Trailblazers: Women-Owned Juniper Lane Prioritizes Accessibility, Community in Southern VT
10 years ago, Colleen McQuade of Juniper Lane had no idea she would be the owner of a cannabis dispensary. Obtaining a master’s degree in international peace and conflict resolution, McQuade had a different career in mind.
“I thought I was really going down that international aid worker kind of life path for a long time. And I got arrested for some weed in Maryland, when I was younger, and that kind of really spun that whole life path off for me. It didn’t really work out the way I’d imagined because of it,” said McQuade.
“I got arrested for some weed in Maryland, when I was younger, and that kind of really spun that whole life path off for me.” — Founder Colleen McQuade, Juniper Lane
It was at this point when McQuade stepped into the cannabis industry. She became a glass wholesaler for several years, even working with Vermont artists before eventually moving there.
“I saw some of the issues that come with a bigger company and I just have always really loved weed. So I’ve always wanted to do it myself. I thought I could do a good job,” she said.
Juniper Lane offers a wide variety of cannabis tiers that range from small nugs and shake, to heady craft cannabis that suits the connoisseur.
“My experience in the industry and with all the compliance stuff and all the different pieces that go into running a legal cannabis business – All of that experience helped me do this and open Juniper Lane,” said McQuade.
Prior to Juniper Lane, McQuade was involved with other cannabis companies and helped open medical dispensaries in Philadelphia.
Accessibility is one of the most important values that McQuade wanted to incorporate into Juniper Lane.
Juniper Lane officially opened its doors on Wednesday, November 9, and sits right on downtown Bennington’s Main Street. It’s the first and only female-owned dispensary so far in Southern Vermont, and the first-ever weed store in Bennington.
Accessibility is one of the most important values that McQuade wanted to incorporate into Juniper Lane. She has managed to do that by offering a menu with a variety of products and price points, and even clones.
Unlike many other retail spots, Juniper Lane offers a wide variety of cannabis tiers that range from small nugs and shake, to heady craft cannabis that suits the connoisseur, and all other types of consumers.
“I hope that we continue to grow and build together – I feel like this is an exciting time,” said McQuade. “We’re at the beginning of this emerging market and it’s just going to keep getting better and better [with] more refined, more products. And I really want success for everybody, so that we can bring high quality cannabis to Vermont.”
After Juniper Lane’s first week open, they were already sold out of edibles, and as of this writing were awaiting a restock. This isn’t an unusual situation, as product testing has been bottlenecked for many across the state.
While the store already offers a large variety, McQuade says she plans to continue expanding Juniper Lane’s inventory as new products become available.
This article is part of a regular series, Trailblazers, highlighting entrepreneurs entering the legal cannabis space.