Marijuana

Sunday Goods Opens a Second Cannabis Superstore

Sunday Goods Opens a Second Cannabis Superstore
Sunday Goods IG
I call John Haugh and tell him I'm glad to live in a world where people can go to a pot store to buy marijuana, instead of having to buy it from a scary hooligan in an alleyway like when I was a kid.

I know Haugh will understand. He’s the CEO of Sunday Goods, one of Arizona’s biggest sellers of sun-grown cannabis. Sunday Goods is so fancy it doesn't just sell cannabis, it grows cannabis in a state-of-the-art, 320,000-square-foot glass greenhouse in Wilcox and sells it out of gigantic, super-fancy buildings that it has specially designed and built from scratch. Haugh is about to open a second, 5,000-square-foot storefront in the east valley, with floor-to-ceiling window walls, custom-milled woodwork trimmed in brass, and original tile artwork by Ceramigraphics of Tempe.

The new Sunday Goods — it's set for an early November opening at 723 N. Scottsdale Road — will feature dedicated concierge services, free coffee drinks, and a host of resort-inspired amenities designed, according to a company press release, “to take away the intimidation and stress of shopping for cannabis and help people feel good.”

Are people actually intimidated and stressed out when they’re shopping for weed? I ask Haugh. He suggests I try to imagine going into a Starbucks for the first time.


“They have their own language,” he says. “Vente, latte, whatever. The guy in front of you orders a grande half-caf and you’re thinking, ‘Am I supposed to know that when it’s my turn to order?’ At our place we don’t expect you to know the language or what product is best for your needs. That’s a lot for a first timer.”

What’s more, pot is a lot more expensive than a paper cup of coffee, Haugh points out. “That’s why we assign you a cannabis advisor. We don’t call them budtenders at Sunday Goods. He’s going to help you by asking you some questions and answering all of yours to make sure your money is well-spent and you’re happy.”

The new building won’t have one of those weird double-door situations, Haugh promises, the kind you see in a lot of dispensaries.

“I call them holding pens,” he says. “They only let you come in one person at a time. Also, we don’t want people standing outside in the summer, melting. And let’s face it, it’s almost always summer in Arizona.”


The concierge is most important, Haugh says. “You forget that people who are using cannabis for medical reasons understand what works for them. They’ve got a doctor telling them the usage and the dosage and the frequency. But recreational users might need some advice.”

About dosage and frequency? I ask.

“More like, ‘I’m gonna see my friends on Friday night, and we want to have this specific type of good time. What do you recommend?’ That’s someone who needs what we call consultative selling.”

The new Sunday Goods building was designed for successful consultative selling. A lot of dispensaries are housed in old bank buildings or office complexes or strip malls that have been retrofitted to sell cannabis, Haugh says.

“You’re taking a box and making a dispensary out of it,” he says. “Good for you. I’ve done it. But our stores are built from the ground up. We find it’s the best way to develop and deliver our brand. Our windows, our product spacing, our color palette, our vibe.”

He laughs when I ask what kind of restrictions the city imposes when one opens a dispensary.

“You don’t have enough words in your article,” he says. “Every state and municipality is different. In Maricopa County, it’s how far you are from playgrounds, how close is the nearest church, how near to a school is your dispensary. It’s an exhaustive list, and it’s just one more hurdle we have to get over, but it’s also a really smartly developed list by the Department of Health Services and the Arizona Dispensary Associations. It’s good to have these rules in place.”

Times have certainly changed, I tell Haugh. He agrees.

“In the old days, the guy who was selling you your cannabis wasn’t asking what you planned to do with it so he could help you find the best product. He was saying, ‘You wanna buy this or not?’”

I remember that guy, I say.

“When you were a kid you were buying something from probably some other kid, and you were going to put that thing you bought into your body. Why would you do that? You wouldn’t buy a hamburger from some guy who was carrying it around inside his jacket.”

I might have, I confess.

“Well, now you don’t have to. The world is a better place because you can come into a big clean dispensary built from the ground up and buy your medical marijuana.”

I told Haugh I thought that was nice. What I didn’t say was I felt kind of bad for the guy with the hamburger in his jacket.
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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela