An Inside Look at One of Seattle’s Leading Dispensaries – Diego Pellicer

Rachelle Gordon

May 17th, 2017

News, Top News

With the legal cannabis market booming, there are many entrepreneurs looking to get in while the getting’s good. One company, Diego Pellicer (OTCMKT – DPWW) is on the forefront of creating a global standard for legal marijuana dispensaries. This upscale yet affordable shop strives to be a welcoming environment for every sort of customer, from seasoned medical patients to new recreational shoppers.

“I want the people to know that Diego is here for them and it’s their store,” explains owner Alejandro Canto. “We want people to feel comfortable when shopping at Diego, knowing they are receiving safe and quality products.”

The History of Diego Pellicer

While Diego as a dispensary has only been open for a few short months, the company’s roots go back much further. Canto, who was born in Spain and moved to Miami, Florida at age five, explains:

“Diego was actually appointed by the Spanish king to be the governor of the Philippines, and he was later brought on to manage the hemp fields, which at that point, he ended up becoming the world’s largest hemp grower. He was growing hemp for the Spanish navy. The Philippines’ economy ended up crushing and hemp is what helped bring the economy up. So, fast forward a couple of years – his great-grandson Jamen Shively founded the company.”

Diego Pellicer opened their flagship store just west of downtown Seattle during the last quarter of 2016 and has been growing steadily ever since.

“It’s been working out phenomenally, sales have been climbing week after week – it’s been nothing but growth here at Diego!” Canto exclaimed.

Challenges and Setbacks

While Diego Pellicer is experiencing amazing growth and a warm reception from the community, it hasn’t always been an easy road. Due to marijuana’s status as a Schedule I narcotic, it remains federally illegal. This puts pressure on businesses such as Diego due to strict tax laws and potential raids (although this rarely happens.) Additionally, it is difficult to market as cannabis companies are not allowed on many social media applications.

“The company had faced many challenges early on, prior to my inception into the company,” explained Canto. “By the time I was incepted into the company, some of the challenges had already been overcome and it was sort of a linear path to get things going.”

“On the soft opening, a week prior to the grand opening – the toilets actually exploded!” Canto laughed. “The entire store was flooded – it was terrible! Customers were coming in, their feet were all wet. So we had to close the store early to get in a team to redo the entire floors, plumbing, everything and I got it done right in time for the grand opening.

“I had done a ton of marketing, and outreach – I had CNN coming down, a media crew from Channel 5 news – so it was a lot of major cable networks were going to be out here coming for this event, and we ended up pulling it off in the nick of time, the day before kind of thing, and thank God we did. No one ever noticed but it’s crazy! All those floors were ripped up, six feet under, and we got it done!”

Dedication and Passion Lead a Bright Future

If there’s one thing that the community knows about Diego Pellicer and owner Alejandro Canto, it’s that they will never stop working to ensure a safe and high-end environment where customers can purchase products and learn more about the many benefits cannabis has to offer.

“We see Diego Pellicer being a recognized national brand that a consumer feels safe and comfortable with,” said Canto. “We’re always open to licensing deals and agreements. Currently, Diego is operating in two different states – Washington and Colorado. They are looking to close a deal with a gentleman in Oregon who wants to rebrand his current operations into Diego.

“The goal is to be in all recreational states and we’re pretty much on target. As long as you always capture at least 80-85% of the recreational markets that are available, then we’re staying on top of the ball. It’s kind of the number you never want to drop below. You want 100 – that’s the goal!”

Canto adds that the company is looking to expand to Canada once full legalization takes effect there in the summer of 2018. However, it is the building of trust and positive relationships in the community that Canto strives for most of all.

“We’re always looking to legitimize this industry and bring people together, and I think it’s building the culture and the community that’s really important. I think a positive attitude goes a long way with people. Sometimes just saying “hello” changes people’s insight – changes their day sometimes!

“And that’s what Diego does – people come to us because of the way we treat our customers, and the experience they receive here. It’s just so welcoming, so comforting, it gives that warm feeling inside and it sits well with people – they truly enjoy and we are happy with that response.”

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Rachelle Gordon

About Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a Minneapolis-based writer. She was the president of her college's chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and worked in Amsterdam for a brief time. Find her online at

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