Second dispensary opens in Woodlake

Jermaine Johnson II

GreenBean prepares to hold their official grand opening in the near future after holding their soft launch on Dec. 28

WOODLAKE – Cannabis sales in 2020 were high despite the pandemic, and now residents in Woodlake have a new place to get loaded with products. On Dec. 28, GreenBean opened their doors to customers and plans to hold a formal grand opening event towards the end of January.

Due to a variety of reasons, it took the dispensary three years to finally open up shop after getting their business license in Dec. 2017. The former abandoned lumber building needed major renovations when GreenBean co-founder Michael Dunaway took it over. The renovations were done a year ago but the creation of the parking lot took longer. The shop sits on State Route 216, also known as Naranjo Boulevard, meaning that CalTrans required a comprehensive plan before the shop could have a physical entrance. The ongoing pandemic slowed things down and it didn’t help that Dunaway was also diagnosed with leukemia. Thankfully he’s in the right business as cannabis products have helped him deal with the harsh effects from chemotherapy treatments such as low-energy, heavy nausea and loss of appetite. It’s an ongoing fight for Dunaway but he is stable and appreciative for the opportunity to see the dispensary finally open.

“Without cannabis it would make my daily quality of life pretty miserable. I’m a testament that cannabis works both for recreational and medical purposes,” Dunaway said.

Despite COVID-19 slowing down construction, it has helped ramp up cannabis sales. Dunaway also owns a medical cannabis dispensary in Maryland called SunBurst Pharm, and he deems that the cannabis industry is resilient to the pandemic.

“People still need access to cannabis for medicinal purposes and they still need access to cannabis to destress and relax themselves,” Dunaway said. “People have the ability to consume cannabis in their homes and we’ve seen a large increase in consumers doing so with the added free time and lack of other activities at their disposal.”

GreenBean began as a delivery service throughout Tulare County for four years before becoming a recreational dispensary. Dunaway co-founded the company with his wife and the couple came up with the name because cannabis flower looks like green beans from afar. Woodlake was the first city to allow them to construct a storefront.

Customers have the opportunity to engage with products by sniffing through their masks and they can engage with GreenBean’s cannabis consultants to determine what will best fit their needs. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the store can only have up to eight customers in the store at a time.

“We don’t push particular products or brands. We listen to the consumer and how they want to consume cannabis, then find the products they’d benefit most from,” Dunaway said.

Quality customer service with quality products is a major focus for GreenBean, as shown by their seven-day return policy. If there is an issue with a product or if a customer isn’t satisfied, they can exchange or return their product within seven days of purchase. They also have a reward points system, for every dollar spent in the store. Accumulated points will equate to money off of purchases and free products.

The company is highly focused on expanding throughout the Central Valley and the Woodlake building is a model for how they want the expansion to look. For now they are focused on expanding in Woodlake, particularly next door in the same complex. The goal is to have an onsite consumption lounge where people can go and leisurely consume GreenBean’s cannabis products as well as food and drinks. That would make them the only onsite consumption lounge in Tulare County.

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