Dispensary Owner: “I Was Sleeping At The Store… Someone Broke In And Stole Everything”


Entrepreneurship is often described as a rollercoaster ride, full of exhilarating highs and devastating lows. This couldn’t be truer for Gator and Maggie, the resilient owners of “Monster House,” a dispensary in Las Cruces, New Mexico. From overcoming a catastrophic break-in to achieving impressive sales figures, their journey is a testament to ingenuity, perseverance, and a lot of elbow grease. Curious about how they did it? Let’s dive into their compelling story.

The Challenges of Opening a Dispensary

Opening a dispensary isn’t a walk in the park. Gator and Maggie quickly learned that the cannabis business is distinctly challenging due to stringent regulatory compliance, fluctuating market conditions, and staffing issues.

Navigating Regulatory Compliance

Dealing with myriad regulatory constraints was one of the initial hurdles. Local and federal laws regarding cannabis can be intricate, to say the least. Ensuring compliance not only means adhering to these laws but also staying ahead of any upcoming changes. What helped Gator and Maggie navigate these waters?

Adopting a Proactive Approach

The key was to take a proactive approach. Instead of waiting for regulations to catch up, Gator and Maggie kept themselves educated through seminars, industry news, and consultations with legal experts. This focus on staying informed prevented any unexpected compliance issues and bolstered their business strategy.

Staffing Challenges

Staffing can make or break a business. Gator, a retired Department of Defense employee, and Maggie, with her solid background in the service industry, understood this all too well. They faced the dual challenge of hiring trustworthy individuals and ensuring their employees aligned with Monster House’s mission.

Implementing Rigorous Hiring Processes

From the start, they knew that rigorous vetting was essential. Potential employees underwent thorough background checks and training programs that included both product knowledge and customer service. By investing time and effort into selecting the right people, they avoided many pitfalls that could have derailed their business early on.

Dealing With Setbacks

Businesses face setbacks, but it’s how they handle them that defines their success. Gator’s anecdote about the store break-in is a dramatic example.

Overcoming the Break-In

When someone broke in and stole everything, it could have spelled the end for Monster House. Instead, Gator and Maggie used this experience to revamp their security system and strengthen community relations. They recognized that setbacks are not the end but merely obstacles to overcome.

Implementing Innovative Marketing Strategies

In a saturated market, how do you stand out? Gator and Maggie leveraged their understanding of grassroots and niche marketing to elevate their brand.

Understanding Customer Demographics

Before launching campaigns, they needed to know who their customers were. By focusing on middle and lower-class demographics, they meticulously tailored their pricing strategy.

Targeting the Right Audience

Gator’s preplanned marketing strategy involved grassroots efforts, like community events and outreach programs, which directly engaged their target audience. This approach made their marketing more authentic and relatable, allowing them to build a loyal customer base quickly.

Leveraging Cannabis Events

Sales events, like the successful 420 sales, became key to driving revenue. By hosting events tailored to different customer segments, they managed to appeal to a broad range of consumers.

Digital Presence

Maintaining an active website, app, and social media presence was another cornerstone of their marketing approach. They understood that an engaging online presence could significantly amplify their reach and connect with a tech-savvy audience.

Continuous Engagement

One of their secrets to maintaining customer interest was the consistent roll-out of marketing campaigns. Even before one sale ended, another event was already being planned. This created an ongoing buzz around their brand and ensured repeat visits from satisfied customers.

Building Vendor Relationships

It’s not just about who you know but how well you know them. Gator discovered that building solid relationships with vendors was crucial for negotiating fair prices and ensuring quality.

The Importance of Trust

Trust is the bedrock of any business relationship. Gator emphasized the importance of interpersonal relationships, where business deals were as much about personal connections as they were about financial transactions.

Tangible Negotiations

Instead of vague promises, Gator expected tangible commitments. He even had a unique negotiation tactic: vendors had to buy him a blunt before face-to-face discussions could proceed. This informal yet effective method ensured that both parties were genuinely interested in doing business together.

Effective Communication

Having vendors email him to start negotiations eliminated initial misunderstandings and set a professional tone. This organized approach not only saved time but also weeded out less serious vendors.

Market Positioning and Pricing Strategy

A vital aspect of their success was understanding the market and positioning Monster House effectively.

Competitive Pricing

Pricing can significantly influence customer decisions. Gator and Maggie chose to price their products competitively to attract and retain middle and lower-class customers.

Fair Pricing Models

– Outdoor Weed: $75 per ounce

– Indoor Weed: $150 per ounce

– Shake: $45 per ounce

These price points were determined by thorough market research, ensuring they met customer expectations while maintaining profitability.

Future Plans: Diversification

Looking ahead, they plan to diversify by opening a coffee shop, bar, and restaurant. This strategy aims to create a holistic experience for their customers, integrating different lifestyle elements into their business model.

Building a Community-Centric Business

Gator and Maggie’s journey wouldn’t have been this successful without a strong commitment to their community.

Grassroots Marketing and Community Engagement

By focusing on grassroots marketing, they built a brand that resonated with their local clientele. Community engagement became their cornerstone, helping them develop a loyal customer base.

Customer Feedback and Adaptation

Listening to customer feedback enabled continuous improvement. Whether it was product variety or customer service, they adapted based on what their community needed.

Customer Loyalty Programs

Initiating loyalty programs and special discounts for repeat customers was another strategy that strengthened their bond with the local community. Trust and positive relationships became Monster House’s hallmarks, setting them apart from larger, more corporate entities.


What inspired Gator and Maggie to open Monster House?

A: Dissatisfaction with high market prices prompted them to create a dispensary that focused on fair pricing and community engagement.

How did they overcome the initial challenges of opening a dispensary?

A: They employed rigorous hiring processes, proactive compliance strategies, and effective vendor relationships to navigate the complex business landscape.

What marketing strategies did they adopt?

A: Their strategies included grassroots marketing, niche events, and an active digital presence, tailored to middle and lower-class customers.

How do they ensure fair pricing?

A: Gator and Maggie performed thorough market research to set competitive prices, such as $75 per ounce for outdoor weed and $150 per ounce for indoor weed.

What’s unique about their vendor relationships?

A: They focus on trust and interpersonal relationships, requiring tangible commitments from vendors before finalizing deals.

What are their future plans?

A: They aim to diversify by opening a coffee shop, bar, and restaurant to create a comprehensive lifestyle experience for their customers.


Gator and Maggie’s journey with Monster House is a captivating example of resilience, innovation, and community engagement. Their story is brimming with lessons on overcoming setbacks, implementing savvy marketing strategies, and building meaningful relationships. It’s a testament to what can be achieved when passion meets perseverance in the entrepreneurial landscape.

In an industry fraught with its unique challenges, their success underscores a crucial point: “Success isn’t about never falling, but in choosing to rise each time we fall.” Their story is sure to inspire budding entrepreneurs and established business owners alike.

For more insights and marketing strategies, check out Cannabud Marketing’s website at [CannabudMarketing.com](https://www.cannabudmarketing.com).

Where to find Monster House?

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.

More Cannabis Marketing Resources:

Skip to content