There was a buzz of activity at Mint Cannabis’ new West Valley location on Friday as it was unveiled during a soft opening. Mint co-owner and COO Raul Molina has high hopes for the dispensary.

“Originally, we had planned on opening on the 420, but with the Superbowl coming to Phoenix, we wanted to push to open. We really want to let everybody know we were open so they can come by before the Super Bowl — during the game, and after the game,” Molina said.

While minor construction on the dispensary is still underway, the store is fully functional and well-stocked with products. Flower enthusiasts can select from heavy-hitting brands like AYR, Alien Labs, Grown 4, and High Grade. Those looking for a sweeter way to enjoy their THC will be delighted by this dispensary’s extensive edible offerings, which include products from Mint’s sister company, Angry Errrl. Mint also sports a healthy dose of options for concentrate connoisseurs.

“When the recreational market hit, flower and edible sales went way up, and concentrates went very far down,” Molina said. “A lot of newbies are running toward edibles and traditional flower, but in the last year, we’ve been seeing concentrate consumption growing and catching on. People are trying concentrates and realizing how powerful they can be.”

Increasing demand for concentrates, coupled with Mint’s rapid growth in Arizona, has prompted Molina and his business partners to expand their enterprise. Right now, Mint has five stores in Arizona and plans to add four more by the end of 2023. “We have four more licenses that are coming — in Arizona, there are only 169 stores, so having nine of them is pretty cool,” Molina said.

Mint Boosts Cultivation Facilities

But adding more dispensaries is only one part of Mint’s master plan. A massive 125,000-square-foot production and cultivation facility is currently under construction in Happy Valley Ranch. “The facility is actually something we built, designed and engineered for our purposes, instead of retrofitting it. We’ve been producing our concentrates and edibles in a 270-square-foot lab, and our team has produced some miracles in that space,” Molina said.

Come mid-March, Molina’s team will be operating out of a 4,000-square-foot lab and a kitchen with 2,500 square feet of space. The expansion will support Mint’s other ventures: Angry Errl, Sofa King, WTF, The Vault, and the company’s kitchen in Tempe that offers infused food for take-out. The rest of the massive facility will be dedicated to cannabis cultivation. “Our grow is so small at the moment that our [branded] flower doesn’t even do three percent of what we sell in our store. That is something we want to change,” Molina said.

The new facility — located on the corner of Interstate 10 and North 75th Avenue — will follow in the footsteps of Mint’s dispensaries in terms of creating welcoming, open spaces. “We have 27 open registers at the [new] location. We went that big because our parking lot is limited to 55 parking spots. So, we need to be able to get people in and out,” Molina said. “Plus, we have a huge lobby so that we’re able to get everybody inside and make sure they’re sitting in the AC when it’s 115 degrees outside. We don’t want our customers waiting outside for any amount of time.”

Focusing on the customer experience is nothing new for Mint, Molina added. “We’ve been creating our stores from the ground up instead of retrofitting buildings, so we have dispensaries that fit our open concept model and are really customer-centric,” he said.

For Molina, the success of his business hinges on customer satisfaction. The company has a policy that customers reach the counter within 15 minutes of checking in or receive a pre-roll. “I don’t think we’ve given any away this year, so I would say the system is working well,” Molina said with a smile.

But Molina isn’t the only one who is excited about the new West Valley location. Mint budtender, Karina Chavez, grew up in the area and has been anxiously waiting for the company to expand to her neighborhood. “I grew up around here and have been pushing and telling everybody that there needs to be a store on this side of town. It’s fun getting to serve my community and judging by how many people we’ve had come through here today, this is going to rival the flagship store in Tempe,” Chavez said. (SOURCE)