Name of business: Perfect Union
Type of business: Cannabis dispensary
Location: 2500 N Golden State Blvd.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday
Contact information: 209-252-0039
Specialty: Quality customer service
History of business:
If you’ve driven down Golden State Boulevard lately, it’s hard to miss the brightly-colored exterior of Perfect Union — the second of four retail dispensaries in the City of Turlock’s cannabis pilot program which will open its doors to the public on Thursday morning.
After 16 weeks of construction, the former irrigation and farm supply shop has been completely revamped, complete with a newly-paved parking lot, freshly-painted mural and a vibrant turquoise shell that will house over 300 cannabis products come opening day. According to chief marketing officer Jim Taschetta, Perfect Union’s Turlock location is the “anchor point” of the company’s move into the Central Valley, which also includes a shop in Riverbank so far.
Perfect Union was the City’s second-ranked dispensary of its top four pilot program candidates, behind Firehouse, which opened in August, and ahead of Evergreen Market and Natural Healing Center, which have not opened yet.
“Even though there’s somebody else that’s already opened here, I think we’ll be able to bring folks a different level of cannabis experience,” Taschetta said. “My hope and desire is that people feel like they will be heard and understood, and that we’ll get them the right products.”
Taschetta hopes that the dispensary will serve as a bright spot in the community not only visually, but philanthropically as well. Under Perfect Union’s Development Agreement with the City, which was approved by Council one year ago, the business will pay a public benefit amount of $25,000 per month or 5.25 percent of its gross monthly receipts. The minimum payment will increase by $5,000 annually and is designed to offset or mitigate any potential impacts of the project on the community.
“We’re writing a big check to the City every month,” Taschetta said.
In addition, Perfect Union has built a community benefits program into its business model, which so far has seen the dispensary sponsor the Haven Women's Center Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, donate to the Red Cross and explore partnering with local nonprofits to tackle homelessness. The business even commissioned local artist Joel Aguilar to paint two small-scale murals inside of the dispensary.
This, combined with “budtenders” who genuinely care about helping people, sets Perfect Union apart, Taschetta said. The new business has provided jobs for 20 locals, he said, with the expectation that the number of employees will grow as time passes. Taschetta added that budtenders are well-paid with benefits, and are even represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers union.
“It’s a very safe place to come in, explain the problem you’re trying to solve and then let our budtenders use their expertise to help you. They’re not going to try and upsell you — they’re genuinely committed to getting to know you,” he said. “It’s like the local coffee shop...people come in for the interaction and the experience.”
The Perfect Union team expects their Turlock dispensary to pull in big numbers: an upwards of $10 million per year. The new location is just as large as their flagship store in Sacramento, Taschetta said, and he expects cannabis users from Turlock, Modesto and surrounding communities to visit.
Perfect Union’s Vice President of Government Affairs Caity Maple said that of the three jurisdictions the cannabis company has worked with, the City of Turlock’s application process for its pilot program impressed her the most. She uses it as an example when speaking to other cities, she said, because the City’s goal was to first find the best operators, then help them find a location.
“They didn’t require having a building already as part of the application process, and that makes a huge difference because what usually happens is a bidding war where companies come in and tie up all the buildings,” she said. “Turlock is an exception to that….Just because you have a good building doesn’t mean you can open a good cannabis business, and Turlock said ‘Let’s find the people who actually know what they’re doing.’”