History was made this Thursday as California dispensary Urbn Leaf premiered their newest retail boutique, the first cannabis retail outlet located on the world-famous Sunset Strip and a partnership with iconic Hollywood Hills convenience delivery retailer Pink Dot. In the midst of towering high rises, the rush hour event preceded the presentation of The WEHO Chamber of Commerce Creative Business Legacy Award to Pink Dot and its owner Sol Yamini, honored for thirty-five years of business and service in West Hollywood and Los Angeles.
Established in 1987, the Pink Dot convenience chain expanded to thirty-five Southern California locations offering grocery and alcohol delivery to customers’ doors, decades before services like DoorDash or InstaCart. Yamini became owner in 2004.
“It’s surreal to get an award in West Hollywood for Pink Dot. It’s been an amazing experience. I love the Sunset Strip and West Hollywood, and I’m just honored,” Yamini told MJBI at the ribbon-cutting event. He was joined by Urbn Leaf CEO Ed Schmults, colleagues, media, local dignitaries and family, who were treated to Speak Cheesy sourdough pizza and sparkling mocktails.
“We’re pretty excited about this opportunity to be on the Sunset Strip with our Urban Leaf brand, and to partner with Pink Dot. Sol knows this area better than anybody,” Schmults said, as he marveled at the view of high-rise neighbors nearby through floor-to-ceiling windows.
As real estate pundits (like the Oppenheim brothers of Netflix series “Selling Sunset,” whose offices are located in nearby) like to say, “Location, location, location!” Located adjacent to Pink Dot’s storefront in a small mall property where La Cienega and Sunset Boulevards intersect, the Urbn Leaf dispensary is within walking distance of popular attractions including the Comedy Store, trendy retailers Fred Segal and Kith, as well as high-end hotels including The Mondrian, The Andaz, 1 Hotel West Hollywood, the Pendry, the Sunset Tower and Sunset Marquis.
The boutique style dispensary’s neutral color scheme, marble countertops, big screen video displays and sharp, streamlined interior is illuminated by natural light from skylights in the high ceiling. The open merchandising style, which will allow customers to freely interact with sales associates and product displays, would seem at home in a high-end fashion atelier.
“We moved away from the apothecary model, so you’ll be able to shop like a normal retail store with someone to help you,” Schmults described. “I like the size [of the store]. You can come in and feel comfortable. We’re going to have the best curated selection of our own leading brands, as well as some discoveries from craft growers up in Northern California and local brands.
“It’s retail – you have to have that romance and discovery, and I’m excited to bring that to West Hollywood,” he added.
Schmults said he hopes the store will attract locals, as well as visitors to West Hollywood, who can also order delivery from Pink Dot. Eventually, a large storefront space in-between Urbn Leaf and Pink Dot will open as a consumption lounge, creating a one-stop destination for cannabis and convenience – and, importantly in Los Angeles, with parking in the rear that can accommodate up to sixty cars.
“Cannabis is a huge part of the lifestyle these days,” Yamini said about the joint venture. “It’s like liquor and cannabis. It’s only getting bigger and stronger. We’re glad to have the first shop on the Sunset Strip and we’re really excited about it. We started out delivering alcohol and now we’re going to be delivering cannabis.”
West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister joined Yamini and Schmults for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The city, an international destination for entertainment and culture, has made a big bet on cannabis tourism with several high-profile consumption lounges scheduled to open over the next two years.
“I think cannabis lounge openings are very exciting,” Meister said at the event. “We’re on the forefront, as usual, of an industry. Of course, we want to be respectful of our residents and other businesses, so we’re trying to do it in a way that is respectful. But it’s very exciting.
“We’re going to have tourists coming that want to have some fun, maybe try some cannabis. We want people to have a good experience when they’re in the city and I think this is one way of doing it. Let’s enjoy,” she added.
Ribbon-cutting ceremony video: