California-based Megan's Organic Market (MOM) opened its fourth store overall and the first licensed cannabis dispensary in El Centro, California, on Aug. 26 after a soft opening on Aug. 3.
The store is the second to open in Southern California, joining the Los Angeles location and two more locations across the state.
MOM, which is 100% women-owned, offers store that feature colorful interiors, which the retailer describes as "warm" and "whimsical," in a recent media release. The cannabis company aims to differentiate its stores from other dispensaries by merchandising all of its products openly on tables and shelves, rather than entirely in enclosed cases.
MOM calls this open concept shopping experience a big part of the company's commitment to creating an “inviting and communal place where customers feel like friends,” per the release.
MOM team members greet shoppers and are available to answer questions and offer personalized help finding new or regular cannabis users the right product based on their needs/preferences. Shoppers can pick up and explore MOM’s product assortment, which includes CBD wellness products, cannabis-infused chocolate, gummies and mints, as well as cannabis prerolls, bud, vapes and concentrates.
To draw attention to the new store opening, MOM hosted a grand opening event for members of the media and the public on Aug. 26. The event included product-filled penny gift bags for the first 300 customers, all-day deals, free food, entertainment and other activities.
"We are excited to welcome the El Centro community into a space where they can safely explore cannabis and embrace its benefits," Megan Souza, CEO and co-founder of Megan's Organic Market, said in the release. "Knowing that we will be many people's first introduction to legal cannabis retail, we want to do it right and set a higher standard for the industry."
Souza credits her intimate understanding of the cannabis industry at all levels, “from seed to sale,” for creating what she’s dubbed “wholesome” storefront and shopping experience, where cannabis is destigmatized, and all consumers are welcome. She particularly places an emphasis on education, providing resources both in store and on the MOM website to help users make informed decisions and embrace the benefits of cannabis.
In addition, MOM has said it will also support the growth of its local community in El Centro and Imperial Valley by dedicating volunteer hours and donating 1% of gross sales into a Community Benefit Fund overseen by El Centro locals.