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Conveying Curatives

Far from the Vegas Strip, Thrive’s Southern Highlands dispensary is where Sin City locals can find comfort in cannabis, via conveyor belt.



Thrive Cannabis Marketplace, Las Vegas, NV

OPENED: 2020; Opened featured location: 2017;DESIGNER: Thrive; EMPLOYEES: ~35; AREA: 10,000 sq. feet; TOP BRANDS: Green & Gold, Pistola (house brands), Airo, Church Cannabis, Matrix NV, Old Pal, Pheno Exotic, Sip Elixirs, STIIIZY, Wyld; ONLINE PRESENCE: 450+ 5-star Google reviews, 26.9K Instagram followers; WEBSITE:

WHAT REALLY IS “wellness”? Is it a ripple of extra vim splashing up over that Plimsoll line of good health we’ve come to expect in today’s world of medical wonders? Or perhaps it is a sense of being relaxed and at one with ourselves, situated somewhere airily above the ground-bound baseline of merely “being healthy.”

The pandemic has cast a sharper spotlight on that indeterminate gray zone that drifts between physical and mental health. The ruthlessly commercial nature of the American healthcare system means there’s the possibility of medicalizing complaints that in other cultures might be dismissed as hypochondria or self-indulgence. On the opposite side of the coin, our very real ailments may go untended if we can’t pony up to pay for treatment.

The school of wellness is predicated on the idea that we can and should go above and beyond simply “being healthy.” That in a very real sense, we should strive to live our best life. The pandemic has shown us all how quickly our routines and safe zones can go topsy-turvy—but also how powerful we can be in taking control of our own bodies and health.

Thrive, one of Nevada’s leading cannabis outlets and perhaps the state’s most successful homegrown legal operation, plays artfully in the wellness sandbox. The operator’s Southern Highlands outlet on West Cactus Avenue in Las Vegas is a prime example of Thrive’s balance of form and function to communicate an earnestness about the full spectrum of wellness, from corporeal to metaphysical.

MADE IN NEVADA: The conveyor belt, above, is the signature feature of a cannabis store where expert staff, top left, offer product like Thrive’s own Pistola brand, bottom left.

Welcome to the Jungle

Opened in 2020, Thrive’s Southern Highlands outlet isn’t a headshop, much less a cannabis café. But nor is it a lifeless, sterile clinic. Off the beaten tourist path in South Las Vegas, the dispensary promotes a wellness agenda via the calming, interior ambience designed to take your anxiety levels down a notch as soon as you walk into the main area. Large, simple prints of budding flower, smiling hostesses serving trays of cannabis product and other space age bachelor pad imagery adorns the walls. The décor and wide open space of the dispensary floor is intended to sweep away stress like arriving for a top-class Thai or Lomi Lomi massage.

But all that comes after you’ve picked up your jaw from the ground after clocking the full-on neon jungle display at the entrance. Think Lewis Carroll let loose in a Venice Beach thrift store housed in a warehouse designed by Norman Foster. In a strange way, this disjointed, overwhelming first impression somehow works to prime customers for the much more subdued but still playful visions inside.


Now let’s talk about the conveyor belt. Like a dry cleaner’s serving up THC treats instead of freshly starched shirts, the metal-framed product delivery system is the stand-out feature of Thrive’s well-lit interior. The clacking belt winds its serpentine way through openings in the ceiling to similar effect as the parade of doors that flit about the “scream factory” in the Pixar film Monsters, Inc. Beneath the conveyor is the display island of cannabis goodies, some number of which the belt will soon bring to customers when ordered up by a budtender behind the counter.

The glass cases built into the service island append some whimsy to the aesthetic, displaying cannabis product on beds of astroturf grass. With more real estate given to counter space than display cases, the service island is emblematic of the modern retail strategy of presenting clean lines over clutter and communicating scarcity of product rather than an overabundance of it.

ORDER UP: Once an order is placed with a Thrive budtender, the backroom fulfillment team packs it up and places it on the marketplace’s conveyor belt.

How It Works

Once an order is placed with one of Thrive’s smiling, expert budtenders, a backroom fulfillment team packs it up and places it in a bag that’s attached to the conveyor belt, which twists and turns on a 210-foot track above the store before arriving at the front counter. You get your goodies, chat through any questions you have with your budtender, pose for a selfie next to the groovy psychedelic display, then head home for that wellness hit.

If minimalism is the aesthetic at Thrive’s Southern Highlands dispensary, the actual variety of wares kept in stock is decidedly not. The company claims to have more than 500 different products in inventory rotation at its five Nevada locations, including its in-house Green & Gold and Pistola brands, as well as popular vendor brands like Old Pal, Sip Elixirs, STIIIZY and Wyld.

“Our selection ensures we have something in stock for every customer who visits any one of our locations,” says Thrive founder and CEO Mitch Britten. “In terms of our own product, we’ve taken the time to find what strains perform successfully with our growing style. Each strain is cultured around certain cannabinoids, terpenes, THC profiles and exotic characteristics that set us apart.”

