Director of Sales
The ladies of The Stoney Moose booked tickets for the RAD Expo in Portland, Oregon months prior to the event. It had been a busy summer at our destination-dispensary along the cruise ship route in Ketchikan, Alaska, and we were more than ready to immerse ourselves in a few days of networking and learning with our fellow cannabis comrades.
Plus, a weekend with the ladies in Portland — yes, please! So many delicious eateries and trendy dispensaries to explore. We ate ALL the good food and smoked ALL the good weed!
We arrived in Portland a day early. As we dispensary-hopped and enjoyed a late lunch of delectable Russian fare, we discussed our goals for the expo.
Liza Leigh, our director of marketing and graphic design, was on the hunt for legal advertising advice, marketing platforms to reach out our clients more effectively and custom display companies to design display cases to show off the edible and topical products.
Michele Droke, our floor supervisor and inventory manager, was there to research point-of-sale systems and inventory tracking tools, as well as further her own development as a cannabis professional when it comes to knowledge of compliance and general developments in the marijuana and hemp world.
Chelsea Robison, our lead budtender, was focused on expanding her knowledge of customer relations and how to utilize strategies for customer-connection and building relationships within the community. As our resident “Mistress of Education” (aka our beloved ganja-geek), we all depend on Chelsea to answer the tough questions when it comes to how this plant interacts with our bodies, so she makes it her business to be on the up-and-up of all the latest cannabis information and discoveries.
My own goal was to research how I could better myself as a manager to these wonderful, talented people I hired, and how I could increase profit margins while doing it. How could a knowledge of business and industry, combined with a knowledge of management and people —with a heavy dash of Libran charm and a shrewd sense of money-making — enable me to concoct the perfect recipe to ride (and push or pull, if necessary) the magic carpet to ultimate success? I know I have all the components; now I just needed to connect with the experts that had already made it work.
The convention was ultimately fantastic. There were a plethora of products and services from every realm of the cannabis world, including CBD, merchandise, glass and vaporizer companies, packaging, legal advice, marketing research, POS systems, you name it. For the majority of our goals, The Stoney Moose crew found what we were after. We fulfilled our thirst for knowledge and the desire to regroup and make friends with impressive players in the industry. We all walked away with fat stacks of business cards and pads full of notes.
A few key connections that we made were CBD-related, such as Zone In CBD, created by Lofa Tatupu, the former Seattle Seahawks linebacker and an advocate of CBD and the miraculous, restorative shift it can provide to people, especially athletes in recovery. His company makes amazing, organically grown, full-spectrum tinctures and capsules.
Hearing personal accounts of this plant helping people always strikes a special chord in my heart. As I listened to Lofa’s passionate story of how the hemp plant changed his life, I thought, “I’ll never get sick of this.” I’ll never get sick of seeing this plant put the light back in people’s eyes and change their life for the better. Managing a dispensary has given me the first-hand experience of seeing people rediscover a hope for health and happiness through the use of the right strain or the right CBD product or the right combination of the two. Growing up with an herbalist mother, I’ve seen the magic plants can work for people and 29 years later, to see it happen in front of me again and again, where people’s lives are enriched and enlivened, it reminds me again why I love what I do.
In conclusion, a big thank you to Marijuana Venture for putting together an excellent event that facilitated such lucrative connections and sharing of knowledge. I look forward to attending the next RAD Expo.