Living the Dream: Sarah Vasega

Sarah Vasega
Director of Retail Operations
Aloha Green Apothecary
Honolulu, HI

As far as dispensaries are concerned, Hawaii is a fairly new medical cannabis market. With regulations prohibiting marketing to the general public, it is very important for us and other licensees to participate in community events for exposure. Our presence at public events is allowed in an educational outreach capacity and we regularly participate in events like various charity walks and the Honolulu Pride Parade. But a more direct outreach opportunity shines annually at the Hawaii Cannabis Expo.

This year marked the fifth annual Hawaii Cannabis Expo in Honolulu, where many layers of the local cannabis and hemp industries converge for the three-day event. Dispensaries, grow shops, seed providers, qualifying physicians, CBD companies and cannabis enthusiasts all look forward to the gathering. Although this is a modest expo compared to others on the mainland, it increases in size each year and offers a unique experience only available in the Aloha State.

Aloha Green Apothecary’s booth was designed to give a preview of what one could expect to see when visiting our dispensary locations. Information and photos highlighting our wide variety of products were displayed and patient consultants were available to answer questions. As free swag is always popular, we gave out branded freebies and expo-exclusive coupons to our visitors. Our staff was able to touch base with familiar faces and introduce new and potential patients to what we have to offer. Under current regulations we may only market directly to those who “opt-in.” Thus, expanding our email list and collecting phone numbers for text marketing is always a plus. Our participation in the expo seems to increase sales and encourage visits from those new to medical cannabis dispensaries.

As we journey thorough a current legislative session that is crowded with cannabis and hemp bills, we are reminded that though certain issues may divide us, we are one community. Events like the Hawaii Cannabis Expo bring us together and remind us that the multi-faceted cannabis space has room for us all. The evolution of our industry continues to offer ever-expanding options to the cannabis consumer, and we look forward to showcasing our work at future events.

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