Sponsored content by Abide Napa
When the quartet behind Abide Napa first opened the cannabis dispensary doors in February 2021, the foursome wanted to create a cannabis business that showcased the best local products that would make the company Napa’s No. 1 home-based marijuana dispensary.
From the looks of it, the guys–Amos Flint, Micah Malan, Jerred Kiloh and Ty Heldt, all with longtime community tie-ins–are succeeding: Napa Abide won Best New Dispensary, Napa County in the Best of the North Bay 2023 contest.
Between his other jobs (as a construction business owner and as an owner of Santa Rosa restaurant Perch + Plow), Amos took some time to talk about how four longtime friends came together to build a warm, welcoming atmosphere with expert customer service to handle cannabis needs with an emphasis on relief and education. It all occurs in an upscale downtown Napa dispensary designed by Rock House Design.
“It’s been good for us so far,” Amos said, counting off six other competing Napa dispensaries. “We’re the local guys, and I think a lot of dispensaries in Napa are other groups from out of the area coming in and trying to capitalize on Napa.
”Amos described his partners–they’re all self-professed cannabis sommeliers–as coming from different paths, though they were united in their decades-long cannabis industry expertise as cultivators, activists and consumers. Together, they are committed to offering high-quality cannabis products at a fair price from a knowledgeable and professional staff of true cannabis connoisseurs–or, rather, cannasseurs.
How do they do it? The first step, Amos said, is intensive training of employees that explores all aspects of the cannabis plant, from its medical properties and terroir variations to the terpenes in all the strains. Compassion and understanding are also key traits of Abide Napa budtenders, who really know their way around a plant, Amos said.
Although cannabis cultivation has not yet been legalized in Napa County, neighboring Sonoma County has legalized cultivation and is one of the closest communities to source good quality product, Amos noted.
“We’re trying to bring in a lot of local brands,” Amos said. “We have Sonoma County brands featured. The closest thing we have is working with our neighboring county to make sure we’re getting as much local stuff involved for the local community.”
Something else Abide Napa adheres to is offering a wide variety of well-rounded products, or “a little something for everyone,” as Amos put it.
“We have stuff for the absolute connoisseurs that just want the absolute best down to more affordable options, but there’s always quality in mind,” Amos said.
As a result, Napa Abide customers can purchase a variety of flowers, pre-rolls, infused pre-rolls, extracts, dabs, concentrates, edibles, tinctures, balms, capsules, and even beverages, disposable vapes, cartridges, pods, and smoking accessories. Amos and his partners put a premium on quality. “We aspire to be that local shop that has the best variety and the most knowledgeable staff, and we have a really great location,” Amos said. “We feel like we stepped up for the community and provided a really good space and service.”
Amos built the dispensary, is the primary investor and provides general oversight while Micah is mainly responsible for buying and marketing. Jerred brings a long history of cannabis business experience, and Ty is a cultivation expert. You’ll see Abide Napa, thanks to Micah’s music industry chops and Amos’ nightlife and nightclub prowess, selling cannabis products at local music festivals like BottleRock Napa Valley and Blue Note Festival Napa Valley.
While Amos, a serial entrepreneur, said he originally envisioned a farm-to-table sort of cannabis growing, packaging and sales operations, adversity on the production and cultivation side presented too much of an uphill battle. Thus, he moved toward the more vertical and integrated approach of a dispensary, which is typically more profitable due to low cannabis prices.
About 20 percent of Abide Napa’s daily customers, Amos said, are first-time consumers who are in a contingent of older customers, many of whom may not have yet have experienced legal cannabis. Amos said sometimes the customers have lots of questions, and Abide Napa’s well-equipped staff can walk them through the positive effects of cannabis.
What’s with the name, Abide Napa, anyway? The obvious connection is to The Big Lebowski, as in, “The Dude abides,” Amos said. But Amos said he also likes the connotations associated with abide, especially the idea that when one abides, one thrives and prospers and that one’s roots “are really sunk deep into the ground.”
Micah said another reason the partners chose the name Abide was because for over 20 years, they had to follow and respect Napa‘s regulations on cannabis, which was no sales or consumption, thus creating a situation where consumers and businesses operators had to abide with Napa’s regulations.
“We do a good job. We have good products. We have good people, good training,” Amos said, speculating on what cinched Napa Abide’s Best Of win. “Overall, people are left with a very positive experience.”
Napa Abide, 707-266-1967, 1963 Iroquois St., Napa, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Sunday, AbideNapa.com.