Manager | Vibe Cannabis Co.
For AmyJo Linn, there’s one key ingredient that has made her successful in the cannabis space: she cares.
Whether it’s finding the right product for a customer or managing her employees, she takes the extra step of connecting with each one on a personal level. Over the past six years and counting, Linn has been the manager of Vibe Cannabis Co. in Kelso, Washington, handling a wide range of duties from hiring and managing the retail shop’s staff to purchasing products to budtending several days a week.
“I basically run it as if it were my own home,” she says.
In addition to overseeing the retail operation, Linn has her own music and events business, Solid Media LLC, which was born out of needing a creative way to market Vibe Cannabis Co. When the company was in its previous location, the store was dealing with a leaky roof and a number of other issues.
“We had construction on the road in front of us that actually almost took us out of business,” Linn says. “So we had to think outside the box and find a way to bring attention to let people know we were still there and incentivize them to come in.”
Linn turned the store’s parking lot into a venue for mini concerts and free community events, bringing in local artists as well as nationally known performers like Afro Man.
“So now we’re in the music industry and Vibe gets a lot of exposure from that,” she says. “I think it comes from the spirit here that whoever you are, wherever you come from, whatever your situation is, when you walk through that door, you’re like family.”
Linn has seen the industry and the business evolve so much in the time that she’s been working at Vibe. She watched the influx of the “suits” trying to take over the industry about five years ago, before most of those people were replaced by people who actually care about the industry and the products, bringing more of a community vibe back into the space.
She’s also noticed a substantial change in recent years as the stigma associated with cannabis use has been dwindling. It’s opened the doors to a whole new category of customers who might not have been willing to try cannabis as a therapeutic option.
“We saw from 2016, probably up to 2020, people were still very nervous about going into a weed shop,” Linn says. “They wanted the windows blacked out, they wanted to park around the block. Nowadays, people are coming in and saying, ‘My doctor is telling me I need to talk to you.’”