Elevate Dispensary is Sweet & Friendly

Elevate dispensary in Sylmar is hidden right out in the open on the first floor of a corner mini-mall

Elevate dispensary in Sylmar, CA, is a spacious, brightly lit, clean and well-organized shop hosting a robust inventory of cannabis strains, varieties, brands, and products catered to the tastes and interests of connoisseurs and newbies, alike. I drove out to the far reaches of the northeast San Fernando Valley yesterday to meet Elevate’s friendly staff, behold its large stock of wax extracts, and make the most of its first-time patient discount.

Conveniently Located / Anonymously Situated

Elevate dispensary is easy to navigate to, just a block north of the Hubbard St. exit off of the Foothill Freeway. The store is situated anonymously in a corner mini-mall across the driveway from Yum Yum doughnuts. There’s no large sign screaming “cannabis dispensary”, so keep an eye out for the small signage posted on the glass doors facing the street.

A Warm Reception

I caught a whiff of sweet herb wafting out to the sidewalk and found my way to the dispensary entrance. Elevate’s receptionist greeted me with a friendly smile and an offer of assistance as I walked in the door and approached her desk. She was hospitable, deferential, and processed my paperwork quickly. I appreciated the warm welcome very much. My visit was off to a great start!

Yelp photo of Elevate's lobby
Elevate’s spacious and relaxing lobby (photo: Yelp)

Elevate dispensary’s lobby is clean and spacious with plenty of seating and reading material. Although my wait was brief, I enjoyed spending a few minutes relaxing in a comfortable chair where I scanned product literature and a cannabis consumer magazine called Dope. There were several free copies of the current issue strewn about for customers to browse or take home. I took mine home with me for a close reading and for future review.

A Beautifully Bright, Clean & Organized Dispensary

The receptionist quickly finished with my paperwork and guided me to Elevate’s inner dispensary sanctum which is quite large, incredibly well-lit, and which boasts cases filled with products stacked in neat, well-organized, rows. That Elevate can fit so many items into its cases is impressive; that it can keep everything so well-organized is even more impressive.

The brightness of the inner dispensary light was so intense that at first I had to squint. As my eyes grew accustomed to the light and I surveyed the room I found myself muttering, “This is beautiful…this is beautiful” a few times. It was the first thing I said to the budtender who walked over and asked how she might help me.

Elevate's enormous, super-bright, clean inner sanctum
Elevate boasts a huge, super-bright, clean, crisp & well-organized inner sanctum (photo: Yelp)

Budtending Sweetness at Elevate Dispensary

My budtender greeted me with a warm smile and was very sweet and patient as she listened to and tried to accommodate my requests for information about products, strains, and prices. Although she wasn’t a wax expert and had to look up the prices for items that interested me, my budtender seemed genuinely motivated to help me find what I was looking for and didn’t begrudge me the time I needed to make my selections.

Wax Customers, Do Your Homework!

Even with the aid of a sincere and helpful budtender, the sheer number of wax boxes and containers on the 2 shelves in the large, refrigerated, glass case was a bit overwhelming for both of us. It took some effort and skill to direct my budtender to the specific items as seen from her side of the case. Her modest strain knowledge left me to rely on my own cannabis intelligence to differentiate between indica-dominant and sativa-dominant hybrids, but I didn’t mind as it was an opportunity for me to test my own budtending abilities.

Elevate's interior showing refrigerated extracts case
Wax products are kept in abundance in the large refrigerated case on the far right (photo: Yelp)

Customer Confusion When Products Lack Prices

I enjoy working with budtenders even if I know more about cannabis than they because it affords me an opportunity to demonstrate my cannabis expertise. However, I don’t enjoy having to guess the prices of products because dispensary management fails to place price tags or labels on products or shelves. The wax selection process at Elevate dispensary is complicated and takes far more time than necessary because prices are not listed in a way that is convenient for either customers or budtenders.

Most budtenders don’t memorize product prices in my experience, so I did not blame my budtender for her unfamiliarity with the prices of different wax brands and varieties. Nonetheless, budtenders should not have to consult the store POS to check the price of each item in which a customer shows interest. It is inefficient, complicated, and wastes the customer’s time as well as that of those waiting in line.

Elevate dispensary should consider labeling their wax boxes with price tags, or at least label sample containers for each product so that budtenders can easily check prices at the same time they open containers to display the wax to customers. This is a management issue, not a budtender concern, and if at all possible, management should make it easier for Elevate’s budtenders and customers to locate prices. None of us can stare at the big digital board up on the wall at length, scrunching up our eyes from across the room, waiting for information on a particular product to appear in the board’s diminutive, inscrutable text.

A Thoughtful First-Time Discount

With some effort, a little patience, assistance from a second budtender, and with the honesty and diligence of my own budtender, I was able to make satisfying wax choices and enjoy the benefit of Elevate dispensary’s first-time discount (I think it was 15%). I’ve already begun reviewing the grams of Emerald Family Farms and Raw Garden live resin that I purchased, as well as the half-grams of Flavor and House Weed shatter, and I look forward to posting my takes on these products by brands I’ve previously reviewed.

Shop Here, But Come Prepared

My trip to Sylmar was a success and I will return to Elevate dispensary in the future for the following reasons: its friendly, sweet staff, its large inventory, and its competitive prices. My advice to any soon-to-be Elevate customers is to do your own research before arriving. Consult Elevate dispensary’s Weedmaps menu, research the strains and varieties listed, and make a long list of your pre-selections for informed product purchase options.

Bonus Time: Legion of Bloom’s Brand Ambassador, Emma

I would normally end a dispensary review at this point, but after I tipped my budtender and headed for the exit, I spotted the vendor table I’d stopped at briefly on the way in and decided to ask the brand rep about her job. The young lady, Emma, is a brand ambassador for The Legion of Bloom, and she was more than happy to chat.

A Knowledgeable, Experienced Company Rep

Emma answered my questions openly and in much detail. I found what she had to say relatable and on point and was thrilled to have the opportunity to speak in depth with someone so knowledgeable about and experienced with the cannabis industry. Emma was a tall cool drink of water, so happy to talk shop, so aware of the bigger issues related to legalization, and so down to earth and personable. The Legion of Bloom made a superb choice in choosing Emma to represent its brand.

Emma offered a thoughtful overview of her work as a brand ambassador and spoke broadly about her cannabis experiences in Colorado versus California, about the creeping corporatism of the legal cannabis industry, about budtending and dispensaries and more. This probably sounds like an unremarkable, ordinary experience, just to have a conversation like this, but it truly was a rare opportunity to engage someone so knowledgeable about and familiar with the industry.

The Legion of Bloom vape cartridges
The Legion of Bloom vape cartridges are cannabis oil, terps, and that’s it! (photo: cannabis dot net)

An Elevated Dispensary Experience

The reality is that most budtenders lack either the knowledge or the skill (or both) to provide the kind of in-depth exchange I experienced with The Legion of Bloom’s Emma. So thank you Emma & The Legion of Bloom for the opportunity to engage and learn, and thank you Elevate dispensary for this positive, first-time patient experience. I look forward to seeing prices on wax products when I return to Elevate and will be sure to pick up a Legion of Bloom vape cartridge, too.

Primitive Zippo
Doing high dives into the California cannabis industry, cannabis culture, cannabis-friendly music and anything else cannabis-related residing in the vast expanse of my turgid cranium.

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