Home Culture What’s the Difference Between Boutique and Large Scale Cannabis?

What’s the Difference Between Boutique and Large Scale Cannabis?


When the world of weed is at your fingertips, it can be tough to choose which cannabis company to fork over your hard-earned cash to. But not to worry, I’ll be going over both boutique and large scale cannabis operations to make sure you’re happy with your replenished stash.

The boutique cannabis culture and the large-scale producers of cannabis in Colorado both produce quality bud. You can bet on it tasting better than anything the average consumer can get off the black market in non-recreational states.

The differences can’t simply be boiled down to a matter of manufacturing efficiency, which usually results in a lower cost per gram. The fact is, cannabis cultivators – large and small – are taking on ‘celebrity strains’ or simply have expensive top-shelf cannabis.

The Boutique

Many of the smaller pot shops in Denver strive to be cozy and catering. It’s easy for those who see less foot traffic in and out of the store to spend more time on their return consumers because they tend to have bigger tickets overall. As a result, the boutique businesses may pay more attention to their solid sellers: flower and concentrates. Unfortunately, it can be at the expense of shelf space that could go toward displaying a more eclectic variety of cannabis products.

Clearly, the increase in time spent per person at a small shop is worth it for many, especially for those who need to talk to their budtender about which strains work for them and their health issues.

One of the most intimate experiences I’ve had the opportunity to explore was learning about Lotus Medical, a medical-only dispensary in Denver. The owner took great pride in the personalized service they offer to patients and was gushing over the flower they grow for their patients. Lotus medical reminded me that cannabis is medicine, and the art of growing the ‘perfect’ cannabis plants differ from one cultivator to another.

Boutique cultivators, like Verde Natural in Denver, are boutique in the way they grow. At Verde, they swear by growing in small batches for better quality control overall.

Verde does such a great job with their growing techniques that Tommy Chong selected them to be the official bud of his Colorado cannabis brand, called Chong’s Choice.

The Larger Companies

Denver is home to some of the earliest adopters of legal cannabis reform. Therefore, some already have nearly a decade of experience in the green space. That’s more time for trial and errors in growing cannabis, which has afforded many of the bigger cannabis companies business growth and national media attention.

The problem presented to successful cannabis companies right now is being labeled as ‘big cannabis’ sellouts. The undeserved label ignores that they are the ones paving the way for cultivation standards and supporting federal legalization.  

For example, LivWell is a cannabis company that spends millions on philanthropic endeavors and legislative efforts. They are constantly striving to make the best cannabis, most efficiently. It’s a family business and the father-son duo bring business acumen and laser-sharp focus and logistical skills one would expect from a commercial industry warehouse (the CEO is from the logistical warehouse side of other industries).

Whether small or large, one thing that rings true for any cannabis company is that the morale of the cannabis industry in Colorado is at an all-time high. Just about every employee I’ve run into on the manufacturing and customer service side looks happy, and say they are thrilled to be working in a state legal cannabis company.