Living the Dream: Sarah Vasega

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

As expected, a vertically structured and highly regulated medical cannabis operation comes with its challenges. Once the dust has settled from the initial mad dash to cultivate, manufacture and open for business, you are left with the everlasting quest for improvement. Legitimate cannabis operations have a unique opportunity to bring together talent from many walks of life and curate a well-rounded group.

In any business, selecting and maintaining a winning team is a matter of extreme importance. In my own team, I cannot help but notice the many instances of professional growth happening all around me. Day to day, the potential for individual and career growth fuels our drive to succeed.

An individual with a law enforcement background becomes an educator for safety and security matters. The ex-social worker can bridge the gap between special-needs patients and the fast-paced retail environment. One with deep roots in cannabis can gain tremendous professional development when working alongside attorneys and marketing firms. A hardworking and motivated entry-level employee can find a rewarding career in management or beyond. The seasoned cultivator shines with more resources and access to the latest technology.

As a leader, being able to identify talent is only the beginning. Ongoing employee engagement and offering opportunities for professional development can surely aid in retaining dedicated employees in every department. During our fine-tuning, we hope to nourish our organization from the inside.

With credit due to our founders, Aloha Green Apothecary’s company culture has naturally evolved in the right direction. But as we know, we can always do better. After attending a (surprisingly) inspiring human resources seminar, I have begun to retool our onboarding and review process. Keeping staff engaged can be accomplished in many ways and we are still figuring out which ways fit into our scenario best.

The inspiration to be more deliberate with our company culture and taking the time to cultivate leaders will surely affect positive outcomes in our future. As for me, I hope by committing to become a better leader myself, I can encourage even more advancement in those around me.

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