One of two cannabis companies that won a bid last year to open within Healdsburg city limits — a brand called Solful with locations in San Francisco, Santa Rosa and Sebastopol — just shut down its Santa Rosa shop at the end of last month. Owners tell the North Bay Business Journal that this was a deliberate business decision, allowing them to focus more of their energy on helping the Healdsburg location thrive when it opens later this summer. They seem to be banking on increased sidewalk traffic and a slightly fancier clientele here in town, compared to the shop they just shuttered on Farmers Lane in Santa Rosa. The Business Journal reports: “Closing that retail cannabis shop, which opened only a few years ago, is part of a strategy by CEO Eli Melrod to focus on an upcoming move to Healdsburg and its promise of better foot traffic. The Sebastopol-based retailer was selected last November to operate one of two dispensaries selected in Healdsburg, considered ‘the priority’ to Melrod. The move north to Healdsburg Avenue, two blocks off the downtown square, is due to take place in late summer. ‘It’s definitely more walkable [in Healdsburg]. We’re excited about that,’ Melrod said, adding that ‘Montgomery Village is going through a transition.’ He was referring to shops coming and going at the center across the street. Melrod also contrasted Healdsburg with Santa Rosa by noting the latter is ‘more discount oriented.’ … ‘We’d rather focus on the quality,’ he said. ‘Sales are stagnant. We’re definitely going through some challenging times.'” Solful’s woes are part of a larger trend within the cannabis industry, according to the Business Journal — as weed shops struggle with steep taxes, a cash-strapped customer base and a bit of market over-saturation. Many are either closing their doors or fighting to survive. When Solful opens its Healdsburg outpost within the next few months, it will be running out of that century-old freestanding house at 465 Healdsburg Ave., situated between the Purls of Joy knitting co-op and the driveway leading back to Sake ‘O and the Goodwill. And by the end of the year, our other local weed shop — run by Jane Dispensary, with existing locations in Cotati and Santa Rosa — is set to open in the former plywood mill at 44 Mill St., right next to Coyote Sonoma. (Source: North Bay Business Journal & Healdsburg Tribune & Jane Dispensary & Solful)

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Simone Wilson was born and raised in Healdsburg, CA, where she was the editor of the Healdsburg High School Hound's Bark. She has since worked as a local journalist for publications in San Diego, Los Angeles, New York City and the Middle East. Simone is now a senior product manager and staff writer for the Healdsburg Tribune.


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