Lightshade on Havana – 2016 Leafly List Winner (Colorado)

At a Glance

Dispensary: Lightshade – Havana

Location: 503 Havana St., Aurora

Medical/recreational: Both

Owner: Steve Brooks

Years in business: 6

Number of reviews in 2016: 886

Total products: 217

  • Flower products: 12
  • Concentrate products: 47
  • Edible products: 75
  • Pre-rolls: 6
  • Other products: 77

Budtender showing <strong>cannabis</strong> to customers at Lightshade dispensary in Denver, COBudtender Casey Robertson, right, helps customers Jeremy Driskill, from left, Destyni Paschall, and Derick Pruitt choose from merchandise Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017 at the Lightshade dispensary located at 503 S Havana Street Denver, CO. Robertson has worked at Lightshade for four years. (Daniel Brenner for Leafly)

With six locations across Colorado and two more set to open this summer, Lightshade is one of the key players responsible for setting the pace of the cannabis industry. “When Colorado moved forward with the legalization of medical cannabis, I saw an opportunity to get involved and to create a unique business model,” says Steve Brooks, one of three partner owners of Lightshade. “[It’s] centered on providing excellent customer service, high-quality product, and a warm and welcoming shopping experience.” Each Lightshade location adheres to this tried and true model, and each has found success in the booming Colorado cannabis business.

All three Lightshade partners are former home builders, and they leveraged extensive experience to build their first storefront and a state-of-the-art cultivation facility in 2010. With the facility at their disposal, the sky became the limit for creating exceptional products. “We carefully select only the best genetics to grow in our own cultivation facilities, [and] use the most current growing techniques, organic nutrients, and pest control methods,” says Brooks of the strains that make it onto the shelves at the Havana location. In addition to these strains, Brooks makes it a priority to “regularly meet with our processors and third-party vendors to collaborate on how to provide the highest-quality product.” Lightshade also actively develops community engagement programs to give back to local causes, and as a member of the Cannabis Chamber of Commerce and the National Cannabis Industry Association, the company is often looked to as a model of how to build and expand a cannabis business.

The team at Lightshade on Havana regularly surveys customers to gain insight on what products to carry and changes to make, so don’t be afraid to make your voice heard when you visit the store. Education is a high priority for both budtenders and consumers; currently, the team is creating and rolling out video content that covers all things cannabis, from how to consume various products to cannabis laws and guidelines. When you stop by the cozy and friendly dispensary, be sure to check out the smorgasbord of artisanal waxes, shatters, live resin, distillates, budders, and full melt, crafted by local producers from Lighthouse’s homegrown strains. And after your visit, pop right next door to El Camaron Loco for some tasty seafood-centric munchies.

Lightshade <a href=dispensary in Denver, CO - one of the best dispensaries in Leafly List 2016" width="840" height="525" />The exterior of a Lightshade dispensary Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017 located at 503 S Havana Street Denver, CO. (Daniel Brenner for Leafly)

In Brooks’s Words

Top selling product: “White Dawg flower.”

What is the surrounding neighborhood like? “Filled with fun, engaging customers who are loyal and friendly. There is a great taco truck parked next door that serves amazing street tacos. It is a must-stop for me every time I visit our Havana location.”

Fun fact about your dispensary: “The name ‘Lightshade’ comes from the cannabis plant flowering cycle and the need for 12 hours of light and 12 hours of shade in order for the plant to begin flowering.”

What inspires you to come to work? “It is an honor to be a part of a movement in this country to end cannabis prohibition. I love coming to work every day because of the dynamic nature of the industry and the challenge to stay relevant in a very competitive market.”

Cannabis products at Lightshade dispensary in Denver, COBudtender Casey Robertson uses chalk to color a drawing on the wall Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017 at the Lightshade dispensary located at 503 S Havana Street Denver, CO. Robertson creates chalk artwork at seven locations and has worked at Lightshade for four years. (Daniel Brenner for Leafly)

What Leafly Reviewers Say

The “high-quality” service at Lightshade makes consumers shout, “Can I get an amen!?” They are “always convenient and fast” with “fresh buds” and products that are “a step above any dispensary” around. With rotating deals, fans are always “impressed” by this “awesome” Lightshade Havana location.

Runner-Up: Infinite Wellness Center (Fort Collins, CO)

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