As questions and uncertainty continue to engulf the medical marijuana industry in America, one Los Angeles group is encouraging dispensary operators to take their lead in creating an efficient, methodological approach to dispensary management and employee training that will help bridge the gap between dispensary operators, patients and government officials.
Los Angeles-based MedMen, a full service consulting and marketing group specific to the medical marijuana industry, believes that many of the problems that currently plague the industry are the result of a lack of predetermined guidelines for dispensary and employee regulation and management.
"Because the industry is so new, and because it involves a relatively small niche market, dispensary operators and those hoping to get involved in the trade really have nowhere to turn to for guidance," said MedMen's Adam Bierman. "To date, most dispensary operators have followed a 'learn-as-you-go approach,' so to speak - and such a mentality is only adding to the confusion that already exists, due in large part to the disparity between what California law allows and what Federal laws mandate."
MedMen executives Bierman and Andrew Modlin recognized the need for a single source of industry-specific knowledge, and promptly set about becoming that source, designing guidelines for training dispensary staff, providing relevant information, creating customer loyalty programs and implementing an overall more efficient approach to dispensary management.
"California and other states that have adopted medical marijuana have done so with the intent that it be a medicinal alternative, and, as such, we believe that it should be subject to the same type of regulated management as, say, a pharmacy," said Modlin. "To work in a pharmacy, employees must be highly trained, trusted individuals who follow a strict, predetermined protocol, and our belief is that employees at medical marijuana dispensaries should be held to the same standard."
Similarly, pharmacy patrons expect that the personnel behind the counter be able to answer any questions they may have about pharmacy products in addition to simply taking orders, a belief the MedMen feel should extend to dispensaries as well.
"They aren't going to have some high school kid making $7 an hour tell you the ins and outs of taking prescription medications," said Bierman. "To truly legitimize the MMJ industry in America, dispensary employees must share the same level of product knowledge we've come to expect from pharmacy techs. When our patients are better taken care of, our industry will finally start to progress and reach its true potential. That's where the MedMen come in."