BRANDS | Bridge City Collective

BRANDS | Bridge City Collective


Portland, Oregon, is known as the bridge city for its location, straddling both the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Known historically for its eco-friendly attitude, microbreweries and coffee houses, it’s become well known in recent years as a Cannabis mecca. Oregon is both medical and adult-use and that means dispensaries are a familiar sight as you explore the city.  Bridge City Collective is a fixture in Portland with two dispensaries in prime locations where repeat customers are recognized on sight and new visitors are given a warm welcome.

David Alport of Bridge City Collective is bringing that vibe to Missouri and not just in the dispensary space. BCC holds licenses for cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensary. We spoke with David and his National Marketing Director, Dana Riggio about their company and specifically their brands. Asked about the origin of the flagship brand BCC, the Bridge City part was a no-brainer, but what about the “collective?” They shared that back in 1996, when California was first to legalize Cannabis, the word collective was interchangeable with dispensary and was a group of people and ideas that came together. Alport said, “We’re a collective in terms of people and ideas and we’re committed to our communities and we engage them in our efforts – we see ourselves acting as a collective. We want to continue using the name because we’d like to see ourselves as a bridge that lends itself to a national dialogue. The idea that Cannabis is the same and has legitimacy to what we are doing.”

That commitment to community was a recurring theme during our time together, the BCC ideology is strongly centered around the needs of not only those who visit the locations, but the people who work and live in the communities around them. While we talked, there was a genuine focus on the BCC Missouri company evolving as the needs of the patients and the community become more defined and Dana was visibly excited when asked about how they’ll bring products to their dispensary based on the needs of the individuals they serve.

If you peruse the menus for their Portland dispensaries, you’ll see a vast array of products, with brands known both locally and nationally. Dana tells me that their products are diverse and not only actual Cannabis itself, but other things like merchandise and Cannabis-themed books. Their reasoning that they’ve gotten to know their customers and those customers dictate what they’ll carry. That’s the direction the BCC dispensary will take here in St Louis as well – products will be carried that patients deem important for their conditions and their preferences. “Yes – similar to Oregon menus – we want to be sure we’re providing everything that a patient will need, so we’ll tailor our menu based on the quality of products that are available and that we offer tiered pricing in terms of flower to meet the needs. We’ll probably offer bulk pricing for ounces. Launching in Missouri is a great opportunity to learn the needs of the Missouri patients’ standards that we want to be cognizant of,” said Alport.

Although they’ll carry the BCC branded products, the idea of a collective is inherent in their company culture and they intend to engage the Cannabis community and will carry products of other producers who are committed to the same level of quality that they themselves are. If a brand is out there doing something well and patients are seeking that brand – they’ll stock it. “We’ll present other brands in our dispensary. We’ll carry other people’s products – that’s part of the ethos of being a collective – being community-oriented and showcasing other experts in the industry. Even in terms of other products, like merchandise, we won’t carry just our own offerings – we’ll also carry non-Cannabis products that support other groups. Everyone is looking for a different experience – some people want to learn about the history of Cannabis, or enhance their product knowledge. We want to be a resource for patients.”


Speaking of patients, when we talked about what the patient experience might look like, BCC was happy to reference the approach they have to patient education currently and will continue in the Missouri facilities. BCC has a medical advisory board that they use to support their organization. Dr. Joseph Friedman, of the International Society of Cannabis Pharmacists is a part of that support system. Their model is to use clinical resources to help train staff and allow BCC to be better at serving patients. Dana was quick to point out, “So many teams strive to be experts, but where is our expertise and where does that expertise end? We always want to have conversations about how we can best serve patients, and best serve our employees.”

When asked what we like to call the “interview conclusion question” – what should readers know about your brand that makes you different? Both Alport and Riggio shared their answer – “Essentially the one thing we want people to know is that we’re here for THEM. Patient-based solutions are our business – true solutions that address what they care about. We’re always going to be doing our best from top to bottom to make sure being a body inside our dispensary is a total experience. We want to address NEEDS and meet the NEEDS of our patients and communities. How can we help people in the way they would like to help and how can we help them help themselves. How do we meet those needs every step of the way? The full life cycle of the product in the way they want is additive. It all goes back to trust – and you can never get it back 100%, so they have to be able to trust that you’re going to meet those needs. We’re thoughtful and approachable and how we handle things, we’ve constructed our space and use of the space to spend time with people so they can leave with not just product but knowledge.”

It’s tough to feel like we’re adequately describing the effervescence of the BCC team and their absolute conviction about their mission, but it was apparent in talking with them that they aren’t a multi-state operator throwing up a shingle and calling it done. This team truly wants to become a part of making the community where they operate better and to add value to the lives of patients who take the time to visit them.

This appeared in the November/December 2020 issue of Greenway Magazine.