Thrive moves product—a lot of product. Now among the largest independently owned cannabis companies in Nevada, Thrive says it has made more than 5 million sales transactions since opening its first store in North Las Vegas in 2016.

POODLE PARTY: We’re not sure what dogs in dinner dresses, above, have to do with cannabis, but life is better when not everything makes perfect sense!

The Brains Behind the Build

Thrive’s official line is that its Southern Highlands dispensary marries efficiency, security and sleek minimalism. In actuality, it looks delightfully crazy. That style suits a company that began as a button-down medical cannabis dispensary but quickly leaned into the new zeitgeist when recreational cannabis was legalized in Nevada in 2017.

“When we set out to create what is now Thrive, we knew we needed to create a retail environment that respects and pays homage to the way Nevada licensed cannabis establishments operate. There were a fair amount more cultivation and production facilities licensed than storefronts, so we wanted to launch a true marketplace: A storefront for those that didn’t have storefronts, if you will,” Britten says.

Thrive’s founder says he really let the creatives loose when conceptualizing the Southern Highlands marketplace.


“From a design aesthetic, we wanted to make sure that our feel was approachable to consumers from all walks of life, whether it’s a 20-something or someone in their 80s. I gave our design team free rein to bring a cool concept to life, making

Thrive’s aesthetic a blend between a hip coffee shop, [outdoor equipment emporium] REI, and [fitness apparel brand] Lululemon,” Britten says.

“I also think we may be the only ones that figured out how to blend a dry cleaner with a dispensary—products delivered to the floor via conveyor belt, anyone?”

Wait, There’s More … Thriving Throughout Nevada

Thrive operates five cannabis marketplaces in the Silver State and offers delivery services in Cactus, Cheyenne and Reno. If you’re in Las Vegas, Reno or Jackpot, check out these locations:

    Thrive North Las Vegas
    2755 W. Cheyenne Avenue #103
    North Las Vegas, NV 89032
    Thrive West Sahara
    3500 W. Sahara Avenue
    Las Vegas, NV 89102
    Thrive Southern Highlands
    3698 W. Cactus Avenue
    Las Vegas, NV 89141
    Thrive Jackpot
    1868 Royal Drive
    Jackpot, NV 89825
  • RENO
    Thrive Reno
    7300 S. Virginia Street
    Reno, NV 89511

Tunes for a leisurely shopping trip to Thrive Southern Highlands

Viva Las Vegas ………. The Grascals w/Dolly Parton
Jackpot ………. The Beat
Gambler’s Blues ………. Otis Rush
Blackjack Davey ………. Taj Mahal
Little Willie the Gambler ………. Townes Van Zandt
Bottle of Smoke ………. The Pogues
The Gambler ………. Don Schlitz
A Little Less Conversation ………. Elvis Presley/JXL Remix
Ooh, Las Vegas ………. Gram Parsons w/Emmylou Harris
Bad Card ………. Bob Marley & The Wailers
Luck Be a Lady ………. Dominique Smith
Get Lucky ………. Daft Punk w/Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers
Poker Face ………. Lady Gaga
Queen of Las Vegas ………. The B-52’s
Viva Las Vegas ………. Dead Kennedys

LISTEN TO THE SOUNDTRACK! Check out GCTMag’s Spotify playlist for J&B’s at


Five Cool Things About Thrive Cannabis Marketplace

1. OPEN ALL THE TIMES. Las Vegas may a city that never sleeps … but its residents and visitors do need to relax and refresh just like the rest of us. Thrive’s three Las Vegas dispensaries are conveniently open 24 hours a day to accommodate the schedules of every customer and patient.

2. DON’T CALL IT A DISPENSARY. Branding Thrive as a cannabis “marketplace” rather than a dispensary was intentional. “I personally don’t like the term dispensary, so I thought, let’s take that step toward legitimacy one step further and call it something different, something new,” Britten says.

3. AN ENDLESS SELECTION. Thrive’s cannabis marketplaces rotate a selection of more than 500 different products in their inventory, including the company’s own Green & Gold and Pistola brands, as well as popular third-party flower, pre-rolls, vape products, edibles, concentrates and accessories.

4. LESSONS FROM COLORADO. Before arriving in Nevada, Britton tried his hand in Colorado’s legal market. He says Nevada’s limited license model was more suited to his vision for a cannabis marketplace growing over time, without the dog-eat-dog competition in Colorado. “One of the most challenging parts of the Colorado market was the severe oversaturation of storefronts and cultivation facilities,” he says.

5. WHAT HAPPENS IN… Supplying adult products to visitors to Nevada’s adult playgrounds is obviously a huge part of Thrive’s appeal. The proximity to all that customer service mojo is also reflected in the company’s sophisticated, experienced floor staff, which includes many accomplished hospitality pros from the area’s casino and resort properties.




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