COMMUNITY PROFILE: Kurt Haaker of URBN Leaf

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Hi Kurt! Welcome to WEHOville. We wanted to get the buzz on the first cannabis dispensary on the Sunset Strip, so thanks for joining us! First, let’s talk about the ‘Urbn Leaf’ brand. Short and sweet, who owns Urbn Leaf, and how many locations are there?

Last year, we merged with Harborside and Loudpack to form what is now StateHouse Holdings. StateHouse and local legend Sol Yamini (CEO of Pink Dot) came together and opened our West Hollywood location. There are a total of 13 stores in California, ranging from San Francisco all the way down to the border.

Do you cultivate your own products, or resell other brands? Why should I shop at Urbn Leaf versus the many other dispensaries?

StateHouse is a fully vertically integrated company that prides itself on great products from Seed to Sale. We are the proud owner of many legacy brands—favorites such as Dime Bag, Smokiez, Kingpen, and Fuzzies. You can find several of our brands in stores up and down California. People should come to Urbn Leaf because we make it easy and comfortable for anyone from anywhere to shop for this amazing product. It’s an open-shop concept; therefore, you have the freedom to walk around and explore. But know there is always a friendly hand to help with any questions.

So you’re the general manager. When did you open, and what hurdles have you faced so far?

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We opened back in January. The biggest hurdle so far has been the weather. I thought that moving to LA, it would be sunny all year round. Come to find out, it rained almost half the year and had a tropical storm.

The cannabis world is changing from just flower to vapes and edibles. Is there a difference in the ‘high’?

I would say there is not a huge difference in the high, but the duration and the initial onset can be different. It’s definitely a “choose your own journey” kind of deal.

What about you? What brings you to the bud business? Where did you grow up, and when did you migrate to West Hollywood?

I had the typical stoner upbringing. Tried it twice when I was younger and it did nothing for me, but then tried again when I was 21. It changed my life and has continued to ever since. I never even realized I had such high-functioning anxiety until the plant helped to level me out. I was born and raised in San Luis Obispo, CA—a very quaint small town on the Central Coast, where it ranged from retired folks to college students. I worked in retail most of my life, but selling other products never really spoke to me. When I saw the show WEEDS by Jenji Kohan, I knew that I needed to run my own shop. In October of 2020, Urbn Leaf Grover Beach posted a position for Assistant Manager. I applied and was able to make a smooth transition from coffee to cannabis. One year and six months later, I was promoted to General Manager there, and eight months later, I applied and was hired to help open the first dispensary on the Sunset Strip. I moved to West Hollywood on January 2nd, 2023, and began doing orientation for my budtenders on January 3rd. I am so lucky to live and work in one of the most legendary cities in CA.

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About Larry Block
Larry is a West Hollywood resident and business owner of the BlockParty and YMLA stores. He has served the City of West Hollywood as the Chairman of Disability Advisory Board and the Public Facilities Commission. He is also a founding partner and contributor to Boystown Media.

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BloodshotEyedGuy
BloodshotEyedGuy
8 months ago

About five years ago, there used to be a short-lived pot shop on the Sunset Strip, about four or five doors west of the Whisky A Go-Go. But this Urban Leaf sounds promising too.

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