Local Makers Series | Juniper Cannabis: Nurturing Community, Crafting Quality 

Published:
October 25, 2023

Juniper's story began in 2014 when Adam Ryder, a Bozeman local, started cultivating cannabis. Driven by a commitment to quality, cleanliness, and a "classier" approach that defied industry stereotypes, Adam was focused on the power of intention and attention to detail, a philosophy that continues to shape their cannabis brand.

Juniper's story began in 2014 when Adam Ryder, a Bozeman local, started cultivating cannabis. Driven by a commitment to quality, cleanliness, and a "classier" approach that defied industry stereotypes, Adam was focused on the power of intention and attention to detail, a philosophy that continues to shape their cannabis brand.

If you've been following our Local Makers Series, you know that we've been collaborating with and telling the stories of local Bozeman businesses like Treeline Coffee, Dualitas (formerly Hustle, Throw, Repeat) & Buck Products who are committed to making a difference in our community. Today, we're going to talk a bit more about Juniper Cannabis, their story, and a few of the folks who have been pivotal in building the company and a community that's not just about cannabis, but also about fostering a sense of belonging and growth within the Gallatin Valley. 

Juniper's Timeline: The Juniper Journey Begins

Juniper's story began in 2014 when Adam Ryder, a Bozeman local, started cultivating cannabis. Driven by a commitment to quality, cleanliness, and a "classier" approach that defied industry stereotypes, Adam was focused on the power of intention and attention to detail, a philosophy that continues to shape their cannabis brand. From my experience photographing the grow and designing packaging for each product, I can tell you that everything they do is deeply focused on craft and quality.

Upon entering the medical marijuana market, Juniper had a clear mission: to provide the best possible service and education about cannabis while being a welcoming space for anyone to walk in the shop. Because Montana wasn’t the first state to welcome cannabis into its market, education and approachability was key not only to Juniper’s success, but for the industry as a whole. From day one, Adam and his partner, Jackie Worden, wanted folks from all walks of life to feel welcomed in the community and to do that, they needed to design a dispensary that was different from everything else. So they did. 

In 2018 Adam & Jackie acquired a space on the corner of Lamme & North Grand in Downtown Bozeman. In an effort to open their doors in February of 2019 they put in some serious sweat equity. 

“We gave both the interior and exterior of the historic home a complete facelift. From plastering & painting walls to hand-building counters, shelving and displays to fill the dispensary & retail space. We also removed all the old landscaping and replanted gardens on the property to make it a welcoming and beautiful place to visit.”

Before Adam & Jackie gave this beautiful Bozeman home a facelift

After: The Juniper Cannabis Downtown Bozeman Dispensary on the corner of Grand and Lamme

Their commitment to sustainability and a refined approach to growing cannabis led them to design their brand around minimalism– breaking the visual norms and stereotypes associated with cannabis culture. (Insert questionable glass cases and rasta everything) 

Being stewards for the outdoors and avid mountain bikers & skiers themselves, Adam & Jackie wanted to bring their inspiration from the landscape into the brand. And so, a beautifully simple logo paired with stunning aerial forest scenes became the cornerstone of their visual identity.

Pre-rolls in Bozeman aren't just for the sofa– they're for getting ourside with your friends on bike trails, skiing at Bridger Bowl or for early morning ski tours. Juniper has deals every day and if you like joints, come to a dispensary on Fridays!
Juniper's Corn Hole boards for the Bridger Brewing Summer Concert Series. Did you come see us on the lawn this year?

Meanwhile, Mike Singer, now a partner at Juniper, was busy making connections, and dreaming up what was next on the east coast. 

“I got into the industry in 2009 when I started my previous company. In 2008 I had become friends with an MD from New York who was the first doctor in Montana to begin recommending patients for medical marijuana. Through conversations with him it became clear to me that there was real opportunity in a nascent medical marijuana industry.”

