Dispensary Founder: “We Failed In Less Than 90 Days”


Welcome to this week’s episode of the “Broadway Cannabis Dispensary Journey,” where our host, Brandon Quan, sits down with Tony Birch, a pioneer in the cannabis industry, known for his leap from renewable energy to the thriving yet tumultuous world of cannabis retail. Together, we’ll unearth the stark realities of operating a dispensary, the paramount importance of strategic market positioning, and what it truly takes to succeed—or fail—in less than 90 days.

Broadway Cannabis Dispensary: A Story of Fast Failure

In the cutthroat cannabis industry, where regulations fluctuate like the very plants nurtured by business moguls like Tony Birch, the Broadway Cannabis Dispensary stood out – until it didn’t. Within a mere span of 90 days, the dispensary’s ambitious jump into the market came to an abrupt halt. Tony talks us through the lessons in strategy, market anticipation, and the bold risks that sometimes fail to pay off.

Navigating the Complex Cannabis Real Estate

Finding the Premises:

Housing a cannabis business is no simple feat. With stringent zoning laws and a market that’s as volatile as it is growing, securing the right location can make or break your dispensary. How did Tony and his team approach this high-stakes quest, and what lessons did they glean from the nooks and crannies of cannabis real estate?

Challenges in Real Estate and Zoning:

The legal cannabis industry is inextricably linked to the real estate it occupies. Key provisions in finding suitable properties include navigating intricate zoning rules and the art of negotiation with landlords. Tony shares the insights and pitfalls encountered in this realm crucial to his business.

The Importance of Customer Experience in Cannabis Retail

Creating a Positive Ambience:

Customer experience is often the defining factor in differentiating one dispensary from another in a saturated market. Tony emphasizes how Broadway Cannabis markets its unique brand by crafting an engaging customer environment.

Dealing with Difficult Situations:

No business is immune to confrontation, and a downtown Portland dispensary is certainly no exception. Tony discusses the strategies they’ve employed to de-escalate tough customer interactions and maintain a zero-tolerance stance on abuse.

The Crucial Role of Marketing and Brand Loyalty

Marijuana marketing takes on a different hue due to varying state laws and cultural perceptions. Tony takes us behind the scenes of their creative marketing tactics, from the impressive 4-foot tall cigarette-style box to community murals and loyalty programs. How do marketing strategies assert their brand in the shifting sands of customer preferences?

The Highs and Lows of Managing a Dispensary Business

Living the Business:

Transitioning from solar energy to cannabis, Tony shares intimate details of the struggles faced, including living at his grow facility and managing financial obstacles during the initial phase.

Employee Recruitment And Empowerment:

Recruitment isn’t just about filling positions; it’s about investing in people who fit the organizational culture and possess the knowledge and potential for growth. Tony outlines how he nurtures talent from budtenders to management roles.


1. How critical is location when opening a dispensary?

Location is paramount in the cannabis retail sector, as it impacts visibility, compliance with zoning laws, and customer access.

2. What is Tony Birch’s approach to product selection and procurement?

The approach is data-driven and customer-centric, balancing steady sellers with innovative, new products to cater to varying tastes.

3. What marketing strategies does the Broadway Cannabis employ?

A mix of traditional and digital marketing, including SEO optimization, billboard advertising, loyalty programs, and creative storefront designs.

4. What were the primary reasons for the initial failure of the Broadway Cannabis Dispensary?

High costs, missed customer value proposition, and underestimated market dynamics contributed to the dispensary’s quick exit.

5. How has Tony Birch adapted his business strategy after the failure of the Broadway Cannabis Dispensary?

Learning from past mistakes, there’s a stronger focus on strategic long-term planning, calculated risks, and customer relationship management.

6. What environmental concerns arise from cannabis disposables and how is Broadway Cannabis addressing them?

The environmental impact of disposables is significant; however, Broadway Cannabis is exploring responsible waste disposal and product lifecycle management.


Today’s conversation with Tony Birch, the founder of Broadway Cannabis Dispensary, reminds us that resilience and adaptability are vital in the evergreen landscape of cannabis entrepreneurship. Failures can be rich in lessons and foresight for future success. By focusing on the crucial aspects of strategic location, exceptional customer experience, innovative marketing, and an empowered team, Birch underscores the necessary ingredients for thriving in a market that’s as rewarding as it is challenging. Join us next time for another deep dive into the minds that are shaping the future of cannabis retail.

Where To Find Broadway Cannabis:



Article By

Brandon Quan

About The Author: A digital marketer with over 7 years of experience, Brandon Quan is wildly known as the top marketing expert within the Cannabis Industry.

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