarge Sealed blue bags with orange type that says "Just Flower"
Just Flower is one of three house brands that will be available at the new Story Cannabis dispensary in Sunnyslope.
Courtesy of Story Cannabis

The in-store experience

Vedadi described the interior of the new dispensary as having a “comfortable, modern feel,” with merchandise lining the walls for greater customer visibility.

But, he added, most of the in-store shopping experience comes from interactions with employees. He sees this as a way to stand out when many dispensaries offer the same products.

“It’s very similar to a local watering hole,” he said. “People have a neighborhood bar they go to, or that bartender they like, and they keep going back.”

After checking in with a greeter, each guest gets paired with a budtender, an employee whose goal is to educate and answer questions.

While this position is standard at most dispensaries, Vedadi refers to Story's budtender as potentially “the most important person in the entire business environment.” These team members are trained to provide suggestions for both medical and recreational purposes.

For guests who prefer to skip the line, the new Sunnyslope dispensary also offers online ordering with in-store pickup. Both online and in-store purchases are eligible for Story’s rewards program, which is offered at all locations.
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