From the beginning Juniper was designed to be different– not just in the products they offered but in the very essence of their approach and their role in Montana’s marijuana and outdoor culture. This commitment to craftsmanship and sustainable recreation is why Juniper has become more than their products, but a part of something bigger. When I asked Mike about the subject, his response was: 

“What stands out to me is the pairing of cannabis with an active, outdoor-focused lifestyle. We love to recreate in the mountains and our brand has been cultivated in-part to reflect mountain culture and promote getting outside.”

Locally Driven: Rooted in Gallatin Valley

Montana's Gallatin Valley is a source of inspiration for the Juniper team. They've made it their mission to reflect the beauty, adventure, and values of this region in everything they do. From hiring budtenders, sourcing marijuana products, and ingredients locally to instilling Montana's values into their processes, Juniper stands as a testament to the power of community-driven businesses. They believe that place shapes people, and that's why they go beyond cannabis. 

Juniper and their cannabis dispensaries actively engage with the community by hosting events, organizing trail runs and bike rides, and dreaming up ways to give back. Without the crew of amazing humans that make up the team, there would be no roots into the community. (I urge you to talk more personally with the folks behind the counter– because each and every one of them has an incredible story to tell.) For Juniper, business is better when they’re growing together, and that spirit of togetherness is at the core of their ethos.

More than Cannabis: A Commitment to Community

It's not just about selling products; it's about building connections and nurturing growth locally. They understand that a strong community is the foundation of a thriving business and that's why they've made it their mission to contribute to the Greater Gallatin Valley in meaningful ways. Being a cannabis company, we certainly had to get creative in the ways we marketed ourselves. From hosting events to giving back, and actively engaging with other businesses are all part of the strategy at Juniper Cannabis.

Juniper Cannabis' plants grown in Bozeman, Montana being tended to.

One of the questions I’ve always asked founders is “How does creativity play into your role?”. When I asked Adam Ryder this question, he answered: “Everyday is a learning experience. It takes a tremendous amount of creativity to stay relevant and excel in a saturated cannabis market. Everything from finding ways to engage with the community, keeping up on the best cultivation practices to making Juniper a great place to work for employees, you're forced to always think outside the box.“

Over the years, I’ve had many conversations, brainstorms and strategy sessions with the Juniper team. From the beginning a few things have been at the top of their list:

  1. They emphasized their commitment to being more than just a cannabis brand.
  2. They want to be experts in a friendly way, offering not only products but also shared experiences and activities.
  3. The belief that what brought us here (and what continues to call people to the area), to this special place is what makes this community truly exceptional. It’s something we all have in common– a shared place.

When I asked Jackie about what most people don’t know about Juniper Cannabis she said “We do everything. We grow, hand-water and trim, harvest, roll-joints, store products and send to testing all on our own. Plus labeling, marketing and selling at our two locations.” (On Jackrabbit Lane in Belgrade and on Grand Ave in Downtown Bozeman).

If you ask me, doing everything in-house with a quality team of local people really emphasizes their commitment to quality, community and values through their operations. 

As the company has grown, Juniper has stayed true to their roots, always relating to the community through what they love: bike rides, collaborative events, meeting friendly faces in Bozeman and the active lifestyle. What I’ve found to be especially inspiring is the shared dedication and collaborative nature of their team. So, next up– I wanted to share a bit more about the owners.

Adam Ryder: Bozeman Local. From Teenage Fascination to Cannabis Cultivation

Adam Ryder, the founder of Juniper, a geography major and avid mountain biker traces his journey back to his teenage years. He became fascinated by cannabis cultivation and was determined to learn how to grow the highest quality cannabis on a commercial level. Years later, an opportunity arose to acquire a cultivation facility near Gallatin Gateway, and he never looked back. In 2014, Adam began cultivating cannabis under Montana’s medical program. Several years later, he formed Juniper Cannabis and after acquiring and renovating the Grand Avenue location in Downtown Bozeman, the doors opened for medical sales in February of 2019. In 2022 recreational sales became legal and they opened their second weed dispensary location off Jackrabbit Lane (in Belgrade) in collaboration with Mike Singer (previously Sensible Alternatives). 

