My mentoring services are based on real-world experience in the Oregon cannabis industry. I've been through the ups and downs of the legal industry from the very beginning, and I will translate my mistakes and success stories into an actionable plan that, while it can't guarantee the outcome you're hoping for, will make it much more achievable.
Green Valley Wellness
Originally Medical, licensed adult use since 2014
Location: High visibility, quick access to the freeway, multiple free parking spots, some behind the building
Decor: Med-spa (light colored walls, daylight LED lighting, utilize all the direct sunlight, clean bright floors)
POS: MJ Freeway (cloud based), then BioTrack THC (server based)
Original investment <$100,000
Green Valley Wellness has succeeded on several fronts:
Eight years in continuous legal operation
First to open in our area; we set the bar for both customer service and customer experience.
A devoted customer base.
The clean, bright, open atmosphere sets the baseline for dispensaries in our area.
We have been voted “Best of” in Talent, the Rogue Valley, and the State
Consistently in the Leafly Top Ten
On June 27th, 2014, Green Valley Wellness opened its doors as the second, legal, medical marijuana dispensary in Southern Oregon. Our motto was “Service, Selection, Knowledge.” We guided many, many people back into the world of cannabis and still today, are known for our staff service. We presented ourselves as a resource and eventually became known for it. We cultivated trust within the community and it has paid off over time.
We located in Talent, Oregon, situated between the population hubs of Ashland and Medford, both of which declared early moratoriums on opening dispensaries. Talent was also an easier bureaucracy to navigate. We had to plead our case to the planning commission to allow us to get a “conditional use permit,” as local ordinance had not been written and they did not know how to regulate/categorize us.
Every step of the way we projected professionalism. We were polite, respectful, and dressed nicely. We gently explained exactly what we were going to do to all parties, many of whom were instinctively opposed, and convinced them to allow us to move forward. A strong understanding of the state laws, as well as county ordinance, and local city ordinance, was paramount in this effort. I learned the lingo of planning, and was able to speak to people in their own language. We had to combat every wild prejudice about cannabis and even faced down a beloved police chief.
Mostly, they simply did not understand the nature of what retail cannabis would look like. We explained our ideas to them clearly, as well as helping them understand the state ordinance. We likened our shop to a candy store or a deli. People come in, they choose what they want from jars that are visible in a display cabinet, which then gets packaged up for customers and they are on their way. No smoking. No growing. No strong smells. The city council ruled in our favor and we were granted a permit.
We did create a business plan. I don’t recall referencing it much along the way, or even in hindsight, but we did make it and completed it before we opened. It did create the pathway in our minds. We made extensive use of lists and checklists for organizing the steps along the way. We met weekly to plan and keep tabs on our momentum.
Our goals were to:
a) Project Professionalism. No dingy, college dorm type places. We had seen lots of those in Portland, among the burgeoning, unlicensed dispensaries that were popping up everywhere.
b) Uplift our Customers. The purchasing of cannabis should make one feel good. They should be in an environment that they are happy to be in. We included plants, some giant crystal geodes we had from a previous business, and plenty of art on the walls. I wanted an upscale, department store type feel.
c) Educate. Medical cannabis was new. Retail sales of medical cannabis was new. We felt it part of our mission to educate the public about cannabis and the new laws surrounding it. We hired enthusiastic people with genuine cannabis knowledge and a thirst for increasing that knowledge.