Ridgefield, WA, April 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Cowlitz Indian Tribe is pleased to announce the official opening of its new cannabis dispensary, Q’anápsu, marking a significant achievement in the Tribe’s long-term plan to drive innovative economic development efforts on its reservation and across Southwest Washington.
“Q’anápsu is more than just a dispensary; it is a reflection of our commitment to creating new opportunities that help serve our membership and our community,” said General Council Chairwoman Patty Kinswa-Gaiser.“As the Cowlitz Indian Tribe continues to diversify its economic base, Q’anápsu is yet another example of the high standard of excellence, responsible business practices, and innovation the tribe maintains when pursuing self-determination.”
The grand opening ceremony for Q’anápsu was marked with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, celebrating the official opening of the dispensary. The event was attended by Q’anápsu board members and tribal members, excited customers, and guests from across the community.
Prior to its grand opening on April 20th, the new dispensary also received a sacred blessing from Chairwoman Kinswa-Gaiser during a walkthrough event for board members on April 7th. This ceremony, known as a smudging, involved burning sage to purify and cleanse the new space, welcoming positive energy and promoting peace and healing.
Q’anápsu offers a first-of-its-kind dispensary experience, with an innovative container-based structure and unique features designed to engage with customers and educate them about the Tribe’s history, culture, language, and broader role in the community. In the Cowlitz language, the word Q’anápsu means grass. Throughout the retail space, customers will learn about the purposeful utility of hearty grasses, as well as other traditional stories, artwork, and translations.
The Q’anápsu concept and retail space was custom designed for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe by Gallagher, a leading experiential design firm based in Portland, OR, and the project was overseen by the Karlee Eichenberger, a retail brand strategy expert specializing in cannabis operations. The grand opening of Q’anápsu will now replace the dispensary’s temporary mobile storefront that began operating on the reservation in 2022.
“It has been a privilege to partner closely with the Cowlitz Tribe to develop the Q’anápsu brand strategy and unique immersive customer experience,” said Eichenberger. “The Tribe has been committed from the beginning to build something groundbreaking that also provides meaningful benefit to its members and the community. This approach can be seen woven throughout the Q’anápsu dispensary, from the culturally inspired design, state-of-the-art security features and innovative product display. Each contributor on this project was encouraged by the Tribe to dream big and create the very best. I feel confident that all who experience Q’anápsu will agree that we’ve succeeded.”
Along with employment opportunities for members of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and residents of the local community, Q’anápsu will provide an additional source of dedicated revenue for funding the Tribe’s essential programs and services, such as healthcare, education, housing, and philanthropic giving.
The dispensary is located at 31420 NW 31st Avenue in Ridgefield, WA and will be open 7 days a week from 8:00 am to Midnight.
About the Cowlitz Indian Tribe
The Cowlitz Indian Tribe is a growing force in community building in the Pacific Northwest. The Cowlitz Reservation neighbors Ridgefield, Washington, and is home to ilani, the Pacific Northwest’s premier gaming, dining, meeting, and entertainment destination. The mission of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe is to preserve and honor the legacy of its elders and ancestors by empowering a tribal community that promotes social justice and economic well-being, secures aboriginal lands, respects culture and sovereignty, and fosters justice, freedom, and mutual welfare. More information can be found at cowlitz.org.