When I asked Adam how Juniper was different, he replied: “We want to make it real. Make it Human.”

Mike Singer: Embracing the Montana Way of Life

September 2023 - Mike welcoming us into the Juniper Cannabis Belgrade Dispensary out on on Jackrabbit Lane

For Mike Singer, a partner at Juniper, his family and Montana's year-round outdoor playground has been a constant source of inspiration. He mentioned how hard work, consistency and creativity are all a part of operating a cannabis dispensary. “Most people don't know just how much effort and teamwork it takes to bring a cannabis plant from clone to finished product. Adam, Jackie, and I wear a lot of different hats at Juniper. It certainly takes creativity to learn how to juggle all of those hats!”  He moved to Montana from Ohio in 1999, drawn by the opportunity to embrace the active, outdoor-focused lifestyle that Montana offers. Mike's vision for Juniper is to continue growing their engagement with the community. He's witnessed how Juniper and their cannabis dispensary has been embraced by the local community, and he hopes to see this engagement expand through hosting and sponsoring more events. He believes in Juniper's ability to bring people together in support of something artistic and fun. 

Jackie Worden: Problem Solving + Team Building

Jackie Worden of Juniper Cannabis giving a tour at their Belgrade grow & dispensary.

Jackie Worden, another integral part of Juniper's team, found herself working with cannabis through a series of intriguing experiences. From helping a college boyfriend with cultivation to trimming for friends in Bozeman, her journey led her to Adam's grow operation. She transitioned to helping him with every process, becoming an essential part of Juniper. Her favorite thing about living in Montana is the access to the outdoors, the people, and the openness of the community. 

Jackie hopes to remove the stigma from cannabis and establish Juniper as a local, community-driven company. She values a community-driven work environment over profit and invests heavily in her staff and the community. 

“My goal is to create stronger relationships with my employees so that care and desire to connect is passed along to the client and community.”

Connecting with the Community: Local Events and Music

When asked about their favorite ways to connect with the community, the Juniper team's answers reflect their diverse personalities and interests. Adam finds organizing events like the Local Disposables event at Shine to be a proud moment. These events bring the community together to support local artists and photographers, celebrating the beauty of the area. 

Mike, on the other hand, finds music to be a powerful way to connect. He has been playing the banjo semi-professionally for over twenty years, sharing the stage with talented musicians in the tri-state area. That made our partnership with Bridger Brewing for their Summer Concert Series an easy “YES”. 

The Juniper Cannabis Street Team popped-up at Bridger Brewing in Three Forks Montana for Yard Games at the Summer Concert Series
Corb Lund at Bridger Brewing's Concert Series in Montana - Summer 2023 - Sponsored by Juniper Cannabis

Jackie's way of connecting involves organizing girls' trips, going on bike rides with friends, skiing Bridger with friends, and enjoying the local restaurant scene and live music. (You can expect to see more events like ‘Ladies Ride or Run’ and a growing Athlete team here at Juniper very soon.)

Ladies Ride or Run - Bozeman, Montana Free Community Events

In Conclusion: Juniper Cannabis - A Community's Heartbeat

Juniper Cannabis isn't just a brand; it's a community's heartbeat. From their commitment to quality and their deep connection to the Gallatin Valley to their active involvement in community events and their passion for fostering growth, Juniper is a shining example of what it means to be a local maker. As we wrap up our Local Makers Series, we hope you've been inspired by the stories of the businesses that shape our community. Juniper Cannabis, with its dedication to craft quality, local values, and community engagement, embodies the spirit of Bozeman. They're not just makers of cannabis; they're cultivators of connections and challengers of the status quo. Thank you for joining us over the past few months of features– and don’t worry we have more in the works for you.

Written By Kaylee Litle (Designer & Marketing Manager at Juniper)

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