On our recent trip to Las Vegas, we were lucky to receive a behind the scenes tour of Planet 13, the world’s largest marijuana dispensary (at 112,000 square feet) with their Marketing Manager, Summer Cabrera. If you would like to see the tour on video, click below.
Walking past the iconic big red “Planet” that fronts the building, and through check-in, the first thing you see upon entering Planet 13 is the interactive floor, which contains moving images. Sometimes it’s an aquarium, where you can see the fish swimming around, sometimes there’s a game, with a ball that you can move ball back and forth with your feet. According to Summer, the designers change things up to match the season, featuring spider webs, snowflakes or other unique images that move and transform. Customers are encouraged to walk on the designs and see the images react to their footprints.
After you enter, to your left you see Trece, a Mexican-American restaurant that serves cocktails and specialty food items of very high quality, (Summer recommends the flaming chili con queso!). Executive chef Manny Sanchez is reportedly terrific and is happy to cater events in the greenhouse space with specialty food and cocktails. They also just started a bottomless mimosa brunch every Saturday and Sunday. Next door is Purc, their coffee emporium.
There is also a convenience and souvenir store, Stitched & Stuff. The store sells exclusive imports, clothing, branded merchandise, snacks, munchies, lighters, and other accessories.
Along the hall there is digital signage that highlights new offerings and brands they are promoting.
A large feature of the long the hallway is the Planet 13 factory, likened to “Willy Wonka’s,” where visitors are invited to watch the production staff as they make their in-house edibles. Large machinery, such as you would find in a more traditional food processing plant, crank out gummies, chocolate products and beverages. The machines, we are told, can produce up to ten thousand gummies per hour. That’s more than even my close friends can handle.
The staff is friendly and if you wave, they’ll usually wave back!
Their proprietary in-house brands include HaHa, Leaf &Vine, Medizin, Trendi and Dreamland Chocolates. For those who want to learn more about the process there is an interactive screen in front of the facility with a wealth of information about the products, including THC content, flavor profile and more.
The next big thing scheduled to open at Planet 13 is a Vegas style consumption lounge and nightclub where patrons can consume product on the premises.
Toward the back of the hall the designers placed a special area for “photo moments,” which includes a “Welcome to the High life” back wall and a special retro “smoking van” which has a button you can push and smokes billows out.
During the tour Summer enlightened us as to how the name Planet 13 came to be. It seems that when the Co-CEO’s (Bob Groesbeck and Larry Scheffler) were deciding on the ideal name (See my previous interview with Bob here) they wanted it to be BIG – and what’s big? a Planet! And regarding the “13,” they recounted the story that in their younger days, driving around town, if you “partook,” you would place an “M” in your windshield. M is the 13th letter of the alphabet, and, as Summer points out, if we turned that M on its side and underlined it, it would become a “13.”
Enough pre-amble, now for the Sales Floor: It is HUGE at 23,000 square feet. It was recently doubled in size by the management to minimize the wait time for customers. it houses an astounding 77 registers. Of necessity, the system is automated, so that when you check in at the entrance to the sales room you register so that you can roam the various displays on the floor as you wait for your number to be called, either by text or phone.
Just for fun there is an 80- foot digital screen on the back wall with all kinds of images, some beautiful, some psychedelic. They also flash their specials up there.
There is so much product on display, they are sorted into category areas such as edibles, flower, tinctures, and the like.
They also feature “floating displays” which is something we’ve never seen before: products suspended in mid-air, literally floating without anything holding them up.
Planet 13 also has a store-in-store aspect in various parts of the floor, as you might find in a premium department store, where certain brands have control over their own space.
Budtenders are extensively trained at the Planet 13 Budtender School. They also attend scheduled continuing training sessions to keep them knowledgeable of all their products. Not surprisingly, they are very helpful.
We, of course, wanted to avail ourselves of their extensive inventory and get the advice of an experienced budtender. In this instance we were helped by Blaze, who, it turns out is one of the instructors of the budtenders. We bought delightful gummies, chews and some other things.
I have to say, that in all my experience, Blaze’s advice was among the very best I have ever received. When I told him my personal preferences of the type of high and strength I was looking for, he hit it out of the park.
Planet 13 in Las Vegas is located at 2548 Desert Inn Road, a very short distance from the strip. (We do not recommend walking- it’s a 5-minute cab ride from the Wynn, Venetian or Treasure Island.) Even if you’re not in the buying mode during your trip, the structure, the informed staff, and general ambience makes it Las Vegas’ newest must-see tourist destination.
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