Blüm – Oakland, CA
Not your typical cannabis dispensary owners, Amy Oppedisano was previously an interior designer and her husband, Derek Peterson, worked in finance. They are about as suburban as a soccer mom and BBQ dad can get. Shortly after they met, a surfing accident left Peterson with a fractured vertebra in his neck, and he started using cannabis for the pain. When the market crashed in 2008, Peterson felt he could no longer be a stockbroker, disheartened from seeing so many people lose everything. He came home one day and told his wife he wanted to quit his job and sell weed … with a guy he met online. Oppedisano’s reaction was an expected, “Uhhh … I don’t know about that.” However, she followed it up with, “I’m in!” Now, almost eight years later, Oppedisano is the creative marketing and branding manager of Terra Tech Corp., Blüm’s parent company, Peterson is the CEO and his old boss and close friend from the finance world, Mike Nahass, is president and COO.
Blüm is conveniently located on the corner of West Grand Avenue in downtown Oakland. As you walk up, the recycled wood exterior walls, contrasted by bright green bamboo grass, produce a sense of wellbeing before you even get to the cannabis. Oppedisano’s experience as an interior designer shows throughout the dispensary; when you enter, you’re greeted with beautiful black and white photos of people billowing smoke. Inside, patients and recreational users are guided by a friendly staff that pride themselves on education and experience.
Blüm will be launching their own in-house brands this year: “We really want to find a way to keep the prices down for patients that were used to Prop 215, and not used to the new taxes and pricing system, as well as those customers who are on a fixed income,” Oppedisanoexplains. “Creating our own house brands, we feel, is the best solution.” You can also find products such as Kush Queen’s Love Bath Bombs and the always delicious KIVA chocolates.