By Jennifer Pund
Colorado’s cannabis industry has been good to Cody Mayasich. He began by helping a friend run medical dispensaries on the Western Slope and working entry-level positions, but now owns and runs his own high-end boutique store, the Golden Nugget Dispensary, on Central City’s main street with his four partners. The store opened in August and has been developing its discerning clientèle ever since.
Mayasich and his partners—Cole Caldwell, Dustin Keleher, Elise Keleher and Nels Fymbo—are proud they can provide individual, one-on-one attention to their customers while offering the highest-quality, hand-picked strains from across the state and a variety of edibles, shatter and wax. “We are all just buddies. We got together and saved all our pennies to put into this,” he said. “It took us eight months to get open. We crawled through some hoops and set-backs to get to this point, but we are here.”
The owners also pride themselves in taking the time to ensure everyone makes the best purchase for them. “I find I have to educate every single person that comes in here,” Mayasich said. “We like to take our time with each customer. That’s one thing we’ve gotten a lot of compliments on is we spend a lot of time with people. We really like to be one on one. I go through everything on where we get our flower and our pricing. I will walk through the edibles with my customers. I like when they leave happy. Even when they are just looking, I can change their mind and outlook on the industry.”
Starting out in the medical marijuana industry, Mayasich worked for his friend on the Western Slope, but when recreational sales was approved, he wanted to be involved. “I ran two different dispensaries for my best friend… but, as soon as recreational hit I wanted to be a part of that. And, unfortunately… in Montrose, they weren’t allowing that. So, it was time for me to go my own way,” he explained.
Mayasich began at the bottom with the Growing Kitchen—a Boulder-based marijuana edibles and concentrates business—but quickly proved his worth. He was promoted to sales manager, but a dream of owing his own dispensary grew just as fast.
“I had just talked to a guy at Green Grass [in Central City] and he was telling me there were a few more licenses available up here. He suggested I talk to the city,” Mayasich said. “So, I was driving by here and saw the ‘for rent’ sign. What a weird
coincidence. I pulled over, peeked my head in and next thing you know, I did a walk through. I showed my other partners, and we were like ‘this is the spot.’” When it was apparent the name fit perfectly with the town’s mining history as well as its current incarnation as a gaming town, the plan was solidified.
The Golden Nugget Dispensary’s new home is in the Roworth Block at 127 Main Street. It is one of the only buildings to survive the infamous “Fire of 1874.” Lettering on the façade can still be seen for the Sauer-McShane Mercantile Company, a grocery and general supply store that occupied the space from 1882 to 1919.
The atmosphere inside is relaxed, refined and comfortable for anyone wishing to visit a dispensary for the first time or 100th. The deep red carpet, original stone walls and large space offer a grand entrance and waiting area. A large, wooden bar displaying the top shelf products is located in the back. “When I saw the people who were coming in here, I really wanted to provide an upscale dispensary for them,” Mayasich said. “My clientele are my grandparents. It’s 50-, 60-, 70-, 80-year-olds, that are coming through my doors. So, I want to make it comfortable for them. That’s really what we are trying to do.”
The partners are in the process of building their own grow operation, but in the mean time, Mayasich can “hand select” the flower that’s sold in the store. “In the time I have been in the dispensary industry, I have found numerous growers. This allows me to go to the best growers around Colorado and hand-select my flower. It really allows me to bring the best flower that Colorado has to offer up to Central City,” he said. “We switch it in and out so our selection rotates like crazy. We have a bunch of different growers, so every single jar smells different. If you have 10 different growers, 10 different styles of growing, they are all going to have different nutrients. Flo will be different 10 times. It’s pretty neat.”
Like the flower they offer, they also hand-select their edible and concentrate vendors. “It means you will get high-quality edibles,” Mayasich explained. “We don’t buy from the larger companies because I feel the littler companies know us, they know our names and they put a little bit more love into it.”
Golden Nugget Dispensary’s owners do not believe in having different price structures for Colorado residents and non-residents. “A lot of dispensaries have member and non-member pricing, so in-state and out-of-state people pay different prices. That’s something that we didn’t want to do. We wanted to be fair across the board. We have one pricing and that’s it,” he said. “We found that we are seeing returning customers from out of state. That’s cool. That’s what we want. And, when they leave, we hear a lot of ‘wow, wish we would have come here first.’” The dispensary also has very competitive pricing and is currently offering “second self” flower for $85 an ounce.
Along side its hand-selected flower and discerning edible selection, the dispensary offers a signature pre-roll joint that is wrapped in 24 karat gold. “It’s really something special,” Mayasich said. “It’s Shine 24K Gold Rolling Papers, and we put our best and strongest Strawberry Nightmare strain in there. It tests about 30 percent THC. It really fits the name, Golden Nugget.”
Edibles and concentrates include offerings from Luck Edibles, Love’s Oven, EdiPure, Highly Edible, Nature’s High, Sweet Grass, Blue Kudu, Sergeant Green Leaf, RX Green, Mary Jane’s Medicinals, Dutch Girl and more.
The partners have additional plans for their Central City location once public consumption is legal, and plan to expand their company to other unique locations.
Stop by any day of the week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. to experience their high-end service, products and “green that looks like gold.” Mayasich and his partners will do everything they can to meet any expectations.
The Golden Nugget Dispensary is located at 127 Main St. in Central City. Call 303-582-2043, visit http://www.goldennuggetdispensary.co or find them on Facebook to learn more.
Originally published in the November 2016 issue of the MMAC Monthly